Why should I feed organs to my dog?

You might have noticed that we regularly offer organ meats (either air dried or freeze-dried) in our online shop. The reason is, that organs (also called “offal”) are highly nutritious, since they are packed with vitamins, minerals and macronutrients. They also contain alpha-lipoic acid, which is renowned for its potent antioxidant abilities and is vital for various biological functions.

Organ meat / Offal are basically internal organs of various animals:

  • Heart
  • Liver
  • Kidney
  • Brain
  • Tripe (which is stomach lining, “green” tripe are not cleaned and contain even more nutrients)
  • Lungs
  • Gizzards (in poultry)
  • Trachea
  • Tongue
  • Spleen
  • Pancreas
  • Testicles

Despite the fact that dogs evolved from wolves, they are omnivores – which means, that dogs have adapted through time to consume also other food types, not just meat. This is why we promote a very varied and balanced diet for your dog, with proper amounts of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and probiotics, to make sure they get all the required nutrients.

Feeding a raw diet comprised of organ meats is a popular choice for dog owners who are concerned with making sure their four-legged friend has a fresh, absorbable source of all the nutrients dogs consume in the wild.

All organ meats are high in amino acids (the building blocks of protein), but they vary in the amounts of other nutrients they contain. They can provide:

  • B vitamins – Vitamins B1, B2, B6, and B12 are found in high concentrations in an animal’s heart, kidneys, and liver. The B vitamin complex is essential for digestion, cardiac health, metabolism, skin and coat health, and brain function.
  • Fat-soluble vitamins – Most vitamins are water-soluble, meaning they’re flushed out in the urine, not stored in tissues. Just four vitamins—A, D, E, and K—are fat-soluble, meaning they’re stored in the fatty tissue. To that end, high-fat organ meats are an excellent source of these four vitamins which are critical for vision, healthy immune system, bone health, etc.
  • Trace minerals – These include iron, zinc, selenium, copper, manganese, iodine, and others. Although the body only requires small amounts of these minerals, they’re essential to an incredible range of bodily functions, including wound healing, immune function, hormone regulation, protein synthesis, and nerve function. Additionally, organ meats have been found to be a better source of some trace minerals—such as iron, copper, zinc, and manganese—than muscle tissue.

Here are some tips for incorporating organ meats into your dog’s diet:

  • Feed sparingly – Organ meats such as beef liver and beef heart are high in fat and other nutrients that can accumulate in the body (such as vitamin A, thyroid hormone, and purines), so they shouldn’t comprise a big part of your dog’s diet – overfeeding can lead to toxicity!
  • Add to standard kibble or canned food – any small “upgrade” to your dog´s meals will go a long way, even if you are busy and kibble is more cost-efficient for you than raw diet
  • Store organ meats properly – As with any raw meat, offal should be kept frozen or refrigerated until use. A good option here are air dried or freeze dried organs.
  • Cook to a safe temperature – if you are not able to store organ meat in a freezer, you can also cook it and add to your dog´s meal

Organ meats by themselves are highly nutritional, but they are just a part of your dog´s diet, not the whole diet. So make sure that you utilize them as an addition or as a treat, not as the majority of your dog´s meal.

Make sure that your dog is always hydrated + that you add some probiotics to your dog´s diet (such as yoghurt or kefir).

If you are looking for freeze-dried organ meats, we have a great option for you: Best Barf