Tripe is the stomach lining of ruminant animals such as cows, sheep, goats, and venison. Ruminants have four-chambered stomachs which are hand-crafted to break down vegetation and extract all the nutrients. It is considered muscle meat, and it's most known for its deathly smell, which is a con for humans but a plus for picky pets.
Is It A Good Source of Probiotics & Enzymes?
It is commonly said that tripe is a good source of probiotics and enzymes. According to RFU‘s files, due to exposure to oxygen (oxygen toxicity) and extreme temperatures (freezing), any bacteria and enzymes have a very poor chance of survival. The probiotic that was discovered in the sample was Lactic Acid Bacteria (specifically, Lactobacillus Acidophilus). But as explained in RFU's file, "Oxygen toxicity is widely considered to be responsible for the cell deaths of these bacteria". The enzymes within the animals are obligate anaerobes which means they will die once exposed to oxygen. Furthermore, cows are herbivores hence their digestive enzymes are fit for one. Cows are designed to break down and digest loads of cellulose, not meat and bones. Even if the enzymes did survive, they would not be the correct enzymes needed for a carnivore. From this, it can be concluded that green tripe is not a reliable source of probiotics or enzymes. If there is remaining plant matter on the tripe itself, it could serve as a prebiotic for the gut flora.
How To Feed
Nutritionally speaking, green tripe has a 1:1 calcium: phosphorus ratio and is high in manganese and moderate in fat (~12%). This makes it a high-value food for most pets and great for picky or underweight dogs. According to Monica Segal's book, tripe has 0.37mg of manganese per 1oz (28g). Tripe can be used to fill in specific nutrient gaps in a DIY raw diet. Tripe can be added to any diet, whether raw, cooked, or even dry. You may have seen white-bleached tripe at the market before, but this is NOT what you want to feed as it is not the same nutritionally as unbleached raw tripe. You want the real deal "green" tripe that has a smell you'll never forget.
Many green tripe products are sold for pet consumption, but you want to look for raw unbleached green tripe. Other types include...
Canned: Unfortunately, the canning process exposes the tripe to high heat. Canned tripe also often has added ingredients such as carrageenan to thicken the consistency.
Dehydrated: While this is a step up from canned tripe, it is still technically heat processed but is shelf-stable.
Freeze-Dried: Freeze-dried green tripe is acceptable to feed as it is minimally processed and preserves the most nutrients.
Where To Source
Ensure to source tripe from quality grass-fed ruminants for maximum benefits. If you have any local farmers or butchers near you, they may be able to provide you with some fresh green tripe. Otherwise, you can source from almost any raw feeding supplier such as...
With a closer look, green tripe's benefits seem to be simply from word of mouth versus referencing the microbiology of the food. Tripe is fine to feed but is not some magical "Cure-All". I hope you learned something new today & Always Keep Exploring!