Dear Pet Lovers,
Whaddup with organ meat??
Organ meats for your dogs are chuck full of great stuff, including big time doses of B vitamins: as: B1, B2, B6, folic acid and vitamin B12.
If you can get organ meat at your butcher shop, from hunters, etc. DO IT! Lungs, kidneys, pancreas – It may seem disgusting, but your dogs will thank you for it!!
Pets will benefit from the minerals like phosphorus, iron, copper, magnesium and iodine, and provide the important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. It is important to note that animals raised outside on grass contain even higher levels of these essential nutrients than their grain-fed counterparts.
A Natural Source Of Vitamin D
According to Dogs Naturally, Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins (actually a hormone precursor) and regulates numerous functions in the body. Vitamin D deficiency is related to muscle weakness, fractures, common cancers, autoimmune diseases and infectious diseases. It’s especially important for those who live at higher latitudes and receive less sun (since sun exposure is the best source of Vitamin D).
In our area of North Idaho, organ meats are even more important to your pets because they are known to have some of the highest concentrations of naturally occurring vitamin D of any food source, and including a source of organ meats into your dog’s diet once or twice a week, is a great idea – especially in the winter time when vitamin D deficiency is most likely to happen.
Organ meats also contain high amounts of the essential fatty acids such as arachidonic acid, and omega-3 fats, including EPA and DHA. Despite popular belief, fish and fish oils are not the only source of the important EPA and DHA… organ meats are loaded with these important nutrients.
People usually ask about the safety of liver. It is the liver’s job to neutralize toxins in the body from drugs or other chemicals, so obviously the best choice for liver is the grass fed kind, without added antibiotics or hormones. But don’t let that scare you away from liver: it filters toxins but doesn’t store them. Muscle meats are typically higher in unwanted toxins than liver.
Liver also has tons of vitamin A . Natural vitamin A works to aid digestion, keeps sex organs/reproductive organs healthy, and is a powerful antioxidant. Also, liver is a great source of folic Acid, B vitamins and especially vitamin B12, which help with fatigue, mental and nerve health and keeps away the dreaded anemia.
Liver also contains lots of iron. Iron is necessary for many functions in the body including formation of hemoglobin, brain development and function, regulation of body temperature, muscle activity and catecholamine metabolism, to name just a few. A lack of iron will have a very negative direct effect on the immune system as it may diminishes the number of T- cells and the production of antibodies.
Iron is essential for oxygen to the blood cells. The primary function of iron is oxygen transport and cell respiration. For an anemic person, fatigue is one of the most noticeable symptoms. The iron in liver is one of most easily absorbable and usable sources of iron.
Liver contains many nitrogen containing compounds that are building blocks for DNA and RNA. In combination with the B vitamins, this makes it extremely helpful with Alzheimers or other types of dementia. Dogs can suffer from dementia as well, so be generous with the liver.
While liver is highly nutritious, its precious nutrients are very much affected by heat, so never cook it or the digestive enzymes and nutrients will be lost.
A Heart for your Valentine!
Dogs Naturally also reminds us that because it’s a muscle, beef heart is somewhat similar to muscle meat, although it’s a heavier, more dense muscle. But heart meat packs more protein and unique nutrients. The heart is a very concentrated source of the supernutrient, CoQ10. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is necessary for the basic functioning of cells, as well as optimizing the heart’s rhythm. CoQ10 levels are reported to decrease with age and to be lower in some patients with some chronic diseases such as heart conditions, cancer, diabetes, and immune disorders. Beef heart also contains selenium, phosphorus and zinc, along with essential amino acids that help build muscle, store energy and boost stamina and endurance. The heart also contains twice as much collagen and elastin than regular meat, which is important for healthy joints. If you’re feeding a commercial raw diet, look for whole animal choices so the valuable organ meats are kept intact. Making your own? Just make sure you ask for a wide variety of organ meats.
A little anatomy goes a long ways for raw feeders – find yourself a picture of the chicken or cow’s anatomy and note the size of the organs compared to the size of the animal. This should give you an idea of the amount of each organ your dog should receive. Overall, organ meats (not including heart) should make up about 15% of your dog’s total diet.
So when visiting your butcher, ask for the gross stuff! Your dog will thank you!
Pam, Krister, Rosanna, Kris, and Emily
The GoodDog Team