Your dog loves tripe and you should too.
Tripe seems to be the thing that distinguishes a novice raw feeder from an old pro. If you’re among the uninitiated, you’ll find feeding tripe to be a real treat (as will your dog). And while it may have one drawback … it doesn’t affect all the good things it will do for your dog.
Feeding tripe will catapult you to the rank of seasoned raw feeder. So let’s unveil the wonders of tripe before discussing its single fault.
What Is Tripe?
Tripe is the stomach of ruminant (grazing) animals including cows, buffalo and sheep. Stomachs of ruminants have four chambers. These systematically break down grasses with digestive enzymes, gastric juices and amino acids.
You may have seen tripe on supermarket shelves. It’s white and bleached form. This isn’t what you want to feed your dog … it’s devoid of any nutritional value. You want green tripe for your dog. It’s the stuff that comes right out of the animal, dripping with those wonderful juices.
Why Does It Have To Be Green?
Green doesn’t refer to the color. Green just means it’s raw and unprocessed … it’s right out of the animal. And that means it still has pre-digested plant matter and that’s really good for your dog.
It’s important that your dog’s tripe is not only green, but raw. Cooking destroys important digestive enzymes in the tripe. That’s why you also want to avoid canned products that may be processed.
Is Tripe Good For Dogs?
Green tripe is not only good for dogs, they love it. You don’t have to coax them into eating it. In fact, many use tripe to get dogs to eat other things.
And tripe has some great benefits …
6 Reasons Tripe Is Good For Dogs
1. Tripe Is Great For Digestion
Tripe is great for your dog’s digestion. If your dog eats a cooked or commercial diet, he may have an enzyme deficiency. The juices from green tripe are full of digestive enzymes and beneficial bacteria. They help the ruminant animal digest its food so they’ll help your dog have better digestion too.
That means your dog gets the most nutrition from his meals. Digestive enzymes also purify and cleanse the blood, remove toxins, parasites and fungus. They also improve metabolism, hormonal function and boost the immune system.
Think about what you spend on bottled digestive enzymes and probiotics. Those same wonderful, natural substances are plentiful in tripe for your dog.
RELATED: When to give digestive enzymes to your dog …
2. Tripe Is Full Of Nutrients
Tripe is full of nutrients: minerals, amino acids and essential fatty acids.
Dogs deficient in nutrients could be suffering with chronic diarrhea, poor skin and coat, gingivitis, inflammation, viral and bacterial infections and yeast overgrowth.
You can improve their health by adding tripe to their diet and getting all these nutrients:
- Manganese, iron, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium
- B complex vitamins
- Vitamins A, C, D and E
- Perfect 1:1 ratio of calcium and phosphorus
- Perfect balance of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids
- Contains linoleic and linolenic fatty acids
- Prebiotics and probiotics
- Amino acids
3. Tripe Supports Gut Health And Immunity
Not only is green tripe good for dogs, it’s good for the good bacteria in his gut.
The gut is populated by hundreds of different kinds of bacteria or microflora. They’re divided into the ‘good guys’ and the ‘bad guys.’ The bad bacteria causes health issues. They include e-coli, salmonella, campylobacter and listeria. These are from foods and the environment. They could make your dog sick if it weren’t for the protection of the good bacteria.
The good bacteria improve immune function by out-numbering the bad bacteria. That maintains a healthy microflora in the gut. Green tripe is loaded with Lactobacillus acidophilus. It’s one of the bacterial ‘good guys’ and the main ingredient in probiotics. Your dog’s gut can only feed so many micro-organisms. He needs to consume more good bacteria to crowd out the bad bacteria.
Many health issues are caused by imbalance of the good bacteria and the bad bacteria in the microflora. Older dogs are especially prone to this. They tend to have lower levels of beneficial bacteria in their guts.
Add lots of raw, green tripe to your dog’s diet. It will maintain a healthy balance of microflora and manufacture more B vitamins. Tripe will also prevent other health disorders.
Here are other benefits of acidophilus:
- Treats diarrhea and GI infections
- Aids digestion
- Treats chronic constipation
- Treats symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Enhances immune function
- Lowers the risk of pollen allergies
4. Tripe Is Good For Dogs With Kidney Disease
Raw green tripe can help dogs with kidney disease. It has a low phosphorous level that won’t conflict with a kidney diet. Dogs love the smell and taste so it can encourage a sick dog to eat. It also has a high moisture content that supports good hydration.
Tripe is a natural food product. It’s not processed and there are no synthetic additives. That makes it easier for the dog to digest and absorb the nutrients that lead to healing. It also makes a great topper to encourage sick or finicky dogs to eat.
