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Your dog needs offal as a very important nutritional part of its raw diet

The previous dog raw feeding article discussed the value of feeding a dog only meat, bones and offal for its meals. Previously I have explored the nutritional content in chicken and beef flesh, which shows it to also have considerable value.

However a dog in the wild would eat all of the animal that it can rip and swallow. That is why it is vital to include offal in the selection of food that your dog eats.

The raw feeding guide suggests that up to 10% of the meal should be offal with around half of this from liver and the other half from organs such as kidney, spleen etc.

70-80% of their diet is recommended to be chunks of meat. While the majority of this will be traditional dog meat such as chicken, beef or lamb flesh, it also includes muscle meat such as heart, tripe and oily fish.

With so much to consider, it is worth while reviewing why this might be good for your dog.

We know that dog’s regulate their blood sugar levels by extracting energy from proteins and fats, not carbohydrates – hence why vegetables and grains are unnecessary and an actual hindrance in their diet. You will see from the tables in the appendix that dogs gain the majority of their energy from offal, from proteins, then fats then carbohydrates.

But what exactly is the nutritional value of these muscle meats and offal?

Fortunately a nutrition web site gives a great insight into how packed with nutrition the standard recommendations of muscle meat and offal are. The tables in the appendix show direct comparison for 100g portions of the following offal and muscle meat.

Raw lamb liver

Raw lamb heart

Raw lamb kidney

Raw beef tripe

Raw beef lung

The tables provide data on each of these component by: calorie information, carbohydrate amount, fats and fatty acids, Protein and amino acids, vitamins and minerals.

Remember that these are in addition to the nutrition provided by the main flesh (80% of the meal) and the bones. You will quickly understand how a carnivore such as the domestic dog gets all of its nutrition from meat and meat by products (such as dog milk, cheese, eggs).

You may also see that there is a reason for providing variety to a dog. Besides keeping their interest with a variety of meals, changing the composition keeps their digestive system active. It will ensure that you cover all of their nutritional requirements that would be missed out if you just feed them a couple of types of animal flesh.

If you are unable or dislike sourcing all of the types of different animal meats, or offal remember that you can provide part of this requirement by giving them 100% meat dog treats such as by BlackDog (the ones that I sell on this site). Besides the excellent selection of different compositions of chicken, beef, kangaroo, emu and duck meats, Blackdog sell a dried beef kidney, beef lung (beef cubes), tendons and smoked  bones that are soft enough not to damage most dogs teeth.

You will also note that the raw diet suggests inclusion of oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines. This is because it provides a different nutritional mix, and in particular a very large proportion of Omega oils.  For instance the data tables show that in 100g of sardines you will typically find 1480 mg of Omega 3, and 3544 mg of Omega 6.

THE MEAT DATA TABLES IN SUMMARY

A summary provided by the data source authority (ref 1) of each of the ‘good and bad’ points of each type of meat is shown below. Note that this is in respect to human consumption. Cholesterol plays a very different function in dogs and is explained after the table.

 

GOOD

BAD (comment refers to humans not dogs)

 

Lamb liver raw

This food is low in Sodium. It is also a good source of Thiamin, and a very good source of Protein, Vitamin A, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Iron, Phosphorus, Zinc, Copper and Selenium.

This food is very high in Cholesterol.
Lamb hear raw

Lamb Heart raw

This food is a good source of Thiamin, Vitamin B6, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Protein, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Iron and Selenium.

This food is very high in Cholesterol.

Lamb kidneys raw

 

This food is a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and Zinc, and a very good source of Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Iron, Phosphorus, Copper and Selenium.

This food is very high in Cholesterol.

Beef tripe raw

This food is a good source of Protein and Zinc, and a very good source of Vitamin B12 and Selenium.

This food is very high in Cholesterol. This food also contains Trans Fat.

Beef lung raw

This food is a good source of Riboflavin, Pantothenic Acid, Potassium, Zinc and Copper, and a very good source of Protein, Vitamin C, Niacin, Vitamin B12, Iron, Phosphorus and Selenium.

This food is very high in Cholesterol.

Fish, sardine, Atlantic, canned in oil, drained solids with bone

This food is a good source of Niacin and Calcium, and a very good source of Protein, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Phosphorus and Selenium.

This food is very high in Cholesterol.

Cholesterol in dogs.

From the above information you might consider that any offal is not good for a dog. However the following explains why eating offal is actually one of the best things a dog can do.

