Tips & Tricks To Feeding Your Dog Organs
Adding organs to our dogs diet can help them receive the nutrition their bodies need to thrive, heal and grow.
Why we feed organs
Organ meats are known as nature's multivitamin. They are a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals that is easy for our dogs to absorb. When our dogs consume organs, they are also supporting their organs. Just like muscle meat helps the body build muscle, consuming organ meat helps, said organ that is being fed. Think about it this way, when your dog eats liver, you are supporting their liver. When your dog eats spleen, you are supporting their spleen. This is because each organ has all the components that your dogs same organ needs to thrive.
What organs should our dogs be eating?
The type of organs that are suitable for our dogs to eat are the entrails and internal organs of farm animals.
Some options of organs are:
- Liver - known as the multivitamin of the organs. Liver is a true superfood for our pups.
- Spleen - contains high amounts of all the fat soluble vitamins; A, D, K, E as well as zinc and iron.
- Pancreas - like all other organs, each organs supports the same organ within your dog. This is especially important with pancreas because conditions that affect the pancreas is common in our dog friends. Pancreatitis, EPI and diabetes are all common ailments that can be supported by feeding our dogs pancreas.
- Kidney - contain folate, omega 3's and is high in protein.
- Testes & ovaries - these hormone producing glands can be beneficial, especially if your dog has been spayed or nurtured. These procedures usually happen early on in our dogs life, taking away the ability for them to fully mature and create the hormones needed for their healthiest life. Feeding testes and ovaries can help replenish some of hormones that your dog can't make anymore.
- Heart - contains an amino acid, Taurine, that is needed for proper heart function. It also contains an antioxidant, COQ10 that fights oxidative stress of the heart. Heart is technically not considered and "organ" meat and is considered a protein meat.
How much should I be feeding my dog?
A good guideline to go by is 10% of your dogs meal should be organ meat. It is best to spread the 10% out throughout all their meals for the day because of the rich nature of organ meats.
Within the 10% of organ meat, about 5% of that should be liver. Liver is one of the most important organs to feed your dog. The rest of the 5% is a combination of whatever other organs you can source.
Ways you can feed organs
We have a variety of options on how to go about feeding our dogs organs, from convenient to economical. Let's look at some ideas:
- Raw organ meat - We can purchase actual organ meat and process it ourselves. When we purchase raw organs, we need to dice the organs up, find a way that works for you to store the organs and mix these raw organs in with your dogs meal.
- Some ideas for storing raw organs are - keep all raw organs frozen until you make a batch of food for it to be mixed into, then refrigerate.
- Tupperwear containers - small and large
- Frozen into ice cube trays to be popped out into meals
- Having an extra freezer is super helpful
- Ideally, your dog will eat these organs raw mixed in with their food but if they won't you can lightly cook the organs which makes them a bit tastier for your pup.
- This is a more economical choice because your supplier has to do less processing of the product.
- Powdered organ meat - For more convenience, we can purchase pre-processed, powdered organs. This form is the easiest and most convenient way to feed our dogs organs. We simply scoop out the appropriate amount for our dogs weight, which will be on the container and add it to our dogs meals. I like a Guts & Glory by Four Leaf Rover.
- This is a great option if you don't have much space and live in a small house, van or RV. It is also helpful if you don't have the time to process raw organs or simply don't want to.
- Dehydrated nuggets - These nuggets are also dehydrated and relatively convenient to feed. They simply need to be rehydrated in water, bone broth or goats milk prior to feeding and then added to your dogs dish.
- Some of these nuggets also contain vegetables and herb blends which is an added bonus!
- I like Primal's Freeze Dried Nuggets. Another option is Stella & Chewy's Meal Mixers.
How do I source organs
Ideally, we want to feed our dogs grass-fed, organic organs. If you can't find purely organic, look for product that has no hormones and preservatives. Look into either your ranchers, butchers or stores practices and values to find the highest quality organ meats that you can personally afford.
Different places you could look for organs are:
- Butcher shop
- Pet food store
- Health food store
- Online retailers / ranchers
Some options I've found online that everyone could look into are:
- Raw Paw's Pet Foods
- Four Leaf Rover
- Stella & Chewy
I hope this post helps you feel a bit more confident in your ability to find the right option for you and your pack. Whether you choose a more convenient or economical route, the important part is that either way, you are feeding some organs to your four legged friend. You got this!