Have you wondered if tripe would do any good for your dog? What is tripe in the first place? Tripe is a popular ethnic food in many parts of the UK and Asia and is not new at all. However, it’s quickly becoming a popular natural health choice for pets. Learn about what tripe is, the types of tripe, and how tripe is beneficial for dogs and cats.
What is Tripe?
When answering the question, “what is tripe for dogs?” we need to examine anatomy. Tripe can come from any ruminating (grass-fed) animal with a stomach, but most commonly cattle, pigs, sheep or lamb, and goats. Beef tripe is especially popular.
Tripe refers to “a type of edible offal from the sensitive stomachs of various farm animals” or stomach lining to put it simply (Wikipedia).
It is usually classified as meat even though many consider it an organ and depending on the type of tripe, can be a delicacy for humans or a highly nutritious dog food ingredient.
What's the Best Kind of Tripe for Dogs?
Ruminant animals have four-chambered sensitive stomachs, each with a different role in your dog's digestion. Green tripe is the stomach lining of a ruminant animal, which means that depending on which stomach the tripe comes from, it will offer different nutrients. Take a look at the difference between tripe for people and tripe for dogs:
Tripe for people is typically obtained from the first two chambers (cows have four chambers) of the ruminant animal’s stomach referred to as the reticulum and rumen. It is usually classified as meat even though many consider it an organ.
Some of the common types of tripe for people include blanket tripe and honeycomb tripe, which is frequently used in the popular dish, tripe soup. Beef tripe for dogs is a popular food in many countries all over the world (France, Indonesia, China, Ecuador, India, and Greece to name a few).
Tripe or stomach lining that has been treated for human consumption is bleached and boiled, offering little nutritional benefit to your pet.
The type of tripe that is healthy for your pets is a little different than the kind that people eat. It comes from the fourth stomach of ruminant animals, called the abomasum, which is the stomach that releases enzymes and bacteria to break down hard to digest food and plant materials.
Green tripe is called green not because of its colour, but because it is untouched, unbleached, and untreated, though it is usually lightly rinsed. While green tripe can be tinted green due to grass or hay eaten by the host animal, it’s predominantly brown.
While green tripe may sound disgusting, this food is highly nutritious, containing plenty of enzymes, good bacteria, and nutrients that are excellent for your pet’s health.
Raw green tripe contains live and active enzymes and bacteria to boost your dog's digestion. This type of green tripe is ideal for dogs because it helps to support the breakdown of carbohydrates that your dog may not be able to process effectively due to the carnivorous aspects of their digestive process. Cooking the tripe or feeding canned tripe will not offer the same benefits as raw green tripe will.
It’s also a very natural part of both dogs' and cats’ ancestral diets. Since both dogs and cats were hunters before being domesticated, they would often consume their prey’s stomach and other entrails. For carnivores, green tripe can be one of the sole sources of many essential vitamins and nutrients.
All tripe has a chewy, textured quality, but green tripe is often referred to as the “toothbrush of meats.” The consistency of the meat helps floss and stimulate the dog’s gums and scrape away a buildup of plaque from the tooth enamel.
One of the main benefits of green tripe for dogs is its more pungent aroma qualities which appeal to pets. Most consider it highly palatable which helps stimulate appetite in sick or senior pets.
How to Feed Green Tripe to Your Dog
Like many products, green tripe comes in many different qualities. For your pet’s best health and nutrition, make sure the green tripe you feed is:
- From grass-fed or free-range ruminant animals, not feedlot animals.
- Minimally processed. Fresh is always best, followed by frozen and freeze-dried varieties. These can be referred to as raw tripe. Low-heat canned tripe can still contain plenty of nutrients, but the digestive enzymes and probiotics that are sensitive to heat will be lost.
- Locally sourced. Choosing locally-sourced Canadian animals when available ensures high standards in production and safety.
As we said, fresh is always best, but if that isn't available, then you may want to look into some alternatives. Not all tripe products for dogs offer the same benefits as raw tripe, but that doesn't mean that they aren't still nutritious and beneficial. Here are a few of our favourite tripe products for dogs:
Using frozen green beef tripe as a regular part of your dog's raw diet, or just as a meal topper or treat for whatever type of food your dog thrives on is a great way to reap the benefits of raw tripe. One of our favourite Canadian brands is Naturawls Green Beef Tripe.
