Organ meat is often overlooked when it comes to feeding our pets, but it's a nutritional goldmine that can significantly improve their overall health. That's why every pet parent should consider incorporating organ meat into their pet's diet.
In this post, we'll explore what organ meat is, the nutrients it contains, and the health benefits it provides for our furry family members. We'll also explain why feeding a balanced, species-appropriate diet is important, and share some tips for introducing your pet to organ meat. By the end, you'll have all the information you need to decide if organ meat is something your pet should be eating.
What is Organ Meat?
Organ meat, also known as offal, refers to the internal organs and entrails of animals such as cows, pigs, and chickens that are used for human or animal consumption. The most commonly used organ meats in pet diets include:
When sourced from healthy animals, organ meat is a tasty and nutritious addition to your pet's diet. Just make sure to buy it from a reputable supplier that's committed to providing safe, high-quality products. You should also store fresh organ meat in the refrigerator or freezer to ensure it stays fresh and safe for your pet.
The Nutrient Powerhouse of Organ Meat
Organ meats are packed with essential nutrients that can benefit your pet's health in numerous ways, from boosting their immune system to keeping their skin and coat healthy. Here's a breakdown of some of the key nutrients found in organ meats:
- Vitamin A. Supports vision, immune function, and healthy skin.
- Vitamin B Complex. Essential for energy production, brain function, and a healthy nervous system.
- Vitamin D. Crucial for bone health and calcium absorption.
- Iron. Required for red blood cell production and oxygen transportation.
- Zinc. Supports immune function and wound healing.
- Selenium. A powerful antioxidant that aids in thyroid function and DNA synthesis.
Protein and Amino Acids
- Complete protein. Contains all essential amino acids needed for muscle growth and repair.
- Taurine. Particularly important for cats, as it supports heart and eye health.
Health Benefits of Organ Meat for Pets
Feeding your pets organ meat offers numerous health benefits, such as:
- Improved nutrient absorption. Organ meat is highly bioavailable, meaning the nutrients are easily absorbed and utilized by your pet's body.
- Stronger immune system. The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants found in organ meats support a robust immune system, helping to ward off illnesses.
- Enhanced energy levels. The high-quality protein and essential nutrients in organ meat provide sustained energy for your pets.
- Better dental health. Chewing on raw, meaty organs like hearts can help remove plaque and tartar, promoting healthy teeth and gums.
- Optimal weight management. Organ meat is low in calories and fat, making it an excellent choice for pets struggling with weight issues.
Feeding a Balanced, Species-Appropriate Diet
While organ meat provides essential nutrients, it's crucial to feed your pet a balanced, species-appropriate diet to ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients for optimal health. A well-rounded diet should include a combination of muscle meat, organ meat, bones, and, for some pets, plant-based ingredients.
Cats: Obligate Carnivores
Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they require a diet primarily consisting of animal-based protein. A balanced, species-appropriate diet for cats should include:
- Muscle meat. Provides essential amino acids and protein for muscle growth and repair.
- Organ meat. Supplies vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients not found in muscle meat.
- Raw, edible bones. Offers a natural source of calcium and phosphorus, supporting strong bones and teeth.
Cats have minimal dietary requirements for carbohydrates, so it's best to avoid high-carb, grain-based foods.
Dogs are considered carnivore-scavengers, which means their diet should be primarily meat-based but can also include some plant-based ingredients. A balanced, species-appropriate diet for dogs should consist of:
- Muscle meat. Supplies protein, amino acids, and energy.
- Organ meat. Offers a concentrated source of vitamins and minerals.
- Raw, edible bones. Contributes to dental health and provides calcium and phosphorus.
- Plant-based ingredients. Can include vegetables, fruits, and grains (in moderation) to provide fiber, antioxidants, and additional nutrients.
Always consult with your veterinarian or a pet nutrition expert to determine the best diet for your pet's unique needs, taking into account factors such as breed, age, weight, and activity level.
The Importance of Variety
Providing a variety of protein sources and ingredients in your pet's diet helps ensure they receive a wide range of nutrients. Rotate between different types of whole-food ingredients to keep your pet's meals interesting and nutritionally balanced.
It's also a good idea to add beneficial supplements to your pet's diet. Some excellent examples are fish oil for Omega-3 fatty acids, virgin coconut oil for energy and healthy fats, and prebiotics, probiotics, and digestive enzymes for gut health.
Incorporating Organ Meat into Your Pet's Diet
Introducing organ meat into your pet's diet can be done in several ways. These include feeding organ meat as part of a raw homemade diet, adding it to commercial pet food, or feeding high-quality diets or treats that are made with organ meat (more on this in a moment)!
It's essential to introduce organ meat gradually to avoid digestive upset. Start with small amounts and increase the quantity over time. The amount of organ meat to feed your pet will depend on the individual animal's needs and circumstances, so it's best to talk to a holistic veterinarian for advice.
Feeding Raw Meat and Organ Meat
If you choose to feed your pet raw meat and organ meat as part of a homemade diet or added to commercial pet food, ensure that you source the meat from reputable suppliers to minimize the risk of contamination or disease. Always handle raw meat with care and follow proper food safety guidelines to protect both you and your pet.
CocoTherapy Organ Bites: A Tasty and Convenient Option
CocoTherapy Organ Bites are raw, freeze-dried organ meat treats for dogs and cats, providing a hassle-free way to include organ meat in your pet's diet.
What Makes CocoTherapy Organ Bites Different?
- Only USA sourced organ meats
- Antibiotic-free and hormone-free
- Grain & gluten-free
- No preservatives, colors, or flavors
- Extra health benefits of superfoods from fruits, vegetables, and herbs
- CocoTherapy Coconut Chips for added fiber and protein digestibility
We’ve often been asked why we add our CocoTherapy Coconut Chips to our raw meat treats. We first created our meat treats for our Yorkie, Camille who had protein losing enteropathy (PLE), which resulted in Lymphangiectasia. Because of this, she had difficulty digesting proteins. We found that she was able to enjoy raw meat treats when given with our Organic Coconut Chips! Because of her, we add CocoTherapy Coconut Chips to all our meat treats.
Recently we received this note from a customer:
“Only treat for my dog with IBD that won’t upset his stomach.
My dog has IBD & Lymphangiectasia the turkey treats and coconut chips & hearts are the only treats that won’t upset his stomach.” – Caine, CocoTherapy customer
What Types of Pets Are CocoTherapy Organ Bites Best For?
CocoTherapy Organ Bites are great for dogs and cats! They can be used as a treat, food topper, appetite stimulant, or reward for training. The bites are easy to break apart and will soften with water, making them suitable for pets of all sizes and ages.
And did we mention they're delicious too? With three flavorful recipes, your pet will love chowing down on CocoTherapy Organ Bites. Choose from Chicken Organs + Beets + Coconut, Pork Organs + Apple + Coconut, or Turkey Organs + Pumpkin + Coconut flavors. Or, save 10% when you grab our Triple Treat Combo Pack – your pet won't be able to resist!
Treat Your Pet to CocoTherapy Organ Bites!
Ready to provide your pet with a super boost of essential nutrients? Give CocoTherapy Organ Bites a try and experience the convenience of incorporating nutrient-packed organ meat into your pet's diet. With three yummy flavors to choose from, your furry friend will love these delicious, wholesome treats!