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Learn about the Benefits of Organ Meats for Dogs

Written by: Dr. Kathryn Dench

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Time to read 6 min

Have you tried to give your furry companion organ meat before? It is every pet parent's objective to offer their dogs a balanced diet, but many owners overlook organ meat, and its central role in holistic dog health. In this article, we'll dive into the benefits of organ meats for dogs, and why you should think about making these most nutrient-rich foods a part of your pet's diet.

Why Organ Meat Is a Good Option for Your Dog

a dog given raw meat on food bowl

Organ meats or offal have been proven to be nutritious for your dog as they are densely packed with a range of minerals and vitamins such as essential fatty acids, iron, protein, and vitamins E and C. These essential nutrients are significant to your pet's health.

Examples of organ meats that are used for dogs include beef liver, kidneys, brain, spleen, pancreas, chicken hearts, and gizzards.

Benefits of Organ Meats for Dogs

Organ meats serve as dogs' superfoods. They consist of indispensable nutrients that aid in keeping your dog or puppy flourishing and healthy. Offal improves cognitive function, coat or skin health, joints, heart, and overall well-being of your pet.

Here are some key organ meats and the benefits they offer your dog.

Benefits from liver

offal liver

Beef liver is easily accessible and is known to have a  high nutrient density.

It is one of the most concentrated sources of vitamin A which aids in skin and reproductive health, vision, and the immune system. It plays a pivotal role in the generation of immunoglobulin A - an antibody that offers the body defense against foreign pathogens.

The liver is also a rich source of vitamins B2, B9 and B12. They are essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system, the production of red blood cells, and the formation of DNA. If your dog is prone to chronic gastrointestinal issues, anxiety, and stress then B vitamins come in handy.

Zinc in the liver is a strong antioxidant that helps to alleviate stress. It offers powerful support for the skin, immune system, and cognitive health. It can also assist with behavioral issues, anxiety, or allergies.

In addition, the liver is rich in iron, copper, and vitamin K2 and possesses properties for boosting stamina.

Despite the benefits derived from beef liver, caution is needed as it can accumulate heavy metals. It's best to give your dog organ meat from organic grass-fed cattle to avoid potential metal toxicity.

Benefits from kidney

Slices of raw pork kidneys

Similar to the liver, the kidney contains vital minerals and vitamins. What stands out is the selenium component, which is more concentrated in the kidney than in other organs. Selenium is a part of glutathione peroxidase enzyme that protects cells from being damaged by free radicals.

Kidney meat also boosts the immune system making it easy for your pets' bodies to respond to diseases and infections effectively.

It can improve reproductive health and combat infertility issues in dogs. Selenium also regulates thyroid levels and is used to treat cancer, bowel disease, skin disorders, arthritis, and heart disease.

Benefits from spleen

raw beef spleen

We often think of muscle meat as having a high iron content, but the levels in beef spleen are significantly higher. If your pet has iron deficiency, it will show signs of body weakness, and lethargy and will be more prone to illness.

Nutrients in the spleen tissue enhance immune function due to the secreted compounds such as  splenopentin and  tuftsin . These promote the generation of white blood cells that help the dog's immune system fight against pathogens.

Benefits from pancreas

raw beef pancreas

Pancreatic enzymes in the beef pancreas such as amylase, lipase, and protease help better digestion. Other issues such as  stomach discomfort and malabsorption can be resolved by giving beef pancreas to your pet. Read "Remedies to Soothe Your Dog's Upset Stomach".

Why Is it Important to Feed Your Dog Organ Meats?

Dogs need organ meat in their diet to ensure complete nutrition. Historically, dogs descended from wolves and they get their food from hunting. They eat almost everything they can in that prey, not just the muscles that we think of as meat. 

A canine diet based purely on muscle meat and vegetables does not provide the specific vitamins and minerals that dogs have evolved to expect from their food.

raw organ meat

What Are Some Ways to Include Organ Meats In Your Pet's Diet?

boiled organ meat

There are two options you can feed organ meats to your dogs; feed them raw or cook the organs.

Sourcing organ meat for raw feeding

Naturally, dogs are meant to eat raw meat. You can get safe organ meat to feed your dog from local and online grocery stores or butcher shops. Meat in such places usually gets inspected by a regulatory agency as it is also meant for human consumption.

You can choose to source the organ meat daily- it could be hectic and expensive or choose to purchase in bulk and freeze them to use for more days - it's more economical in terms of time and cost.

How to home-cook organ meats for your dog

  • Slice your meat into bite-sized pieces and soak them in a bowl of cold water for 10-20 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, add water to a medium cooking pot and boil over high heat.

  • Decrease the heat to medium and add your soaked organ meats to the pot, place the lid cover and leave it to boil for 10 minutes.

  • Set aside the pot from the heat and drain the meat. Rinse to wash nasty flavor.

  • Allow it to cool, then serve.

Select a high-quality organ supplement

As a pet owner, you can avoid the hassle of preparing pet food yourself by buying organic organ products such as  Primal-Vitality™ Beef Organ Complex in which the ingredients and nutrition content are optimal for all dogs. Such products consist of various organ meats that provide a holistic range of nutrients for your pet.

Precautions When Feeding Organ Meats to Your Dog

a dog eating raw organ meat

Feeding organ meat to dogs is a great way to improve their nutrition if done correctly. However, there are some important precautions to bear in mind.

Don't overfeed

To achieve and maintain optimal health benefits, ensure that your dog consumes the right portion of organic meat. You can seek professional guidance from a  veterinarian based on the size, breed, weight, age, activity level, and health conditions of your pet.

Since organ meats have higher levels of minerals and vitamins than regular meat, overfeeding can lead to an excess of these nutrients in your pet's body. This can cause illness, so it is vital to get the balance right.

Source raw food carefully

There is a trend towards feeding dogs raw meat. This could be advantageous as it offers a chance to improve their dental balance and health by getting rid of plaque and tartar accumulations. Even better, raw dog food, especially organ meat, has a higher nutritional value than the cooked version.

Nevertheless, there are potential risks of giving an undercooked or raw diet of organ meats to your dog. For instance, contaminants,  and bacterial and parasitic infections can be transmitted through the consumption of raw meat. Ensure the meat and offal you source for your dog's meals are suitable for eating raw.

Ensure safe storage and handling

Whether you choose raw organ meat, cooked organ meat, or organic organ supplements, do follow suitable handling and storage guidelines. Consider the recommended temperature and take note of the expiry period. If you have concerns or need guidance,  we are here to help.

Looking for tried and tested organ meat supplement for your dog? Look no more! Try the Paw Origins'  Primal-Vitality™ Beef Organ Complex .

Conclusion

Organ meats are an important part of a balanced and complete diet for your pup. Rich in a variety of minerals and vitamins, organ meats provide holistic nutrition for your canine friend.

Opt for an effortless healthy addition to your dog's diet with  Primal-Vitality™ Beef Organ Complex.

Dr. Kathryn Rosalie Dench, MA VetMB MRCVS

Dr. Kathryn Rosalie Dench

With nearly two decades of experience, Cambridge veterinarian Dr. Kathryn Dench is dedicated to enhancing animal health through holistic practices. A member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, she focuses on preventive care over traditional methods, particularly for long-term wellness solutions in pets suffering from anxiety and chronic conditions. As Chief Scientific Advisor at Paw Origins, she champions holistic strategies and education to revolutionize pet care practices.

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