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OK haha, so serious question, what is the deal with organs -- I thought they had to be raw to have the right benefits but I read many of us cook them or sear them or put nummies on them etc. I would much prefer to feed cooked organs but want the best benefits...anyway, really I guess I just want to know does it matter if they are cooked? And what specific benefits do organs have? I know they need them if on a raw diet but I was wondering their function.
 

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There was some discussion about this recently on the yahoo raw feeding group. They sent a link to the nutritional database http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/ (which I can't get to come up at the moment) that said that cooking or raw liver the nutrients don't change all that much.

Here is what I found about feeding organs:
Liver Here is the 'exact' amounts in a Calve liver: WHFoods: Calf's liver
In this one product is a vast range of important nutrition. Liver is the most concentrated source of vitamin A and should be fed in small amounts on a regular basis. It also contains vitamins D, E, and K in substantial quantities. Liver is an excellent source of the minerals zinc, manganese, selenium and iron. It also contains all the B vitamins, particularly B2, B3, B5, biotin, folacin, B12, choline, and inositol. It contains B1 in adequate or smaller amounts and is a good source of vitamin C. Liver provides a source of good quality protein and the essential fatty acids, both the omega-3 and omega-6 type.

Kidneys
Not unlike liver, kidney supplies good quality protein, essential fatty acids and many vitamins including all the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Kidneys are a rich source of iron and all the B vitamins. They also have good levels of zinc.

So even if your dog is having a harder time adjusting with organs, they are still a good idea to give, otherwise you'd have to supplement with tons of vitamins etc
 

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Thanks Heather -- that is helpful. I have to get started on the organ bit sooner than later maybe I will start with some cookied liver and chop it up into tiny bite sized pieces for starters. Its all new to me but I think they need it if I continue feeding as much raw as I have been, I tried raw organs last week and even Laurel wouldn't touch it and she's a pig lol.
 

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Zoey liked the raw organs for the first few months, then the past month she's been refusing, she LOVES them cooked though...last night I only 1/2 way cooked the kidney and she ate that just fine (added a little butter & parmasan cheese).
 

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I usually have to sear Brody's organs. He likes them lightly seared on the BBQ grill and then served with a drizzle of butter. Seriously. He is SPOILED. If I had more than one, I'd be tougher and force him to eat them raw. But yeah. ;)

Like Heather said, there was a recent comparison of the cooked versus raw liver and there is very negligible nutrient loss in the cooked liver. Raw is always better. But cooked is a very close second. This is NOT true in other muscle meats.... cooking DOES destroy nutrients in meats, which is why vitamin/mineral supplementation is necessary with home cooked diets. I would theorize that since organs are so dense with nutrients, that cooking doesn't deteriorate their value like it does with meats. And by cooking - I am meaning just lightly seared and red/raw in the middle. I don't cook organs all the way through.

Brody does eat raw chicken kidneys with no problem at all. They are stuck in the spine of raw chicken/cornish hen backs. So there's some raw organ right there that's super easy. You don't even have to touch it.

I do bison or beef kidney and liver once a week, as a meal, on Saturday and Sunday. One ounce of each. This more than meets his organ requirement for the week and it's easiest for me to remember. This method is fine for raw acclimated dogs. It could cause loose stools in less experienced raw eaters. Organs are best served with a bony meal before and after or some bone with them - like a chicken wing tip.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This whole bit is making me nervous I won't do it right, Sarah gave me some good guidelines on amounts but I am just so worried they won't get enough of whatever it is they need.
 

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It's NOT hard Kristi!! Organs are 10% of the diet. 5% liver and 5% other organ.

For a 5 pound dog being fed an average of 3% of his body weight, that equals a little less than an ounce of liver and kidney per WEEK. Thus, I do one ounce of liver and one ounce of kidney on the weekend and voila - done.

I do have a spreadsheet which will figure it out for you. I figures the total amount of meat, bone, and organ needed on a daily and weekly basis based on your dogs weight and activity level. PM me and I'll send it to you if you are a spreadsheet/fact/figures kind of person. :)

(According to the spreadsheet, I am actually overfeeding organs. I could cut back to 1/2 an ounce of kidney/liver and be fine. Their organ requirement is so little it would be pretty hard to mess it up!)
 