Other great Canadian brands that offer raw frozen tripe for dogs include:
Learn more about the benefits of feeding raw dog food in Raw Dog Food for Beginners.
For all of our non-raw feeders out there, frozen tripe might seem like a stinky and messy option. Don't worry, you can still get many of the benefits of raw green tripe in a convenient and easier to feed option.
Freeze-dried green tripe, like the K9 Naturals Lamb Green Tripe Booster, is still raw, but the freeze-drying process leaves a soft, crumbly pellet of tripe that can be sprinkled over your pet's meals. You can also rehydrate the pellets for a wet food texture that will boost the moisture content of your pet's meal.
Another easy way to offer your dog tripe is to feed a dehydrated dog food that contains fresh tripe, like ZiwiPeak Air-Dried Tripe & Lamb Dog Food. This diet is air-dried, giving it a chewy jerky texture that can be fed as is.
Canned Tripe for Dogs
A popular option for pet parents that like to use tripe as a meal topper and flavour additive is canned tripe. This style is ideal for adding additional nutrients, but more commonly, to entice picky dogs to eat their regular meals.
The downside, of course, is that the tripe is cooked, therefore it does not offer the same digestion boosting properties as fresh or frozen tripe. The strong smell and flavour do still make it a popular feeding option for dogs and cats, though. Check out some of our top canned tripe dog food:
- Tripett Green Beef Tripe Canned Dog Food
- K9 Natural Lamb Tripe Canned Dog Food
Tripe Dry Dog Food
Is your dog a kibble addict? Don't worry, you can still offer your dog the valuable nutrients and flavour of tripe in his dry dog food. Check out PetKind Green Beef Tripe Dry Formula for Dogs. Petkind offers several tripe-based kibble diets to accommodate your dog's favourite flavours. They even have single protein formulas for dogs with food allergies and digestive issues.
As a cooked kibble, the tripe will not contain live bacteria or active enzymes to support digestive health as fresh tripe would, but it still provides plenty of essential vitamins, minerals, and a great flavour that your dog will love.
Tripe Dog Treats
For an extra fun way to include tripe in your dog's routine, look for dog treats that contain tripe. The quantities will be much smaller, but will still offer some nutritional and flavour benefits to your pooch. These are great for training, too because your dog will be attracted to the strong smell and taste.
Freeze-dried tripe treats have the same digestive enzymes benefits as raw, fresh tripe. Additionally, the soft texture is great for puppies and seniors that need an easy-chew option.
Here are our top picks:
Natural Tripe Chews
When it comes to treats, sometimes dogs need a satisfying chew that is also highly nutritious. Dried green tripe for dogs is a safe and crunchy natural chew for dogs that can help to improve your dog's dental health and offer your dog a fun and tasty activity.
Our top pick, Eldon's Tripe Twist Sticks, acts like floss and helps remove food debris and bacteria that contribute to your dog's bad breath. Here is a few other tripe chews that your dog will love:
Green Tripe Nutrition Information
What's in tripe that makes it so nutritious anyways? Like most animal proteins, tripe can be a useful ingredient to boost your dog's overall nutrition. Take a look at what your dog will get from including tripe in their diet:
Green Tripe is lower in protein than most common meat sources, but the quality of tripe makes it a highly sought-after addition to dog and cat food. Tripe contains amino acids that help to perform essential functions in your pet’s body, including building muscle and enhancing all system functioning from immune response to tissue repair to urinary tract health.
Green Tripe is high in heart-healthy unsaturated fats, nearly 50% of the total fat in tripe is unsaturated. These fats provide quality, long-term energy and increase healthy HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol.
Some green tripe products will trim more fat off to make the trip a leaner product, so not all varieties will have the same amount of unsaturated fats.
Natural Vitamins and Minerals
Green Tripe also contains partially-digested greens, which unlock nutrients that may have been unavailable if your dog or cat simply ate the grass that the cow (or other grazing animals) did.