“For dogs, high cholesterol has a very different meaning! Dogs are carnivores and their digestive tracts are designed to eat plenty of animal fat. They need large amounts of animal fat to meet their physical needs for both energy and endurance.  Dogs don't develop plaque in their arteries; nor do they suffer harmful effects on their hearts from a high fat diet. Dogs can become obese from a diet that is too high in fat, from over feeding, or from getting little or no exercise.  However, the fat does not affect their arteries or hearts as it does in people, as we are omnivores.  This does not mean we shouldn't pay attention to high cholesterol readings in our dogs as they can give us good clues as to other metabolic issues that may need further attention.” Ref 2

The Importance of meat proteins for a dog

The tables in the appendix show the plethora of nutrition packed into each piece of offal or muscle meat, and why only small amounts of offal need to be included in a healthy dog diet.

You will see that much of the data in the tables is about the different proteins. Proteins are made up of chains of smaller chemicals called amino acids. There are about 20 different amino acids that when arranged in different combinations in chains make up millions of proteins. Hence the proteins shown in the tables are the ones that occur in significant quantities in meat. The reason that carnivores ingest proteins is that when they eat proteins amino acids are released. In a dogs body amino acids are used to: make new proteins, converted into hormones such as adrenalin or used as an energy source.

Animal products (such as chicken, beef or fish) contain all of the ‘essential amino acids’ – meaning that no additional proteins need to be eaten by dogs to gain all of the amino acids they need.

CONCLUSIONS

The tables below show only a small selection of muscle meat and offal that is available to feed your dog. Depending on your dog’s taste, energy requirements etc, you may find that they have a strong preference for one type of offal over the other. This is why trialing many types of offal so that you can provide your dog a wide nutritional mix once its preferences have been established is quite important.

It is noted that many exponents of the raw diet suggest using half of the offal proportion as liver (5% of the meal or 50g for a 20kg dog). From the tables you will notice that liver has one of the highest energy equivalents, a high Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio (not ideal), high protein count (ideal), Very high vitamin A levels, high iron and copper.

High Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratios can cause itchy skin or inflammation, to counter this it is suggested to supplement your dog with Omega 3 capsules. Due to the high level of vitamin A, make sure that any dog vitamin tablet your provide does not include vitamin A. High iron levels have been associated with excessive diarheah on dogs. If your dog suffers from this, consider testing its sensitivity to liver. In various breeds of dogs, especially Bedlington Terriers, an inherited sensitivity to copper toxicosis. For most dogs the copper level in liver is not an issue.

Any of the potential side effects that can be caused by feeding a dog on a natural meat, bone and offal diet are dramatically less than the affects of regularly feeding a dog on a nutritional poor soruce of food such as manufactured pellets or canned dog food. These typically include much less than 10% meat, with the majority made up of vegetable matter such as soy TVP made to look like meat.

If offal and meats are what wolves and wild dogs eat, in the wild (because they are carnivores) then it is the ideal diet for your  dog. The only potential issue as discussed is getting the proportions right and not over supplementing your dog.

 

Article by Bruce Dwyer. If you wish to use any of this information please refer to the article as a reference and provide a link to http://www.healthydogtreats.com.au

If you would like to view the world of a dog walker and get healthy dog treat specials then please LIKE HDT on Facebook

References

Ref 1  http://nutritiondata.self.com

Ref 2   http://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/what-does-high-cholesterol-mean-for-dogs/

 

APPENDIX 1

MEAT DATA TABLES

The tables below are based on 100g of each offal type. Note for a 20kg dog it is recommended to consume approximately 2.5% of its ideal body weight in meat and bones per day. Of this approximately 10% should be offal. For a 20kg dog, this equates to 500g of meat. And so approximately 50g of offal per day. Thus divide the nutritional values in the table by two to calculate how much of s specific component your dog is receiving.

Table symbols: Percent Daily Values (%DV) are for adults or children aged 4 or older, and are based on a 2,000 calorie reference diet. It is unknown what the exact DV is for dogs, however the tables give a good indication of the value to human adults.Each "~" indicates a missing or incomplete value. All meat types in the table have ALL of the Protein types within them, its just that they weren't measured and included in the data tables.