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This is where & why we cheat. ;) Well, not really WHY. LOL But the whole grinds have the correct amount of organ mix in them so I don't typically have to worry about adding organ. They always get a small amount of organ every day because typically I at least feed one meal of grind a day if not both. I've also been adding in some organ mixes from hare-today (we have a chicken liver, heart & gizzard mix (though it doesn't have the 5% of the *other* organ) & a beef liver, kidney & heart mix. I use those about once every week or two to sort of make up for missing some organ with our boney meal and meat only meals.

I'm a hard a$$ or maybe just lucky but my pups dont mind their organs raw & they hardly even notice them in the grinds. :)
 

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With Oakley you need a bite of each that would be plenty

Laurel prob 3 Oakley bites trigger 2 and bryco 1 and a bit it's not a lot I overfeed too
 

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As for amounts...when I fed raw before I added in their organs daily so I didn't loose track of who needed what. My pups that ate 2oz a day would get .2oz, the ones who ate 5oz a day got .5oz, etc. That's daily of course & obiously 1/2 of that liver & 1/2 another organ. I'm anal & weigh everything so it was easy to keep my organ in a seperate container & toss a hair in each day. Some feed a whole organ meal once a week or two but with so many having different amounts I found it much easier to just do it daily. :)
 

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So it is okay to overfeed organs? I mean not every day 1oz but Zoey technically should be getting less than I'm giving her, but I give her 1oz of each per week. It won't hurt her to have a little more?
 

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Is it OK to overfeed organs.... Heather, that is the million dollar question. ;) I don't think it causes any harm. Obviously I do mostly meat, a little bone, a little organ. Sometimes the organ is more than he "requires" but I'd rather give too much than too little.

I do the Stella and Chewy's premade a couple times a week and it has both veggies and organ in it. Occasionally he has a venison dried 100% liver treat. Sometimes he gets a meal of ZiwiPeak and it has organs in it. Sometimes he has a meal of canned food. I don't stress over it.

I do try and keep his ratios at 80/10/5/5 but I know its not exact.

Edit: After seeing this in writing and really thinking about how much organ he gets I'm going to cut him back to 1/2 - 1 ounce of liver and kidney as a meal ONCE a week on Saturdays instead of doing it Saturday and Sunday. That should put his organ allotment more in line with what it should be instead of grossly overfeeding them.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I know they get organs from their pre-made raw as well as vitamins/minerals from their THK, I just have been unsure exactly what to feed anda hhhhh I need to stop putting it off. I was over-feeding raw wise at first because I wasn't weighing stuff, now I am weighing and whatnot, but 98% of their raw meals are bone-in. I am probably over-thinking it and its not hard but ha...idk. I will PM you for the spreadsheet Tracy, that might help.
 

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I just grind the kidney and liver together with some other meat I have at that moment. 1/2 liver&kidney + 1/2 muscle meet. I do about 3/4 kg at the time and then just weight the mince and pack it in the little bags (1 bag per 1 feeding for 3 dogs) and freeze them. Then just feed that mince 3-4 times a week, it just makes it easier for me and I know they are getting enough. Mine love it that way and it's still raw.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
What about the dried liver treats that are 100% dried beef liver? Are they any good or just empty calories? Mine love those.
 

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What about the dried liver treats that are 100% dried beef liver? Are they any good or just empty calories? Mine love those.
Those definitely count towards your organ allotment. They are a very high quality and nutritious treat. The best you can give really.
 

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Those definitely count towards your organ allotment. They are a very high quality and nutritious treat. The best you can give really.
So could I replace the liver (raw) portion of their organs with those sometimes? Oakley has pretty much only been eating the raw meals we give her so I need to make sure she's getting organs that she needs to recover.
 

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So could I replace the liver (raw) portion of their organs with those sometimes? Oakley has pretty much only been eating the raw meals we give her so I need to make sure she's getting organs that she needs to recover.
Yes you can. Raw is best. However, we do what we have to do. If the only way you can get organs into her is by the freeze dried - then so be it. We do what we can! :)

The nutritional difference between cooked, freeze dried, and raw liver is actually negligible.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Okay. She hasn't wanted the cooked, seared or raw, but she will eat the freeze dried. So I figure its better than nothing, then...right now I'm letting her be a little picky as all 3 meds she's on decrease appetite and she's never had a voracious appetite to begin with. Soooo yeah. The one she actually will eat has banana bits dried into it...the ingredients are just beef liver/banana but its a negligible part of it from what I can tell so if she'll eat it, I'll take it haha.
 
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