Raw Tripe vs. Canned Tripe

While most people are aware that tripe has great benefits for their dogs, unfortunately, many, are simply not convinced that feeding raw tripe is safe or ideal.  With the huge amount of bad and erroneous information floating around by word of mouth and on the Internet, its no wonder that people are confused.  Many turn to canned tripe as a viable alternative to feeding their dogs actual raw green tripe.  While better than many dog foods out there, canned tripe is hardly a substitute for the real thing.

There are several brands of canned tripe currently on the market.  Dog food companies have researchers who see the trend towards feeding d0gs a more natural and nutritious diet, and they capitalize on it in any manner they can find.  Enter canned tripe.  The ingredients of these various brands are interesting to see and somewhat confusing to those who truly understand why raw green tripe is so very beneficial to our pets.

One of the most popular brands of canned tripe, and probably the best of the bunch, is Tripett.  Made in the USA, Tripett

Fresh frozen green tripe is by far the BEST you can feed! All nutrients are intact and viable.

offers 4 varieties of tripe – beef, lamb, venison and a beef mixed with duck and salmon meat.  The beef tripe and the venison tripe are their most pure offering with minimal ingredients.  The other two formulas have fish oil, glucosamine and chondroitin added to the mix.  Fish oil, while beneficial to all dogs (and cats), loses much of its viability when exposed to heat, oxygen and sunlight.  The processing that the canned tripe must go through renders the fish oil less effective.  Oxidation occurs as soon as fish oil is extracted from the fish and continues any time the oil is exposed to heat or light.  Glucosamine also breaks down when exposed to light, air or water.  This can affect the efficacy of that added joint supplement in the Tripett.  While the addition of these two substances to the tripe won’t cause any harm, they won’t replace fish oil and glucosamine given separately in the proper dose.

Another popular brand of canned tripe is Green Cow by Solid Gold.  With a higher number of ingredients, including a vitamin ‘pack’, this tripe is certainly not tripe only. Packed in beef broth, this mixture also includes potatoes and vitamin supplements – probably to help it reach AAFCO standards.  The reasoning behind the potato?  Not sure.  One analysis claims that it is a wholesome vegetable and since it is a complex carbohydrate, is a source of energy for your dog.  Unfortunately, dogs do not use carbs as a source of energy -they use fat.  Potatoes are, by in large, starch.  Starch turns to sugars in the body and is something that dogs simply don’t need.  Is it harmful?  Not particularly, but is something that one would want to avoid for a dog suffering from cancer or diabetes and is not optimal for any dog.  Beef broth is another added ingredient – ostensibly as a replacement for water in the hope that it would provide more nutrition.  Is it necessary?  Probably not, but since the tripe itself has gone through a canning process, we can assume that some of the nutrition has been compromised so the addition of the beef broth may bring more to the table.  Sodium content of the broth is a valid question and with the added element of salt, further down the ingredients list, is something to watch.  A vitamin pack has been added so that the product can be said to comply with AAFCO standards.

The Merrick company’s canned offering is called 96% Real Tripe.  While its ingredients are largely the same as the offering from Solid Gold, they do not add potato but do include dried egg product and natural chicken flavor.  Dried egg product is, essentially, dehydrated egg.  Natural chicken flavor implies that it it NOT artificial without actually saying it – this ingredient could go either way.  The problem with adding these two is that chicken, more than any other protein source, is an allergen for dogs.  If you have a dog that you suspect has a problem with chicken, understand that this is not the product for him and that eggs and flavor are going to trigger it just like handing him a chicken breast would.  Perhaps the most interesting item on the Merrick website is the claim that the tripe they use is “…real and wholesome

Our Freeze Dried Tripe is the best alternative when fresh frozen isn’t an option. The freeze drying process does far less damage than the canning process and more of the essential nutrients are left intact and viable.

USDA-inspected deboned tripe.”  Since tripe is the stomach of a ruminant animal (in this particular case, a cow), it is relatively safe to assume that there are no bones in the stomach…..One has to pity the person given the job of searching out the bones in the tripe – what a long day he must have.

While canned tripe may be a better alternative than other canned commercial foods, it is certainly NOT the equivalent of fresh frozen raw green tripe.  By virtue of the simple fact that its canned, it is obviously not as viable nutritionally speaking.  Heat kills nutrients.  The probiotics and digestive enzymes are most assuredly compromised via the canning process.  The extra ingredients added to some of them are unnecessary and not always the best thing for your dog.  Mixing protein sources can be an issue when you have a dog who is allergic or intolerant to certain meats.  None of these things are an issue with A Place For Paws fresh frozen Beef Tripe.  You know what you are getting, you know that the important nutrients are intact, and you know that there are no added fillers, preservatives or funny ingredients.  Its all usable, its all fresh, its all nutritionally sound.  Minimal processing means the product remains largely unchanged from its natural state.  Our ground tripe is simply ground and frozen.  The Tripe Strips are cut and frozen.  No unnecessary handling, nothing that would compromise the final product.  100% pure goodness without question.