Raw and Rewarding: The Benefits of Organ Meat in Your Pet’s Diet
As pet owners, we all want what’s best for our beloved animals. We know that dogs and cats are omnivores who need a balanced diet to achieve optimal health, and of course we’re happy to feed them that. Fruits and vegetables? Check. Meat? Check. Entrails? Maybe not. The thought of organs and entrails in your dog or cat’s bowl may not be the first (or most appetizing) thing you think of when we talk about pet food, but the truth is, organ meat has a wide range of benefits for our pets, and opting to feed it to our pets is actually a choice that brings great benefit to your dog or cat in the long-run.
What exactly is organ meat?
Organ meat is exactly what it sounds like: the entrails and internal organs of another animal. When it comes to pet food, organ meat typically refers to larger farm animals such as cows or pigs. The organs (heart, kidney, liver, tongue, spleen and so on) are the ‘most nutrient-dense’ part of the animal (2), and as such, bring enormous nutritional benefits when included in our pets’ diets.
So… it’s good for them?
Many pet health experts advocate for a ‘back to basics’ approach when it comes to pet food, and a ‘biologically appropriate’ diet. Highly processed pet food lacks the all-important nutrients they need, and even when those missing nutrients are added back in, they can still be inadequate. Our dogs and cats may be beloved domesticated animals, but once upon a time they were predators in the wild, and nature intended them to obtain a balanced diet through their prey (3). Small animals such as rabbits or mice provide ‘naturally-balanced proportions’ (3) of bones, organ meat and flesh when consumed. Sometimes referred to as ‘superfoods’ for pets (3), organ meat is often lacking from modern-day pet foods, but a balanced diet of raw food which includes the right amount of organ meat can be a great way to ensure your pet gets the balance of nutrients and goodness that they need.
Ok, what’s the benefit?
Where to start? The benefits of organ meat are numerous. Full of vitamins and minerals, they help promote healthy skin, a shiny coat and build muscles. Compared to other parts of the animal, ‘organ meats are more densely packed with just about every nutrient, including heavy doses of B vitamins such as: B1, B2, B6, folic acid and vitamin B12.’ (2) They also contain essential fatty acids and are a natural source of vitamin D - important for bone health (5) as well as helping to prevent issues with inflammation, skin and even heart disease (5). All in all, organ meat brings a range of benefits that help optimize the health of dogs and cats in the long term.
Here are some of the key benefits of the main organs when incorporated into your pet’s diet:
Heart | A Source of:
- B Vitamins
- Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): this supernutrient is crucial for the functioning of cells and optimizes the rhythm of the heart (2).
- Omega 3
Liver | A Source of
- Vitamin A: Liver is one of the ‘most concentrated sources of natural vitamin A of any food’ (2).
- Folic Acid
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin B12
Kidney | A Source of
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin A
Gizzard | A Source of:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- VItamin B
What About Smack?
We are proud to offer a five-star rated raw dehydrated pet food featuring a short list of the world’s best whole superfood ingredients - including organ meat! In the marketing world of pet food, organ meat is often used as a way to promote pet food products, but actually refers to some of the less nutritionally dense animal organs such as the intestines or neck meat (1). At Smack, when we talk about organ meat in our food, we’re exclusively referring to high-quality organs such as the heart, liver, kidney, tongue, spleen and chicken gizzard. Check out some of our offerings below:
As with any food, too much organ meat can cause issues for your pet. Start with small quantities, and always consult your veterinarian with any concerns or questions.