Organs are the most nutrient dense part of an animal. Best of all, because organ meats are relatively inexpensive, they give the most bang for your raw feeding buck! Meat and bone are lacking in many important nutrients which is why it is required to feed organs in your pet’s diet.
Let’s talk about liver!
Liver is known to be one of the most concentrated sources of vitamin A. Vitamin A assists in digestion, keeps reproductive organs healthy, and is a powerful antioxidant. It is a also a great source of folic Acid, B vitamins (especially vitamin B12), and Iron. While liver is highly nutritious, its precious nutrients are very much affected by heat, so never cook it or the digestive enzymes and nutrients will be lost.
Additionally, liver should never take more than 5% of your pet’s diet. Since liver is very high in vitamin A, too much can cause vitamin A toxicity. If you’re feeding the recommended 5%, you’re doing great!
Why are organs important?
Compared to regular cuts of meat organs are densely packed with just about every nutrient. This includes heavy doses of B vitamins (B1, B2, B6, folic acid, & B12) as well as traces of vitamin D.
Organ meats are also loaded with minerals like phosphorus, iron, copper, magnesium and iodine, and provide the important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Note, animals pasture raised and wild game contain even higher levels of these essential nutrients than their grain-fed counterparts.
Organs are a vital part of raw diets. To achieve balance it is important to feed liver and other secreting organs to ensure the essential vitamins and nutrients are provided. It is important to note 5% of the organ content must be liver and the remaining 5% must be other secreting organs to complete the organ requirement.
Organs to Feed
Did You Know?
“Sweetbreads” is the culinary name for the thymus or the pancreas.
Butchers sell sweetbreads which contains a mixture of the pancreas and thymus; and sometimes the brain is included.
Feeding Organs to Picky Eaters
Introducing organs can be tricky and some pets will refuse to eat them.
Although there are ways to encourage eating organs for even the pickiest eaters!
Grind & Hide
Organs are soft enough to allow you to grind them at home even if you do not own a grinder. Dice up partially frozen liver and organs then put in a food processor to blend. You can mix in ground meat, in bone broth, or in kefir to encourage eating. Phase out blend into small chunks.
Small Chunked Mixture
Cut organs into very small chunks and create a muscle meat mixture with the organ cubes. As your pet begins eating the mixture, slowly introduce larger chunks of organ and less of muscle meat until your pet is eating organs in whole cuts.
Frozen Portion Sizes
Prep organs into individual portion sizes and freeze to feed. Additionally you can blend all organs into a paste, divide into ice trays, to freeze into cubes. Slowly provide less frozen portions until your pet is eating thawed out servings.
The absolute last resort is lightly searing the outside and the middle must remain raw. Organs are highly effected by cooking, the sear will only encourage eating. You must slowly phase out the searing until your pet is eating raw organs.