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Here Are 5 Surprising Reasons Why Your Dog Needs Organ Meats

Written by: Dr. Kathryn Dench

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Time to read 6 min

Organ meats for dogs as a part of a their nutrition is a controversial topic. Some pet owners swear by their nutritional value while others are hesitant. However, organ meats offer many health benefits and play a very important nutritional role in providing essential nutrients and promoting overall immune system health for dogs.

In this article, we will explore the nutritional benefits of organ meat in your dog's food.

What Is Organ Meat?

organ meats

Organ meats, also called "offal," are the internal organs of animals that are edible and can be combined as part of a balanced diet. This meat comes from the liver, heart, brain, and intestines, of farm animals such as cows, pigs, lambs, goats, and chickens. It is similar to muscle meat but has a softer texture and is more densely packed with nutrients.

Organ meats are full of nutrients like vitamins A, B vitamins, D, E, K, iron, magnesium, zinc, essential fatty acids, and protein. However, the nutrient varies depending on the animal the meat comes from and the specific organ; beef kidney, for example, contains very different nutrients from lamb livers, even though both are highly nutritious.

Our canine friends are descended from their wild wolf-like ancestors, for whom offal would be the most nutrient-dense part of their prey. The unique nutrients and essential amino acids they contain have numerous functions in the body, including brain development, building muscle, and oxygen transport.

5 Reasons Why Your Dog Needs Organ Meat

So now we know that your dog can eat organ meats, let's now find out the surprising reasons why you should add them to your dog's diet.

1. It has a nutrient-rich composition

offal

Organ meat has an important part to play in a dog's diet, as it is packed with essential nutrients for your dog’s overall health and well-being. These nutrients include vitamins like B12 and folate and minerals like iron and zinc.

Organ meat is renowned for its high  protein content, which is central to muscle development, tissue repair, and general growth. Therefore, the high protein content in organ meat makes it a valuable component of your dog’s diet. 

2. It improves digestive health

owner holding her dog

These meats contain natural  enzymes that can help prevent  stomach issues and improve your dog's digestive health. The enzymes aid in the digestion and absorption of nutrients.

3. It enhances skin and coat health

dog

The meat from organs is rich in  omega-3, which is important for maintaining your dog’s healthy skin and shiny coat. This is particularly true for grass-fed animals. It can help to reduce dryness, itching, and inflammation of the skin. Dogs with a meat-rich diet often have a noticeably glossier coat than their grain-fed counterparts.

4. It promotes joint health

a running dog

Certain meats from organs, such as beef liver, contain glucosamine and chondroitin, which are beneficial for joint health. These compounds help maintain the integrity of cartilage and reduce the risk of joint disorders such as  arthritis in dogs.

5. It prevents nutritional deficiencies

a dog eating in food bowl

Feeding your dog a balanced diet that includes these meats can help prevent nutritional deficiencies and ensure that your pet receives all the essential nutrients it needs for optimal health and vitality, from a natural source.

Incorporating Organ Meats into Meals

When it comes to incorporating new foods into your dog’s diet, the best way to do it depends on what else you are feeding your dog.

If you normally feed a commercial diet, it is not necessary to switch to raw dog food in order to incorporate offal. The most convenient way to provide these essential nutrients is to add an organ supplement to the food, such as Primal-Vitality™ Beef Organ Complex.

If you are feeding your dogs raw or home-cooked food, powdered supplements also provide a convenient addition to the muscle meat you offer to your canine friend. However, you can also consider including organ meats directly in the raw diet. Sourcing is key here, as you want to know that the organs you offer to your pet have been handled and prepared in a way that is safe for your dog to eat to prevent  parasitic or bacterial infection. It is best to make these changes gradually while monitoring the response of your dog's digestive system to these new additions. If you notice any concerning symptoms, consult with your veterinarian for guidance.

Overall, while meats from organs can be a nutritious addition to your dog's diet, responsible sourcing, proper handling, and cautious introduction are the keys to ensuring their safety and well-being.

Feeding Guidelines

a dog eating raw organ meat

When feeding these meats to your dog, it's essential to do so in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. Always consult your veterinarian first for new meals and diet plans to determine the best organ meat to use and the appropriate portion size for your dog.

How much organ meat should my dog have?

It is important to remember that treats and extra food, including meat from organ and muscle meat, should not make up more than 10% of what your dog eats every day. This helps keep a good balance of nutrition along with their regular meals.

It's also a good idea to mix up the types of organs you give them, so they do not end up having too much of one kind all the time. This way, you keep things interesting for them while making sure they stay healthy.

Choosing from high-quality sources

When selecting this meat obtained from animal organs for your dog, it is important to choose high-quality, human-grade sources to ensure their safety and nutritional value. Look for meats from reputable suppliers that adhere to strict quality and safety standards.

What Should You Consider When Adding Organ Meat to Your Pet's Diet

a dalmatian eating in food bowl

 

Organ meats offer many benefits, but it is also good to be aware of the potential risks and make certain considerations.

Some dogs may be sensitive or  allergic to certain types of organ meat. It is wise to monitor your dog’s reaction when introducing new foods.

Beware of feeding your dog too much offal as it can cause nutritional imbalances. Organ meats have different nutrients compared to regular dog food. If your dog gets too much of one nutrient, it can cause problems like vitamin or mineral toxicity.

 

Also, having too much of one thing might mean your dog does not get enough of something else they need.

Different organ meats contain different nutrients. For example, beef heart is high in fat, which can make dogs sick if they eat too much. Liver has a lot of vitamin A, which can also be bad if your dog eats it too often. 

Organ meats can also be high in purines, which can cause bladder and kidney stones in certain breeds like Dalmatians.

Best Organ Meats for Your Dogs

If you are thinking of how to get these organ meats for your dogs and it's too stressful to go to the butcher or abattoir for them, we've got you covered.

Primal-Vitality™ Beef Organ Complex is a carefully made mix of key beef organs, like the liver, heart, kidney, pancreas, and spleen. It also contains bone broth protein that's full of nutrients. It is a multi-organ and gland formula and contains highly bioavailable vitamins, minerals, and proteins.


Some of the benefits include:

  • Improvement of digestive issues

  • Better joint mobility

  • Improved tissue health

  • Enhancement of organ health and functions

  • It is rated 4.5 out of 5 by verified customers

Conclusion

Organ meats are great for your dog because they are full of important nutrients that help with things like muscle growth, development, digestion, good skin and coat health, and overall wellness.

Remember to be careful when incorporating these organ meats because too much of them can cause problems. Source these meats from healthy animals, be mindful of safe preparation, and introduce them into your dog’s meal slowly while watching for digestive issues and any other adverse reactions. 

Opt for a pre-prepared complex like Primal-Vitality™ for the best convenience. Always remember that keeping everything balanced is key to keeping your pets healthy and happy.

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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