   

LAMB

 

LAMB

 

LAMB

 

BEEF

 

BEEF

 

 

 

Liver Raw

Heart Raw

Kidneys Raw

Tripe Raw

Lungs Raw

Calorie Information

Unit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amounts Per Selected Serving

 

 

%DV

 

%DV

 

%DV

 

%DV

 

%DV

Calories

 

139 (582 kJ)

7%

122 (511 kJ)

6%

97 (406 kJ)

 

85 (356 kJ)

 

92 (385 KJ)

 

From Carbohydrate

 

6.7 (28.6 kJ)

 

0.4 (2.2 KJ)

 

3.2 (13.9 kJ)

 

0.2 (1.3 kJ)

 

0.3 (1.8 kJ)

 

From Fat

 

45.3 (190 kJ)

 

51.2 (214 KJ)

 

26.6 (111 kJ)

 

33.3 (139 kJ)

 

22.6 (95.1 kJ)

 

From Protein

 

87 (364 kJ)

 

70.3 (294 KJ)

 

67.2 (281 kJ)

 

51.5 (216 kJ)

 

69.2 (290 kJ)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carbohydrates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amounts Per Selected Serving

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Carbohydrate

g

1.8

1%

1

0%

0.8

 

0

 

0

 

Dietary Fiber

g

0

0%

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

Starch

 

 

 

~

 

~

 

0

 

0

 

Sugars

g

 

 

0

 

~

 

0

 

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fats & Fatty Acids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amounts Per Selected Serving

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Fat

g

5

8%

5.7

9%

3

5%

3.7

6%

2.5

4%

Saturated Fat

g

1.9

10%

2.3

 

1

5%

1.3

6%

0.9

4%

Monounsaturated Fat

g

1.1

 

1.6

 

0.6

 

1.5

 

0.6

 

Polyunsaturated Fat

g

0.7

 

0.5

 

0.5

 

0.2

 

0.3

 

Total trans fatty acids

g

~

 

~

 

~

 

0.2

 

~

 

Total trans-monoenoic fatty acids

 

~

 

~

 

~

 

 

 

~

 

Total trans-polyenoic fatty acids

 

~

 

~

 

~

 

 

 

~

 

Total Omega-3 fatty acids

mg

70

 

230

 

190

 

7

 

20

 

Total Omega-6 fatty acids

mg

320

 

240

 

210

 

125

 

170

 

               

 

 

   
   

LAMB

 

LAMB

 

LAMB

 

BEEF

 

BEEF

 

Protein

 

Liver Raw

Heart Raw

Kidneys Raw

Tripe Raw

Lungs Raw

Amounts Per Selected Serving

 

 

%DV

 

%DV

 

%DV

 

%DV

 

%DV

 

g

20.4

41%

16.5

33%

15.7

31%

12.1

24%

16.2

32%

Tryptophan

mg

236

 

~

 

212

 

~

 

148

 

Threonine

mg

882

 

~

 

747

 

~

 

604

 

Isoleucine

mg

878

 

~

 

626

 

~

 

772

 

Leucine

mg

1665

 

~

 

1181

 

~

 

1190

 

Lysine

mg

1102

 

~

 

1010

 

~

 

1148

 

Methionine

mg

442

 

~

 

319

 

~

 

324

 

Cystine

mg

214

 

~

 

179

 

~

 

249

 

Phenylalanine

mg

910

 

~

 

729

 

~

 

658

 

Tyrosine

mg

727

 

~

 

554

 

~

 

365

 

Valine

mg

1122

 

~

 

923

 

~

 

798

 

Arginine

mg

1143

 

~

 

908

 

~

 

980

 

Histidine

mg

479

 

~

 

396

 

~

 

492

 

Alanine

mg

1022

 

~

 

853

 

~

 

1001

 

Aspartic acid

mg

1758

 

~

 

1355

 

~

 

977

 

Glutamic acid

mg

2198

 

~

 

1707

 

~

 

1726

 

Glycine

mg

985

 

~

 

915

 

~

 

734

 

Proline

mg

974

 

~

 

804

 

~

 

1659

 

Serine

mg

878

 

~

 

734

 

~

 

816

 

Hydroxyproline

mg

~

 

~

 

~

 

~

 

~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

LAMB

 

LAMB

 

LAMB

 

BEEF

 

BEEF

 

VITAMINS

 

Liver Raw

Heart Raw

Kidneys Raw

Tripe Raw

Lungs Raw

Amounts Per Selected Serving

   

%DV

 

%DV

 

%DV

 

%DV

 

%DV

Vitamin A

IU

24609

492%

0

0%

316

6%

0

 

46

1%

Retinol

mcg

7392

 

5

8

95

 

0

 

38.5

64%

Retinol Activity Equivalent

mcg

7392

 

 

 

95

 

 

 

 

 

Alpha Carotene

mcg

~

 

~

 

~

 

 

 

 

 

Beta Carotene

mcg

~

 

~

 

~

 

 

 

 

 

Beta Cryptoxanthin

mcg

~

 

~

 

~

 

 

 

 

 

Lycopene

mcg

~

 

