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Recommended Muscular & Secreting Organs for Puppies

Estimated reading time: 7 min

Muscular and secreting organs are beneficial ingredients in raw diets to provide vitamins and minerals that are important to healthy development. These ingredients are recommended to fulfill puppies’ specific requirements for fat-soluble vitamins, water-soluble vitamins, and minerals.

Muscular Organ: Heart

In many raw diets, the heart is classified as muscle meat. Although the heart does not have the traditional function as body muscles, the heart is a muscular organ and is one of the hardest working muscles inside the body. It is recommended to include a small amount of heart muscle meat in a puppy’s daily diet.

Nutritional Breakdown

Overall, heart muscle meat is nutrient-dense in amino acids and just about every B vitamin. Heart is an optimal ingredient choice to ensure water-soluble vitamins are being met daily but it is important to note the nutritional information varies between different species.

Pork Heart

Pork heart is commonly found in ethnic markets and is jam-packed with B vitamins beneficial to balancing a raw diet for puppies. The notable nutrient in pork heart is the amount of Thiamine (B1) content which is often lacking in many raw diets!

rawporkheart

Macro Nutrients
The amount of calories, protein, fat, and carbs are based on 1oz (28g).

Calories 33kcal
Protein 17.2%
Fat 4.3%
Carbs 0%

Data Source

Top Nutrients
The top nutrients are based on 3.5oz (100g) raw weight and NRC recommended allowances for a 1000kcal diet for puppies 14 weeks to 12 months old.

Thiamin (B1) 0.61 mg = 178% RA
Niacin (B3) 6.7 mg = 157% RA
Pyridoxine (B6) 0.39 mg = 102% RA
Riboflavin (B2) 1.2 mg = 88.7% RA

Data Source

Beef Heart

Nutritionally, beef heart is slightly lower in fat and B vitamins in comparison to pork heart. However, beef heart is easier to source in comparison to pork heart. Beef heart is one of the most accessible heart options found in local and ethnic markets.

beefheart

Macro Nutrients
The amount of calories, protein, fat, and carbs are based on 1oz (28g).

Calories 32kcal
Protein 17.7%
Fat 3.9%
Carbs 0%

Data Source

Top Nutrients
The top nutrients are based on 3.5oz (100g) raw weight and NRC recommended allowances for a 1000kcal diet for puppies 14 weeks to 12 months old.

Niacin (B3) 7.5 mg = 175% RA
Cobalamin (B12) 8.5 mcg = 96.6% RA
Pyridoxine (B6) 0.27 mg = 73.5% RA
Thiamin (B1) 0.24 mg = 69.2% RA

Data Source

Chicken Heart

Overall, chicken hearts are much lower in B vitamins in comparison to pork and beef heart but is a better source of folic acid. Additionally, chicken heart is the easiest to source as many local markets supply chicken hearts.

rawchickenheart

Macro Nutrients
The amount of calories, protein, fat, and carbs are based on 1oz (28g).

Calories 43kcal
Protein 15.5%
Fat 9.3%
Carbs 0%

Data Source

Top Nutrients
The top nutrients are based on 3.5oz (100g) raw weight and NRC recommended allowances for a 1000kcal diet for puppies 14 weeks to 12 months old.

Niacin (B3) 4.9 mg = 113.6% RA
Folic Acid (B9) 72 mcg = 104.7% RA
Pyridoxine (B6) 0.36 mg = 94.9% RA
Cobalamin (B12) 7.3 mcg = 82.3% RA

Data Source

It is recommended to feed a small amount of heart content daily to ensure recommended allowances for B vitamins are met. A starting guideline to follow is 10-15% heart content. However, the amount of heart needed to fulfill the recommended allowances for B vitamins is dependent on the other ingredients in the meal.

Secreting Organ: Liver

The inclusion of secreting organs, such as liver, plays a vital role in meeting recommended allowances for Vitamin A. Additionally, liver is a great source of amino acids, water-soluble vitamins, and minerals such as copper. Overall, liver packs a nutritional punch and is beneficial when balancing raw diets for puppies.

Nutritional Breakdown

It is recommended to include a small amount of liver muscle meat in a puppy’s daily diet. Liver is an optimal ingredient choice to ensure Vitamin A and copper requirements are being met but it is important to note the nutritional information varies between different species.

Beef Liver

Beef liver is one of the most nutrient-dense, locally accessible, and affordable liver options to include in raw diets for puppies. In small amounts, beef liver is high in Vitamin A, B vitamins, and copper. A little goes a long way!

beefliver

Macro Nutrients
The amount of calories, protein, fat, and carbs are based on 1oz (28g).

Calories 38kcal
Protein 20.3%
Fat 3.6%
Carbs 0%

Data Source

Top Nutrients
The top nutrients are based on 1oz (28g) raw weight and NRC recommended allowances for a 1000kcal diet for puppies 14 weeks to 12 months old.

Vitamin A 1398 mcg = 367% RA
Cobalamin (B12) 4.1 mcg = 189% RA
Folic Acid (B9) 82 mcg = 119% RA
Copper 2.7 mg = 101% RA

Data Source

Lamb Liver

Lamb liver is an alternative option to beef liver to supply the same nutrients if beef is not tolerated. Overall, lamb liver is higher in Vitamin A, but lower in copper in comparison to beef liver.

rawlambliver

Macro Nutrients
The amount of calories, protein, fat, and carbs are based on 1oz (28g).

Calories 39kcal
Protein 20.3%
Fat 5%
Carbs 0%

Data Source

Top Nutrients
The top nutrients are based on 1oz (28g) raw weight and NRC recommended allowances for a 1000kcal diet for puppies 14 weeks to 12 months old.

