Many dog breeders, trainers and owners choose to feed their dogs a diet that includes raw tripe. These people feel that tripe, the stomach of ruminants (four-footed, hoofed, cud-chewing animals such buffalo, sheep, deer, antelope, cows and goats) contains amino acids, proteins, fatty acids and other enzymes that give dogs many of the nutrients that they need and cannot obtain from other foods. "Green" tripe refers to unprocessed tripe, which these dog owners believe will provide the dog with nutritional needs. Chewing raw tripe allows the dog to exercise its jaws and clean its teeth.
Raw Diet for Dogs
Proponents of raw diets for dogs say feeding a raw diet of uncooked food comes closest to a dog's natural eating pattern. They point out that in the wild, a dog would eat only raw food and that, if provided in the proper balance, a raw diet will provide the dog with all the proteins, amino acids, enzymes and vitimins that it needs for a healthy life.
Adding Tripe to a Raw Diet
The bones and raw food diet, or the BARF diet, generally consists of uncooked meat and bones, organ meat, starchy vegetables (carrots, broccoli, spinach, peppers), starchy fruits (apples, oranges, pears), whole raw eggs and milk products. Adherents of the raw diet advise including tripe. Tripe comes from a ruminant's stomach lining and stomach contents. The digestive enzymes, amino acids, calcium, phosphorus, omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, and gastric juices of tripe add nutrients to the diet.
Veterinarians suggest feeding dogs twice daily to prevent bloating. Provide the dog with a raw diet that contains a variety of raw foods, including the meat and bones, but also some softened oats, fruits and vegetables and some tripe. Feed the dog green tripe together with other raw food. Use the tripe with the other raw food at a percentage ranging from 25 per cent tripe and 75 per cent raw food to 25 per cent raw food and 75 per cent tripe. Use lamb tripe for puppies or for dogs that have allergies to cow products.
Where to Obtain Tripe
Obtain green tripe from a butcher or order a commercially canned green tripe product. Note the difference between white tripe (cooked or bleached tripe, which some dog owners claim has had its nutrients cooked or beached out of it) and green tripe, which has not been processed in any way.
The raw food and tripe diet may offer a way to feed dogs in a more "natural" manner, but you should still adhere to modern methods of food storage to minimise the development of harmful bacteria. All food, especially the tripe, meat and bones, should go into a refrigerator until mealtime. Unstored meat may develop bacteria and could make a dog quite sick.
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