~

 

~

 

 

 

 

 

Lutein+Zeaxanthin

mcg

~

 

~

 

~

 

 

 

 

 

Vitamin C

mg

4

7%

 

 

11

18%

 

 

 

 

Vitamin D

 

~

 

~

 

~

 

~

 

~

 

Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)

mg

~

 

~

 

~

 

0.1

0

~

 

Beta Tocopherol

mg

~

 

~

 

~

 

 

 

~

 

Gamma Tocopherol

mg

~

 

~

 

~

 

 

 

 

 

Delta Tocopherol

mg

~

 

~

 

~

 

 

 

 

 

Vitamin K

mcg

~

 

~

 

~

 

0

0

 

 

Thiamin

mg

0.3

23%

0.4

25%

0.6

41%

0

0%

0

3%

Riboflavin

mg

3.6

214%

1

58%

2.2

132%

0.1

40%

0.2

14%

Niacin

mg

16.1

81%

6.1

31%

7.5

38%

0.9

4%

4

20%

Vitamin B6

mg

0.9

45%

0.4

20%

0.2

11%

0

0%

0

2%

Folate

mcg

230

58%

2

0%

28

7%

5

1%

11

3%

Vitamin B12

mcg

90.1

15%

10.3

17%

52.4

874%

1.4

23%

3.8

64%

Pantothenic Acid

mg

6.1

61%

2.6

26%

4.2

42%

0.2

2%

1

10%

Choline

mg

~

 

~

 

~

 

195

 

~

 

Betaine

mg

~

 

~

 

~

 

~

 

~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

LAMB

 

LAMB

 

LAMB

 

BEEF

 

BEEF

 

MINERALS

 

Liver Raw

Heart Raw

Kidneys Raw

Tripe Raw

Lungs Raw

Amounts Per Selected Serving

   

%DV

 

%DV

 

%DV

 

%DV

 

%DV

Calcium

mg

7

1%

6

1%

13

1%

69

7%

10

1%

Iron

mg

7.4

41%

4.6

26%

6.4

35%

0.6

3%

7.9

44%

Magnesium

mg

19

5%

17

4%

17

4%

13

3%

14

3%

Phosphorus

mg

364

36%

175

18%

246

25%

64

6%

224

22%

Potassium

mg

313

9%

316

9%

277

8%

67

2%

340

10%

Sodium

mg

70

3%

89

4%

156

6%

97

4%

198

8%

Zinc

mg

4.7

31%

1.9

12%

2.2

15%

1.4

9%

1.6

11%

Copper

mg

7

349%

0.4

20%

0.4

22%

0.1

4%

0.3

13%

Manganese

mg

0.2

9%

0

2%

0.1

6%

0.1

4%

0

1%

Selenium

mcg

82.4

118%

32

46%

127

181%

12.5

18%

44.3

63%

Fluoride

 

~

 

~

 

~

 

~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sterols

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cholesterol

mg

371

124%

135

45%

337

112%

122

41%

242

81%

Phytosterols

 

~

 

~

 

~

 

~

 

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alcohol

g

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

Water

g

71.4

 

76.7

 

79.2

 

84.2

 

79.4

 

Ash

g

1.4

 

0.9

 

1.3

 

0.5

 

1

 

Caffeine

mg

~

 

~

 

~

 

0

 

~

 

Theobromine

mg

~

 

~

 

~

 

0

 

~

 

APPENDIX 2 (ref 2)

Specific problems that can be the result of high cholesterol in a dog's blood work can include the following. Note that this is not caused by meat, but the issues described below:

Hypothyroidism  - The thyroid gland helps in numerous ways, including hormone regulation and metabolism. When the thyroid isn't working well, it can cause elevations in cholesterol, lipase, ALT and cause a low white blood cell count.

Diabetes - This disease can cause issues with fat metabolism, resulting in high cholesterol, among other elevated blood panel results, such as glucose.

Cushing's Disease - This is when the adrenal gland is producing too much cortisol (cortisone). A high level of cortisol (which can also be caused by long term steroid use) creates dysfunction in processing fats. Due to this, dogs with Cushing's disease (and long term steroid use) are more prone to pancreatitis.

Hyperlipidemia - Sometimes a high triglyceride count will be seen with high cholesterol. A few breeds, most commonly Miniature Schnauzers, have a genetic tendency to lipidosis or hyperlipidemia.

Pancreatitis - Pancreatitis is not caused by fat intake, but rather by one of these issues that creates an inflamed pancreas. Some of these health problems can be resolved with medication, but if they cannot, a low fat diet is needed.


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