Vitamin A 2095 mcg = 546% RA
Cobalamin (B12) 25.5 mcg = 288% RA
Niacin (B3) 4.6 mg = 106% RA
Copper 1.9 mg = 72% RA

Data Source

Duck Liver

Duck liver is another alternative option for adding raw liver into a raw diet. In general, liver from fowl (duck and goose) is much higher in Vitamin A in comparison to all other liver options. This means a smaller amount can be fed to achieve Vitamin A requirements. Overall, it is recommended to feed 5% liver in raw diets. However, lower amounts can be fed when duck liver is selected due to the high Vitamin A levels.

duckliver

Macro Nutrients
The amount of calories, protein, fat, and carbs are based on 1oz (28g).

Calories 39kcal
Protein 18.7%
Fat 4.6%
Carbs 0%

Data Source

Top Nutrients
The top nutrients are based on 1oz (28g) raw weight and NRC recommended allowances for a 1000kcal diet for puppies 14 weeks to 12 months old.

Vitamin A 3397 mcg = 885% RA
Folic Acid (B9) 209 mcg = 304% RA
Cobalamin (B12) 15.3 mcg = 172% RA
Copper 1.7 mg = 61% RA

Data Source

The inclusion of raw liver is necessary to provide essential nutrients such as Vitamin A, copper, and B vitamins in a puppy’s raw diet. The recommended starting guideline to follow is 5% liver content to fulfill Vitamin A requirements. However, it is important to select a liver option that will provide sufficient levels of copper as well. In general, livers from ruminant animals such as cattle or sheep will have sufficient levels of Vitamin A and copper.

Secreting Organ: Spleen & Kidney

The inclusion of secreting organs, such as spleen and kidney, assists in meeting recommended allowances for iron and Vitamin D. Additionally, these organs are a great source of amino acids and water-soluble vitamins.

Nutritional Breakdown

Puppies have a high requirement for iron which can be deficient in raw diets if the appropriate items are not fed. The use of an additional secreting organ such as spleen is ideal for meeting iron requirements for developing puppies. In addition to the spleen, raw kidney is another organ option which is useful when fulfilling Vitamin D requirements.

Beef Spleen

Beef spleen is an ideal option to ensure recommended allowance for iron is met in a raw diet for puppies. Beef spleen is often inexpensive and sold at butchers or ethnic markets.

rawbisonspleen

Macro Nutrients
The amount of calories, protein, fat, and carbs are based on 1oz (28g).

Calories 30kcal
Protein 18.3%
Fat 3%
Carbs 0%

Data Source

Top Nutrients
The top nutrients are based on 1oz (28g) raw weight and NRC recommended allowances for a 1000kcal diet for puppies 14 weeks to 12 months old.

Iron 12.63 mg = 56% RA
Niacin (B3) 2.4 mg = 55% RA
Selenium 17.6 mcg = 19% RA
Cobalamin (B12) 1.6 mcg = 18% RA

Data Source

Pork Spleen

Pork spleen is another organ option to use in raw diets for puppies to complete iron requirements. Pork spleen is lower in iron in comparison to beef spleen but is accessible in ethnic markets.

rawporkspleen

Macro Nutrients
The amount of calories, protein, fat, and carbs are based on 1oz (28g).

Calories 28kcal
Protein 17.8%
Fat 2.6%
Carbs 0%

Data Source

Top Nutrients
The top nutrients are based on 1oz (28g) raw weight and NRC recommended allowances for a 1000kcal diet for puppies 14 weeks to 12 months old.

Niacin (B3) 1.7 mg = 38% RA
Iron 6.33 mg = 28% RA
Thiamin (B1) 0.037 mg = 10% RA
Selenium 9.3 mcg = 10% RA

Data Source

Beef Kidney

Beef kidney provides a substantial amount of B vitamins and can be used in substitution of raw heart when completing B vitamin requirements. Although the levels are not high, beef kidney also provides Vitamin D!

rawbeefkidney

Macro Nutrients
The amount of calories, protein, fat, and carbs are based on 1oz (28g).

Calories 28kcal
Protein 17.4%
Fat 3%
Carbs 0%

Data Source

Top Nutrients
The top nutrients are based on 1oz (28g) raw weight and NRC recommended allowances for a 1000kcal diet for puppies 14 weeks to 12 months old.

Cobalamin (B12) 7.8 mcg = 88% RA
Riboflavin (B2) 0.8 mg = 60% RA
Niacin (B3) 2.3 mg = 52% RA
Pyridoxine (B6) 0.19 mg = 49% RA

Data Source

The inclusion of raw spleen is highly recommended to provide essential iron. The recommended starting guideline to follow is 5%. However, iron levels will vary among different protein options. Additionally, the use of beef kidney proves beneficial when completing the recommended allowances for B vitamins if heart content is not used.

CLOSING COMMENTS

There are different protein options for raw heart, liver, spleen, and kidney other than the ingredients listed in this article. This is not to insinuate other items cannot or should not be fed. The raw ingredients listed in this article prove beneficial when achieving the recommended allowances for specific essential nutrients.

Including muscular and secreting organs such as raw heart, liver, spleen, and kidney in a raw diet for puppies proves beneficial when completing recommended allowances for nutrients such as:

Vitamin A

The 5% liver ratio in raw diets supplies sufficient levels of Vitamin A to complete recommended allowances for Vitamin A.

Copper

Livers from ruminant animals such as cattle and sheep provide adequate levels of copper to complete the recommended allowance for puppies.

Iron

The 5% organ ratio in raw diets can supply essential iron for developing puppies when raw spleen is fed.

B Vitamins

Raw hearts and kidneys are jam-packed with just about every B vitamin and prove useful when completing the recommended allowances for water-soluble vitamins.