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Green tripe - a superfood, for superdogs

 

Some people regard tripe as one of the most exquisite delicacies whilst others roll their eyes in disgust as soon as the dish is mentioned.  I certainly belong to the former category and for the ultimate experience for your taste buds I wholeheartedly recommend a visit to Mercato Centrale in Florence where you can taste Trippa alla Fiorentina unpretentiously served in a working class setting. 

However, whilst tripe may be a matter of taste for humans, when it comes to our canine companions, green tripe is an invaluable component if we are to create species specific home-made meals.

For those who are not quite sure what tripe really is - in a nutshell it is the stomach of ruminating animals, such as cow, sheep, goat or deer.

The lining of abomasum has a reticular, honey-combed appearance. The lining of abomasum has a reticular, honey-combed appearance. These animals are in possession of a 4 chambered stomach – the rumen, reticulum, omasum and abomasum.  They swallow barely chewed food which is slightly broken down in the rumen and reticulum and promptly sent back to the mouth for more chewing fun. 

It then passes through the reticulum and omasum and into the abomasum where it is further broken down by gastric juices, amino acids and digestive enzymes. 

Essentially the digestive process of a ruminant is something like a fermentation process with good bacteria acting to aid in the digestion of the hay, grasses and grains. 

It is the abomasum that is used in the tripe you purchase for your Fido. It is unwashed and hence the greenish colour and its name - unlike tripe for human consumption which is usually thoroughly cleaned and blanched and has a white appearance.  Therefore, the green tripe indeed has a distinct aromatic smell associated with ruminants; ok I admit some people may call it pungent.

Not surprisingly, the more odiferous it is, the more the dogs prefer it – I mean we are talking about animals who roll in dead things and consider 3 day old road-kill a coveted prize.  For the human the smell of green tripe can be daunting and more than a little disgusting. 

While feeding whole large chunks is the preference of many, fresh ground frozen tripe is most certainly the easiest, least messy and least “smelly” way to go.  Thaw it, plop it into their bowls and by the time you take a breath the dog has made it disappear. Talking about our most loyal friend.

SO WHY IS IT SO GOOD FOR THE DOGS?

Whilst there is some evidence that wild wolfs never eat the stomach contents of their prey and instead shake out its contents before eating the stomach wall, I still think it's a very good idea to add green tripe to your Fido's home-made meals for all the reasons I will explain below.

Due to the fermentation processes that takes place in abomasum this environment is rich in completely natural digestive enzymes, and also amino acids, fatty acids, minerals and vitamins. These enzymes can help your dogs' digestion and some sources claim that they can even contribute to the cleaning of dogs' teeth. Although we don't have scientific proof for these claims yet, using common sense, we can safely conclude this is very likely.  So feeding green tripe could help dogs to avoid being put under aesthesia for dental scaling procedures on regular bases. 

The truth is, these enzymes are as natural as enzymes get. And the beneficial micro flora found in abomasums are the most natural form of probiotic.  For large cats in the wild, the prize cut is always the belly. They first go for the preys gut and they gorge themselves on it. As usual nature always knows best. 

Wild cats are obligate carnivores and they eat nothing but whole prey therefore it's not surprising they would eat stomach contents of herbivorous animals. Wild canines may not have the same habit perhaps because they will forage for some fruits and vegetables in addition to their prey, especially when the hunt fails. Nevertheless, because of its high nutritional value, green tripe is a very welcome ingredient in creating balanced homemade meals for domestic dogs.

Green tripe is truly a gentle food.  It is often the first thing that raw feeding breeders introduce puppies to – as young as 3-4 weeks old.  Tripe is also indicated for dogs suffering from sensitive stomachs and maladies such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Due to its low phosphorus levels and its palatability, green tripe can be offered to dogs suffering from Chronic Renal failure. Many CRF dogs have been put on low or no protein diets and have, as a result, lost all interest in their food.  It’s the odd dog that turns its nose up at a healthy serving of tripe. Its perfect phosphorus/calcium ratio, mid-level protein levels and slightly acidic Ph make it safe and effective for these dogs.  Feeding a protein source such as tripe that is highly digestible is likely more beneficial to your CRF dog than the low protein, hard to digest prescription diets that so many turn to at this time.

 

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