Maybe you’ve noticed that tripe is all the rage among pet parents these days. This nutritious offal – or organ meat – is the brussel sprout of the pet food world, not cool one day and then suddenly so cool the next. But what is tripe? Why are beef tripe and other kinds so trendy right now? Why does it stink so badly? Okay, we may not be able to answer that last one, but wow — does it stink or what? Read on to learn more about this must-have, hip treat.
So What Is Tripe?
Green tripe is made from the stomach lining of a ruminant animal, such as a cow, goat, bison or deer. Ruminants are mammals that acquire nutrients from plant-based food through fermentation. It’s this special digestive process that makes tripe so nutritious for our pets.
The most popular green tripe for pets is beef tripe, from the stomach lining of a cow. It’s usually very smelly, although it’s less stinky if dried! The word “green” isn’t literal — although frequently it does look green — it’s referring to the fact that it’s not processed. Green tripe means that the offal hasn’t been touched, cleaned, bleached or otherwise processed for human consumption. This untouched meat is full of enzymes, bacteria and nutrients to boost your pet’s health.
What’s in Tripe?
So, we’ve already learned that tripe is an organ and that it’s not processed, so what’s actually in it? A lot of stuff, it turns out:
- Natural vitamins and minerals
- Calcium and phosphorus
- Healthy fats
All those digestive enzymes and bacteria that help a ruminant animal digest its food are also beneficial for a dog or cat. In fact, tripe also sometimes contains predigested green plant matter too. The bacteria, enzymes and plants combine to make a powerful superfood for canines and felines alike. If your pet is a barfer, you may want to try a tripe treat after a meal to see if it helps your pet’s digestion.
Why Is Tripe So Good for Pets?
One of the best components of raw green tripe is lactobacillus acidophilus. It’s one of the intestinal bacteria that helps protect your pet’s digestive tract, keeping unwanted bacteria such as e-coli, salmonella and listeria from overpopulating and causing health problems. Another beneficial part of raw green tripe is the digestive enzymes. For example, our pets do not naturally produce amylase, a digestive enzyme found chiefly in saliva and pancreatic fluid, that converts starch and glycogen into simple sugars.
Tripe is beneficial for other reasons too! Tripe can help with:
- Weight gain or illness recovery
- Weight loss and weight maintenance
- Picky eaters
- Pregnant or nursing mothers
- Sensitive stomachs
- Coprophagia (dogs who eat their stool)
- Dental health
- Boosting the immune system
- Kidney ailments