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Hound Dog Mom

Hi Marmaduke –

I just sat and typed a nice long response answering your questions, posted it and it disappeared (so if a duplicate response shows up later that’s why). 🙁

So here it goes again…

I get my meat from several sources. I occasionally buy meat from the grocery store, I order some hard to source items (such as certain organs and green tripe) from Hare Today and My Pet Carnivore, I get unwanted meat (usually bone and organs) from hunters (my dad actually gave me a whole deer this year!) – but most of my meat comes from a wholesale distributor that supplies restaurants, grocery stores and large dog kennels. I have to order from the distributor in 300 lb. shipments but it’s worth it – I pay about half the price I’d pay at the grocery store. As for fish – be very careful! Certain types of fish can carry a parasite that causes salmon poisoning in dogs if the fish is fed raw (and no, it’s not just salmon that can carry this parasite). I rarely feed raw fish, occasionally I’ll feed raw sardines because I know they’re a safe fish but that’s about it.

To answer your question about organ meat – organ meat is as high, if not higher in protein than muscle meat. However, organ meat should only make up 10% of your dogs’ diet – 5% should be liver and 5% should be other organs. Organ meat is extremely nutrient-dense – it’s necessary to include in the dogs’ diet to supply certain vitamins and minerals, but the levels are so high that too much organ meat can be toxic. Keep in mind – green tripe, gizzards and heart are NOT organ meat (some people make the mistake of thinking they are, so I wanted to clarify to make sure you understood) and can be fed as muscle meat. Organ meat would include: liver, kidney, spleen, pancreas, lungs and brain.

I wouldn’t feel too bad about not being able to get pre-made raw – I think homemade is much higher quality and you’re able to feed more variety and have better control over the ingredients. Formulating menus – while time consuming – has actually gotten fun for me, I think I’d get bored feeding pre-made! Here’s a link to some typical menus that I’d serve to my crew of three bloodhounds: