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It’s no secret--we’re big advocates of a raw diet. But we’re not just talking meat and bone here; what would a raw, species appropriate diet be without organ meat? In one word: deficient. Did you know that organ meat is the most nutrient-dense part of the animal? Here’s why this meat is not only highly-palatable but an absolutely crucial component to a well-balanced diet for both dogs and cats.
If left to forage for herself, your pet would seek out prey that is high in protein & moisture and low in fat. She would not only eat the meat and bone of her prey but would also eat the “parts” like the beak, feet, hoof and trachea. And not only the parts but the organs as well. Organ meat is chock full of vitamins and nutrients but are especially good sources of vitamins B1, B2, B6, folic acid and B12. You’ll also find essential minerals like magnesium, copper, iron and iodine. Dogs and cats can also get a healthy dose of Omega-3’s and DHA from organ meat--great for brain health!
Raw or freeze dried organs have the highest concentrations of vitamins and minerals. Once you cook meat or organs, the heat starts to break down all the good stuff locked inside so for convenience and maximum nutritional value, we recommend feeding gently freeze dried organ meat like heart and liver. You can feed as a daily treat, reward or a food topper to make meal time a little more exciting. And mix it up! Feed as many different kinds of organ meat as you can; your pet loves variety and it will keep him coming back for more.
Why feed liver? Tons of reasons. Namely, liver is a great source of Vitamin A which promotes reproductive health & digestion among other things. Vitamin B12 is also present in liver and helps fight fatigue while also promoting brain and nerve health. And if your dog is deficient in iron, liver is the organ for you! Iron is crucial to so many bodily functions involving the immune system, the circulatory system, nervous system and muscular system. Too little iron can result in extreme fatigue, anemia, improper muscle function and dementia.
Why feed heart? Also, tons of reasons. The heart is a great source of Coenzyme Q10 which helps basic cell function and is essential to maintain healthy heart function. You will find essential amino acids as well as minerals like phosphorous and zinc in beef heart. The heart is a muscle that contains more elastin and collagen than other organs so it’s also great for hip and joint health.
And don’t be afraid to feed animal parts! Duck or chicken feet, trachea, hoof, pig ears, tails, and lung are also dense with vitamins and minerals like calcium and glucosamine. These parts also help clear out your pet’s digestive tract by scraping leftover food out of the intestine. This is especially important for cats because instead of feeding fruits & veggies for added fiber, animal parts are more easily digested and contain less starch and sugar than roughage.