Herbivores such as cows and sheep have different digestive enzymes in their bodies for digesting the things that they normally eat – grasses, for instance. Your pet, primarily a carnivore, has different digestive enzymes for digesting raw meat, such as they would in the wild.
By including partially digested roughage in your pet’s diet, you give them more usable nutrients for their system like vitamin B12. These vitamins and minerals would be hard for them to get in any other way.
But what about added vitamins and minerals? True, processed foods do include vitamins and minerals, even naturally-derived ones, but studies still show that consuming natural food sources for these is more beneficial than eating them isolated in the form of added vitamins.
Calcium and Phosphorus
Green Tripe has a nearly perfect calcium-to-phosphorus ratio, as well as an optimal ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acids, making it nutritionally balanced. Green tripe is also acidic in pH, making it easier for your pet is easy to digest – perfect for sensitive stomachs (though the dogs love the smell might turn yours).
All dogs require manganese, but if you feed a raw diet then it is even more crucial because manganese is typically found in fur, and feathers, and as an additive of commercial dog foods. When you feed a raw diet, the mineral is often overlooked. However, one of the main green tripe benefits is that it contains ample manganese.
Manganese is needed for sugar regulation, hormone balance, proper calcium absorption, connective tissues, and healthy blood values. Feeding tripe helps meet your dog’s manganese needs.
Commercially prepared green raw tripes dog food blends are well known for their manganese levels.
Probiotics for Dogs
Raw Green Tripe contains high amounts of lactobacillus acidophilus, a healthy probiotic. The beneficial bacteria in your pet’s body, probiotics compete with harmful bacteria – like E. coli, listeria, and salmonella – for the same resources.
Probiotics keep bad bacteria from overtaking your pet’s digestive enzymes system and making your pet sick. Acidophilus is naturally found in animal intestines, including your own and your dog or cat's.
By including lactobacillus acidophilus in your pet’s diet, you increase the number of good bacteria that live within your pet’s digestive system, promoting healthy digestion and optimal nutrient absorption.
Digestive Enzymes for Dogs
Raw Green Tripe contains digestive enzymes. Why does this matter? Natural enzymes aid the digestive process by facilitating the breakdown of food into nutrients. The more digestive enzymes available, the more vitamins, minerals, and usable energy your pet will be able to receive from food.
Digestive enzymes are produced by your dog's pancreas, so including foods that contain digestive enzymes helps to reduce the load on the pancreas and support overall digestion.
Benefits of Tripe for Dogs
Tripe for dogs can do a lot of good for their health. From book tripe to honeycomb tripe, there are many different types, but raw green tripe is the most beneficial. Find out how your dog can benefit from raw green tripe in their diet:
Tripe for Weight Gain or Illness Recovery
Green tripe smells awful – it’s true – but dogs LOVE the smell and taste. That makes it an easy choice for dogs who need to gain weight, whether they are just underweight or if they are recovering from illness. Adding tripe to your dog's meals can help boost calories to help your dog put on weight faster.
What’s more, the weight gained will be a healthy weight, built on calories full of the vitamins, minerals, and nutrition that your dog needs to restore and maintain proper system functioning.
Even better, tripe can be added to any type of dog food. Even in small portions, you can help your dog get accustomed to a more calorie-dense meal to support their energy needs.
Tripe for Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance
Weight gain and loss? Many dogs and cats gain weight when fed traditional, carbohydrate-heavy, low-nutrition kibble diets that claim to be complete nutrition. Carbohydrates often provide quick energy, not lasting energy that will keep your pet satisfied, like proteins and healthy fats.
Tripe contains concentrated calories, but the calories are full of nutrients as well that will support your pet’s system functioning, helping pudgy dogs slim down, and skinny dogs build muscle without putting on unwanted weight from fat. Tripe makes a great supplement to any weight-loss diet for your dog or cat, as it will help them feel full.
Your pet also won’t miss out on needed nutrients, as is the danger of restrictive diets. Feed it as a healthy, guilt-free treat by freezing it into cubes or offering freeze-dried morsels.
Tripe for Picky Eaters
Green tripe has a very potent aroma, but if you can stomach it, tripe can interest even picky dogs. Dogs love the strong smell, which is particularly good for senior dogs who have lost some of their sense of smell.