5. Dogs With Food Sensitivities Can Eat Tripe
Tripe has a low allergic reaction and can be fed to dogs with food allergies or sensitive digestive tracts. That’s because it’s considered a white meat with its low levels of myoglobin. That’s the protein that makes red meat red. Tripe often causes less reaction in dogs that are sensitive to red meat. A tripe chew from sheep or lamb is also a good alternative when a dog is sensitive to chicken or beef.
6. Tripe Improves Your Dog’s Dental Health
Chewing on tripe can improve your dog’s dental health. Give your dog a large rubbery chunk of tripe and it’s like giving him a toothbrush. It will exercise his jaw, massage his gums and scrape his teeth. It’s also highly digestible so your dog will get some nutrients in addition to his chewing pleasure.
The Bad News
Now let’s talk about the elephant in the room … the stink.
The rumors you heard are true: tripe stinks! After all, it’s an animal’s stomach where fermentation of what it ate has begun.
But instead of thinking about the horrific smell, think about the great stuff tripe will do for your dog. Don’t worry, those dry heaves will go away with time!
Where To Find Green Tripe
Tripe is available as raw, ground, frozen, freeze-dried and canned. Today there are many more suppliers catering to dog owners and their needs. It’s more available than ever before in independent pet stores and even the bigger chains. You’ll usually find it in the freezer or cooler section where it’s usually ground and frozen. That’s the easiest to use. There are online retailers that sell it as well. Some even deliver within limits.
If you’ve found a raw supplier, you’ll want to find out where it was raised and processed. Local farms and butchers are always best. There are canned varieties but they may be heat processed. That destroys the digestive enzymes. Some are blended with meat making them a green tripe dog food rather than a product for digestion.
Obviously, you will not find it in a supermarket. Your best bet is to find smaller butchers who do custom killing. Be prepared: they will want it off their premises as soon as possible. You may need to supply your own buckets to take it home.
It’s also important to note that tripe contains its share of bacteria. Use care when handling it as humans don’t have the natural resistance to harmful bacteria that dogs do. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling.
Now it’s time to get tripe ready for your dog.
How to Prepare Tripe
Cutting tripe can be a nightmare but there are some ways to improve your experience.
Start with a very sharp knife to cut through the tripe. And be prepared to sharpen it or have a second knife standing by. Tripe is also much easier to cut if it is partially frozen first.
You can cut tripe into chunks and feed it to your dog this way. If you have a grinder, you can grind it like any other meat. Tripe also needs to be refrigerated or frozen. Tripe by its very nature is already involved in the digestive process so it won’t keep longer than a few days in the refrigerator. You can package it in smaller servings and freeze. That will also help manage the smell.
How To Feed Green Tripe
You’ll want to feed raw green tripe to your dog by adding it directly to his meal. If you’re using ground tripe, start by adding a teaspoon to a tablespoon or more depending on the size of your dog. As your dog tolerates it, you can add more. You just don’t want to add too much too soon or he could get diarrhea.
If you’ve cut up strips of raw green tripe, give them to your dog as you’d give him a chew. He’ll love it.
Other Ways To Treat Your Dog To Tripe
If you have a dehydrator you can come up with a variety of tripe dog treats. It’s super easy but a bit smelly.
Dehydrated Green Tripe: You may want to move your dehydrator outside or into the garage because of the smell. For this chew, use green tripe. Cut it into strips or bites. Lay the pieces out on trays. Dehydrate for about 9 hours at 150 degrees. Continue to dehydrate until it’s crunchy. Store in the refrigerator in a sealed container for a week or 2. It shouldn’t smell as much when it’s dehydrated.
Tripe Chews: This is a great replacement for rawhide which you should NEVER give your dog. Instead, this is the one instance when you can use the bleached tripe from the supermarket. Cut it into strips and bake in the oven at 325 degrees for 90 minutes. Or use a dehydrator and dehydrate for 14 hours at 160 degrees.
Tripe Snacks: Combine ground green tripe with ground organs like kidney, heart or liver. Try to get a consistency that you can roll or form into strips. Dehydrate or dry in the oven for 9 hours at 150 degrees. Or spread it onto teflon sheets. Dehydrate or dry for a few hours at 150 degrees and then score into strips. Finish dehydrating and break the pieces apart. These tripe treats are great for training or just give as snacks.
Can Dogs Eat Tripe Every Day?
You can feed your dog every day or a few times a week or a few times a month. It can also be a meal unto itself. But you don’t want to serve it as a steady solo diet as your dog will need more balance.
With time, you’ll see that the icky parts of tripe are outweighed by the good parts … gloriously good health and vitality for your dog!
And that rise in rank to seasoned raw feeder won’t hurt you either!
Baillon, ML, et al. Effects of probiotic Lactobacillus acidophilus strain DSM13241 in healthy adult dogs. Am J Vet Res.