Doggie Crack! (AKA Green Tripe)
If you’ve ever fed your dog green tripe, you’ll know just how much the stinky stuff appeals to our canine friends. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of introducing your pup to this treat, here are some reasons why you might want to consider adding some tripe to your dog’s diet.
What is Tripe, Anyway?
Don’t know exactly what tripe is? No worries - you are not alone. Tripe is the stomach lining of a ruminant. For people, the most commonly consumed type of tripe comes from beef, but in fact tripe from other ruminants like sheep, goats, bison or venison is also edible. Though there are ongoing efforts to bring tripe back into favour for the human dinner table (The Tripe Marketing Board is trying hard), the rubbery texture and bland flavour aren’t doing much to send tripe sales through the roof.
Green Tripe Irresistible for Dogs (and Wolves)
Offer green tripe to your dog and you are are likely to see quite an enthusiastic reaction. Drooling. Tail wagging. Running through his entire repertoire of tricks. It will be quite obvious as soon as you dangle a smelly lump in front of your pup that he doesn’t need any convincing at all to tuck right in.
Green tripe and tripe are different things. Green tripe is raw and completely unprocessed (hence the striking odour). Tripe intended for human consumption has been heavily processed by washing, scalding, and bleaching.
In the wild, wolves will eat the stomach lining of a prey animal, but will carefully shake out and leave behind the stomach contents. If you are curious about what we know about wolves and stomach contents, have a look at this article.
What is Green Tripe Good For?
For a good discussion of what green tripe does (and doesn’t) offer in terms of nutritional content, this article from the Raw Feeding Community looks at some claims and myths about this stinky food for dogs. Green tripe is a great source of manganese, which is handy because there aren’t that many options when it comes to finding a significant amounts of manganese in other meats.
Tripe has a Near Perfect Calcium to Phosphorous Ratio
A hunk of green tripe also contains a near perfect ratio of calcium to phosphorous. That’s important because too much of one or the other can cause some serious health problems. A relative deficiency in phosphorous can lead to skeletal problems like hip dysplasia. Not enough calcium (when compared to phosphorous) can contribute to kidney disease and renal failure. If you want to dig a little deeper into the calcium-phosphorous balance matter, this article from Dogs Naturally Magazine provides some good information.
That said, there isn’t actually a whole lot of either calcium or phosphorous in tripe, certainly not enough to make green tripe the main dish on a daily basis. Likewise, though there have been claims that green tripe is a good source of probiotics, by the time your dog is likely consume a chunk, most of those beneficial bugs will long be dead, unable to survive outside the warm, moist, oxygen-free environment of the living host’s stomach. If you and your vet decide your dog would benefit from a boost of probiotics, a supplement would be a better option. The American Kennel Club suggests probiotics may be helpful if your dog suffers from stress-induced diarrhoea.
Tripe for Treat Training
In a dog’s mind, anyway, green tripe is the ultimate delicacy. Tap into this near-universal canine passion for the stinky, rubbery lumps of stomach lining when you start a training session. You’ll find your dog willing to do just about anything to earn a tripe treat! As an effective food reward, you won’t find too many that are better. Shake a paw? No problem. Backflips? Bring it on! We’ll talk more about treats and training in other blog posts, but for now, be sure to stock up on your supply of green tripe to make sure your dog stays pawsitively motivated and enthusiastic during those training sessions!
For more information about caring for your dog, including the benefits of feeding a raw food diet, poke around the Rawmate website and then let us know if you have any questions.