Feeding your dog a raw diet is a huge contribution to strengthening his immune system and pretty super in and of itself. However, there are several superfoods within the raw food world that are particularly nutritious. One of them is raw green tripe.
What is raw green tripe for dogs?
Raw green tripe is the stomach lining of grazing, ruminant animals like cattle, goats and sheep. It contains partially digested grasses.
Despite what you may think when trying to conjure up an image of green tripe, it’s actually brown/gray in color.
“Green” simply refers to its natural state and means that it hasn’t been treated with any chemicals, unlike the grocery store version of it. That particular kind has been bleached and stripped of its nutritional value, so this isn’t the type of tripe you’ll want to buy for your pup.
The benefits of raw green tripe for dogs
1. Chunked green tripe exercises a dog’s jaws and provides sort of a flossing experience.
2. The digestive enzymes contained in green tripe help keep your dog’s teeth clean, regardless of whether it’s chunked or ground (like below).
3. Since it’s naturally high in digestive enzymes but low in fat, it keeps a dog’s digestive system strong & healthy.
It’s a good idea to keep some in the freezer for those days when your dog might be experiencing cannon butt! You can accelerate the thawing process by placing it in a bowl of cold water if you need it to defrost within a few hours.
4. The strong smell it comes with may be a con for our human noses, but it stimulates a dog’s appetite. Something to keep in mind when you need to get a picky eater to dig in, an emaciated dog to put on weight, or disguise any pills your pup may be reluctant to take.
5. It has the perfect phosphorus/calcium ratio of 1:1, so it helps to keep bones strong.
6. Your dog’s skin & coat will benefit from the amino acids and essential fatty acids it contains.
Where I buy frozen raw green tripe for my dogs
There are a plethora of raw dog (& cat) food retailers that sell the nutritiously valuable green tripe for dogs, and I personally have purchased it from 4 different brands so far. I’ve fed beef, bison, and lamb green tripe from:
The first 3 ship their products nationwide, while TEFCO is available in 19 U.S. states so far. All of their products are exclusively available through independent distributors which helps in keeping the price point low, and I’m lucky enough to have found one here in NC. I pay $90 for 40 lbs of their beef green tripe for dogs, which is a really good deal.
How I feed raw green tripe to my dogs
I’ve mostly fed ground green tripe, with the exception of one order of chunked green tripe that I placed with Raw Feeding Miami.
Both Missy & Buzz loved digging into the chunky stuff and, as mentioned above, it’s great for exercising their jaws. But, I will say it takes a good amount of dedication on the part of the human who’s cutting it up. It DOES smell (tremendously) and is kind of gross to handle.
Since green tripe for dogs technically falls into the category of muscle meat, which makes up 80% of a balanced raw meal for dogs, I feed it along with raw meaty bones and organs.
But because it contains so many minerals, vitamins, and enzymes, it can also be fed as a stand alone, nutritious meal. This is exactly what I’ve done after reading that many European breeders do exactly that – feed their dogs tripe only.
I’ve also played around with ground green tripe and created some edible raw food art for the pups by filling heart shaped silicone molds with green tripe that I put in the freezer overnight. Granted, this was more for my appeal than theirs, but it was fun, the pups loved their refreshing treats, and it made for some great pictures.
I’ve also filled hollow KONG toys with ground green tripe and put them in the freezer overnight, then offered them to the pups as a refreshing treat during the heat of the summer. It doubles as a great way of keeping them entertained for at least an hour, so consider serving your pups a frozen dog food puzzle stuffed with green tripe when you’re busy.
Alternative options – freeze-dried green tripe
If you’re not ready for the raw, smelly version of green tripe quite yet, consider opting for close to odorless air-or freeze-dried green tripe treats as an alternative. They work great as high value training treats while still being super healthy!
Brands whose green tripe treats I’ve fed are Real Pet Food (part of their monthly treat subscription delivery starting at $19/month), Vital Essentials (1 lb bag of green tripe niblets costs $35.14 on Amazon), Raw Paws Pet Food (4 oz cost $24.99) and Dr. Harvey’s (3 oz of their Power Pops cost $12.95).
Raw green tripe – to sum it all up
Green tripe is a raw feeder’s secret weapon for boosting their dogs’ overall health and engaging those canine sniffers with a truly delectable meal!
It does wonders to entice picky eaters to eat and is a good way of administering pills – I don’t know of ANY dog who turns up her nose to green tripe!
Remember not to buy any chemically treated tripe (typically sold in grocery stores). It would be a waste of money since it has zero nutritional value. See if TEFCO has any local distributors in your area you could buy green tripe from for $90/40 lbs – you can check on that here.
Have you fed raw green tripe to your dog?
Barbara Rivers writes regularly for That Mutt about feeding her two boxer mixes a raw dog food diet. She is a blogger and dog walker and maintains the blog K9s Over Coffee.