Many humans consider tripe smelly and strong, but your canine companion will probably adore the chewy substance. Raw green tripe for dogs is especially overpowering, but a favoured food for picky dog eaters.
You can use the tripe as a daily additive to the dog’s regular food to encourage the dogs to eat if the pooch needs to gain weight. Fresh green tripe for dogs also makes an excellent special occasion treat.
Tripe for Pregnant or Nursing Mothers
Pregnant and nursing dogs give much of the nutrients they eat to their babies, and this can lead to mom being underweight or malnourished. Increasing meal sizes can help, but your momma dog can only eat so much. This is when tripe can be a helpful and nutritious meal topper.
Tripe is chock full of vitamins, minerals, protein, and healthy fats, which makes it the perfect addition to your pregnant or nursing dog's diet. Feeding her quality nutrition at this time in her life gives her the energy that she needs for her puppies, but won’t make her pack on non-essential pounds.
The extra calcium it contains should suit your pregnant or nursing pet’s needs, and the nearly perfect ratio of calcium to phosphorus (which is required for calcium uptake) is highly desirable and rare in whole foods.
Tripe for Sensitive Stomachs
Green tripe is very easy to digest. In fact, green tripe is partially digested already, since it comes from a grazing animal’s stomach. Freeze-dried, frozen, or fresh tripe is the best for naturally-occurring probiotics and digestive enzymes.
If your dog or cat has “Leaky Gut” syndrome, raw tripe is very digestible and can ease these symptoms. Leaky gut syndrome causes inflammation of the cell lining of the gut.
According to Dogs Naturally Magazine - "This makes the gut lining more permeable … and the toxins, allergens, bacteria and yeast in the gut can leak to his blood."
Reducing inflammation and maximizing your dog's digestion can help to correct leaky gut and its common symptoms of it.
Even if your dog's tummy troubles are caused by a diagnosed illness like leaky gut syndrome, many dogs regularly suffer from an upset stomach with no real underlying cause. Gastrointestinal upset in a dog causes bouts of diarrhea, gas, and stomach pain. Adding green tripe to the dog’s diet often eases the stomach up. The tripe is a great additive for dogs who have food intolerances or food allergies.
Tripe for Coprophagia
Can’t get your dog to stop eating poop? Coprophagia refers to a dog who eats its own feces or raids the litter box to dine on kitty poo. There are many reasons why a canine consumes excrement, but one of the most common causes is a lack of sufficient digestive enzymes or nutrients in their regular diet.
Offering tripe to your dog's often meets the animal’s needs and can encourage them to stop their nasty poop-eating habits.
While there are a number of reasons why dogs eat poop, including anxiety, stress, and boredom (just to name a few), this solution takes care of the dietary cause. Green tripe can also rid your dog of a habit of eating grass to soothe stomach upsets.
Tripe for Dental Health
If you can find some raw or freeze-dried tripe in large chunks or pieces, it has a quite rubbery texture, which is great for dogs to chew on. This makes it a tasty, natural chew that is excellent for oral health. Canned tripe for dogs is still a healthy natural food, but since it is ground, canned tripe does not have the same dental benefits.
Another healthy dental solution for dogs is dried tripe good for dogs' chew. Whether they are dehydrated or cooked, these hard tripe good for dogs chew help to remove oral bacteria while they chew. As stinky as they are, tripe chews can help to reduce bad dog breath by removing the bad breath-bacteria that hides in between teeth and at the gum line.
In short, if you aren’t feeding your dog or cat green tripe, you should be! Few natural foods offer as much nutrition, especially in a form so attractive to pets.
The only downside to green tripe would be its smell. We won't sugar coat it, it smells like what you'd expect the digestive tract of a cow to smell like, but if you can manage to plug your nose while you feed it, your pet can benefit from superior nutrition that few other foods can offer.
As a versatile ingredient, tripe can be used as an occasional treat, a daily meal topper, or as a solution for acute digestion issues. While very nutritious, make sure you are still feeding a regular and balanced diet. Tripe can be up to 10% of your dog's diet without throwing off the nutrient balance of her daily meals.
Does your dog love tripe? Let us know your favourite ways to feed tripe and how it benefits your dog, in the comments below!