Tripe is the stomach of a grazing animal (i.e. cow, sheep, goat, deer) and it is being touted as a “canine superfood.” It is highly nutritious and has been credited for drastically improving the physical and behavioural health of our furry friends.
Before you buy, there are some things you need to know:
- Choose green tripe, not white tripe. White tripe, intended for human consumption, has been bleached and stripped of most of its nutrients. Green tripe still contains most of the nutrients and digestive juices and often has a greenish tinge from the grass the animal ate at its last meal.
- Tripe stinks. A lot. If you are concerned, you should know that the smell of dried tripe is more tolerable than raw, frozen, or canned. Also, sheep tripe stinks the least whereas beef tripe stinks the most. But don’t worry about tripe making your dog stink; the tripe only stinks until the dog eats it. In fact, as your dog’s health improves, any breath or body odours should improve.
- Not all tripe is created equal. Consider how the animal was raised and how the tripe was processed. Green tripe from organically raised grass-fed/pastured animals is superior to tripe from factory-farmed animals; it is higher in nutrients and will have better probiotics. Fresh, raw tripe is highest in nutrients and probiotics but not very practical for most dog owners. Frozen or freeze-dried is the next best, followed by dehydrated, and then canned. (The high temperature involved in the canning process destroys many vitamins and enzymes and all the probiotic benefits.)
- Use good food safety precautions when handling tripe because it is a raw food containing bacteria (probiotics). Handle it the way you would handle other raw meat: wash utensils and hands after handling. If serving tripe in a dish, be sure it is non-porous and can be sanitized (i.e. stainless steel, glass, un-chipped ceramic). A plastic dish is easily scratched and can harbour bacteria.
- Tripe is a highly nutritious, natural food containing amino acids (including taurine), vitamins A, B, C, D, E, potassium, magnesium, and a calcium/phosphorus ratio of 1:1, which is particularly important for proper muscle and bone development.
- Green tripe is full of digestive enzymes. These help your pet digest food, especially if your pet’s diet is a cooked diet. Poor digestion leads to vitamin/mineral deficiency and the resulting ailments, and it can contribute to and exacerbate gut dysbiosis, causing further digestive and immune dysfunction.
- Tripe contains probiotics Lactobacillus acidophilus and can help heal a variety of digestive problems, infections, skin conditions, autoimmune ailments and allergies. These “good bacteria” help promote healthy gut flora and heal the digestive system, which is 80% of the immune system.
- Tripe can help improve behavioural problems such as anxiety and hyper-reactivity. Again, it does this by aiding the digestive system. An improved digestive system can digest food properly to obtain the nutrients the nervous system needs. An unhealthy digestive system contains pathogens that produce toxins that can cause neurological problems. Pathogens can also cause damage to the intestinal lining and cause leaky gut, letting all sorts of toxins and foreign particles into the bloodstream and overloading the body’s detoxification pathways. Many of these “invaders” are damaging to the nervous system either directly or through the resulting autoimmunity.
- Green tripe is high in omega 3 fatty acids. These are particularly important for proper cell function, brain function, and reducing inflammation. Tripe also contains omega 6 fatty acids in recommended proportions to omega 3.
- Chunks of tripe that are big enough to chew are excellent for dog’s teeth. Raw tripe can quickly dull a knife, so it would be a challenge for any dog’s choppers.
“The Stink on Tripe” by Dogs Naturally, November 14, 2011
November/December 2010 issue of Dogs Naturally
By Dana Scott
“How Green is Your Tripe?” by C.J. Puotinen, from The Whole Dog Journal July 2008