What Organ Meats Can Be Fed To Dogs and Cats
Heart, liver, kidneys, pancreas, gizzards and brains are probably the most common or more easily obtainable organ meats.
But you can also feed lungs, stomach, gallbladder, eyes, various glands (adrenals, thyroid, pituitary, etc), testicles, ovaries, etc.
- There are two approaches to feeding organ meat:
- Feed organ meats in larger amounts twice per week.
- Feed organ meats every day but in smaller amounts
- Organ meats are a nutrient dense source of food and too much organ meat is not good. As an example, liver is high in oil soluble vitamin A (not to be confused with the vegetable source of vitamin A also known as beta carotene). If you feed too much liver then you will actually cause liver stones because liver stones are created when the body gets too much oil soluble vitamin A. In fact, the Inuit are well known for eating Polar Bear liver and as a result, a lot of Inuit suffer (especially in the past) from liver stones.
- If you choose option 1 and thus feed organ meats twice per week, then the organ meat should be approximately 50% of the meat source. So let's say, as an example, you were feeding 1 cup of meat. In this situation you would then use approximately 1/2 cup organ meat and 1/2 cup muscle meat.
- If you choose option 2 and thus feed organ meat every day then approximately 10% of the meat source should be organ meat. So let's say again, as an example, that you were feeding 1 cup of meat. In this situation you would add approximately 1/8 of a cup as organ meat and the rest as muscle meat.
- My personal favourite is heart because of its high taurine content and since it is usually available.
- Taurine is an essential amino acid.
- A lot of people who have cats worry about not providing their cats with enough taurine. This is because taurine is an amino acid that is specifically needed by cats. In fact, many commercial pet foods now say on their packaging
taurine addedto help increase sales from concerned cat owners. But the reality is, to ensure your cat is getting enough taurine, all you need to do is feed raw meat!
- Some vets will unfortunately use some fear tactics by saying
you must make sure your cats are getting enough taurine when feeding a homemade diet. The reality is that the only reason why commercial pet foods say on their labels
taurine addedis because commercial pet foods are not a good source of taurine and thus taurine must be added. When you feed a wholesome raw meat diet then the taurine is naturally added by Mother Nature herself in the form of wholesome nutrition.
- Any organ that has
electricalactivity is high and/or a concentrated source of taurine. This includes the heart, brain and eyes.
- Although heart, brain and eyes are high in taurine, the reality is all meat contains taurine. When you feed muscle meat, there is also taurine in the meat, just not as high.
- The feeding of eyes doesn't sound that appealing but many pets will enjoy eyes. Sometimes fish eyes are available.
- It has been said that mice provide the highest source of taurine!
- Some butchers will sell brain. While not on the top of most people's list of things to buy, many pets do enjoy eating brain.