Tripe is the stomach of ruminating animals. These animals (i.e. cattle, buffalo, sheep, deer, goats, antelope, etc.) are classified as being four-footed, hooved, cud chewing mammals with a stomach that consists of four chambers. The four chambers of such a stomach are known as the rumen, reticulum, omasum and the abomasum. The food the animal eats (i.e. grass, hay) is swallowed unchewed and passes into the rumen and reticulum where it is then regurgitated, chewed and mixed with saliva. It is again swallowed and then passed through the reticulum and omasum into the abomasum, where it is then further broken down by the gastric juices, amino acids and other digestive enzymes. Yummy!
So how is it that something so disgusting, can be so good? These same gastric juices and enzymes not only aid the animal in digestion, but also aid the dog in digesting and efficiently utilizing his food. The amino acids are necessary for muscular development and, the other gastric juices, I believe, are the best cleaner for their teeth!
In an analysis of a sample of green tripe by a Woodson-Tenant Lab in Atlanta, Georgia, it was discovered that the calcium to phosphorous ratio is 1:1, the overall pH is on the acidic side which is better for digestion, protein is 15.1, fat 11.7 and it contained the essential fatty acids, Linoleic and Linolenic, in their recommended proportions. Also discovered, was the presence of Lactic Acid Bacteria. Lactic Acid Bacteria, also known as Lactobacillus Acidophilus, is the good intestinal bacteria. It is the main ingredient in probiotics.
Finally, because of its rubbery texture, serving it in large chunks also aids the canine in strengthening it’s jaw muscles and has an added benefit as a form of canine dental floss.
The white tripe that you find in the grocery store has been cleaned, scalded and bleached. It has almost no nutritional value for the canine.
Green tripe does not necessarily refer to it’s color. In this instance it refers to the fact that it has not been touched – not cleaned, not bleached and not scalded. It’s actual color is brown, however, sometimes there will be a greenish tint due to the grass or hay the animal ate just before slaughtering.
Nothing beats the “green” tripe from a freshly slaughtered animal, but in an effort to make our lives easier, we now have available green tripe that has been ground, frozen and packaged in different size packs.
Due to the fermentation process and the way that the ruminant digests, the abomasum provides a food that is incredibly rich. Not only will it provide completely natural digestive enzymes to the dog but also vitamins, fatty acids and amino acids. The enzymes not only help digestion in the canine but are also said to have a substantial effect on the cleaning of your pup’s teeth. Tripe, boneless as it is, can be extremely helpful in maintaining a gorgeous set of white teeth in your dog. How wonderful is it to not have to get veterinary teeth cleaning under general anesthesia? Most raw fed dogs have never and will never have to go through such a process and tripe goes a long way towards making certain that fact remains true. Fatty acids are another benefit. All dogs need omega 3’s and omega 6’s in their diet – especially to maintain healthy skin and coat. The vitamins and amino acids are in large part what gives your dog energy and spunk – green tripe has those to spare. Many dog owners feed probiotics to their dogs to help with runny stools, upset tummies, and recovery and regeneration of good bacteria from depletion by prescribed antibiotics. Green tripe is an excellent source of probiotics due to the large numbers of helpful microorganisms contained within the digestive tract. Naturally occurring organisms are always preferable to man-made mixtures and nothing can be more natural than having them go straight from the source to the dog.
Green tripe is an incredibly gentle food. It is often the first thing that raw feeding breeders introduce puppies to – as young as 3-4 weeks old. Tripe is also indicated for dogs suffering from sensitive stomachs and maladies such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Used in conjunction with probiotics such as Fastrack, tripe can often ease the discomfort of dogs who are just not digesting their food well all without bombarding them with traditional medicines and chemicals.
Nature’s way of healing. Green tripe is also a spectacular food for dogs suffering from Chronic Renal Failure due to its low phosphorus levels and palatability. Many CRF dogs have been put on low or no protein diets and have, as a result, lost all interest in their food. It’s the odd dog that turns its nose up at a healthy serving of tripe and its perfect phosphorus/calcium ratio, mid-level protein levels and slightly acidic Ph makes it safe and effective for these dogs. Feeding a protein source such as tripe that is highly digestible is likely more beneficial to your CRF dog than the low protein, hard to digest prescription diets that so many turn to at this time.
-The Complete Herbal Book for the Dog, Juliette de Baracli Levy
-Give Your Dog A Bone, Dr. Ian Billinghurst
-The Holistic Guide For A Healthy Dog, Wendy Volhard & Kerry Brown, DVM