Feeding Liver or other organ meats

There are many dogs out there who don’t like to eat organ meats when initially offered to them.  So one needs to be creative in how to offer.

Liver is one of those organs which is actually just as good cooked as it is raw so first try cooking it!

If cooking it, or even lightly searing it doesn’t work, try the following:

  1. chop it into small pieces
  2. Mix it with something else such as veggies or ground meat.
  3. freeze it
  4. sprinkle it with parmesan cheese
  5. make a game with it, as in, you act like it’s the worlds’ best thing and then offer it to your dog.  (hopefully will be so eager to have it that gulps it down without thinking)
  6. hide it inside a roast, make a slit in a chicken leg
  7. if all else fails… let your dog go hungry until he eats it OR
  8. try some other type of animals organ meat.  Some hate poultry organs but will happily down beef, pork or other animal organs.

Raw feeding, what is it?

Raw feeding takes usually one of two main forms

BARF style or whole prey feeding.  Both advocate feeding RMBS (raw MEATY bones to dogs) one adds veggies/leftovers the other looks at feeding the whole animal as much as can be had.  Both advocate feeding 2-3% of your dogs ideal adult weight each day.   Neither group cares if you feed your dog once or twice or more per day.  Some folks will feed a huge meal one day, and skip a day, and then feed a small meal and so forth.  HUGE variety in how actually to provide meals to your dog.  Both groups agree that 10% of the diet needs to consist of organ meat (liver making up 50% of that amount).

BARF style takes the approach that dogs need more than meat and bones to survive well.  Their stance is that mushing up veggies provides added nutrients to a meat source that in today’s highly processed society are important to have.    This group will add supplements if they think the dog needs them.    This group is also okay with folks cooking meals for their dogs if it benefits their dog (just not cooking the bones).

The whole prey group will agree that veggies will not harm your dog, but say that there is NO need at all to add them, as long as your dog is getting all the different parts of an animal from a variety of meat sources.

Whole prey model: meat and bones ONLY.  no supplements, no veggies, no nothing other than prey animal to be given.  if possible serve with fur/feather/scales attached.

Both groups have their points of merit.   Veggies don’t hurt, so why not feed the dogs your leftovers after grinding them up a bit?  Leftovers won’t hurt, so why not add them?  Whole prey won’t hurt, so why not do that?  It makes it confusing for the novice raw feeder.  What do they do?  How do they make their decisions?

As the person who feeds the dog in your life you have to decide what you can live with.  Can you handle feeding your dog a whole rabbit?  Can you handle chopping a chicken into four quarters?  Are you able to give your dog some raw meat and just let them go at it?  Are you in a living situation where you can get meat from a whole variety of sources?  Cow or Pig heads anyone?   Or do you just want to go to the grocery store or butcher and purchase inexpensive meat and give it to your dog?  Are you okay with running a food processor to chop up those veggies that you aren’t eating with your supper?

You are the one who has to work it out for yourself.  People will gladly advise you … usually to the method they prefer, but they will help.  YOU have to make the decision as to what you can live with.

My choice is based on simple finances.   It is cheaper for me to feed a mix of leftovers (I have family members who frequently don’t eat all their meals), veggies, ground meat and RMB’s than it is for me to whole prey model.  It’s 2-3 hours of work individually bagging meals every 6 weeks or so.  I stick them in the freezer, all ready to go, means ANYONE can feed my dogs without it being a big issue for them.  All human grade food so I don’t have to worry about salmonella or other nasty bugs floating about the place.     That’s MY decision.  You need to make YOUR decision.

Are Turkey necks safe feeding?

Another frequent question on raw feeding boards is: are turkey necks safe to feed one’s dog?

Yes and no.  🙂   I know, incredibly helpful that isn’t it?      The question becomes, how does one know then if they are safe for one’s dog?

You have to know your dog.  You have to follow safe feeding protocols.

For instance, I have two dogs.  One gulps everything he possibly can, the other is a very careful chewer.  Dog one receives all meals frozen otherwise he will try to swallow a turkey neck whole  NOT SAFE (nor pleasant to deal with the aftermath)!  the other gets food semi-thawed as she is safe to feed most anything.

Some people own and/or feed canines who don’t like frozen food, and are gulpers.  These folks should NOT feed their dogs turkey necks until such time as they teach their dog how to eat them safely.  Some dogs never learn.

A better option for most folks is to feed chicken necks.

Mind you I must say this as well.  Turkey necks in and of themselves is not enough food for a dog to eat.   They need MEAT!  Lots of meat!   Turkey necks are good for providing good chewing for dogs, they have some meat, but insufficient meat in and of themselves.    They have too much bone to them!   Will result in a dog having a very hard time going “potty”.   If you are doing to feed turkey necks, make them half of what the meal portion is, add meat alone OR a meat/veggie/leftover mix to them to balance out their real protein requirements.

What are Organs?

A question frequently asked on raw feeding boards is – what are organs?

Organs are the internal parts of an animal such as Liver, kidney, bladder, lungs, brains etc.

Heart is considered a muscle since it pumps blood and actually works hard!   The gizzards of poultry are considered a muscle as well.    Hearts are usually inexpensive to purchase and often beef heart becomes an inexpensive way of adding red meat to a predominately white meat diet.

The stomach of ruminants (aka cattle, deer, goats etc), also known as tripe, if unwashed and uncleaned, is supposedly really really good for dogs to eat as it contains a whole whack of  good stuff in it.  It also does apparently have quite the odour to it and if one can get their hands on it, needs to be processed outside and the contents disposed of.

Some people swear by it, I have never tried it.