Raw spleen for dogs, really? Why yes, it plays a small but important part in raw feeding!
That said, spleen and similar cuts of meat tend to be overlooked which is bad when it happens on a regular basis.
So in this blog post, I’ll share all you need to know about this unique cut of meat, including:
- What type of meat is spleen?
- Where does spleen fit into the 70/10/10/10 raw feeding formula?
- What’s in raw spleen?
- Why is spleen good for dogs?
- How much raw spleen do dogs need per day?
- How do I feed raw spleen to my (picky) dog?
- Where can I buy raw spleen for dogs?
- What are similar cuts of meat?
Raw Spleen for Dogs: All You Need to Know
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What Type of Meat is Spleen?
Spleen is an organ meat.
More specifically, it’s a secreting organ and falls into the offal category.
It has a very specific look with a thin off-white/grayish colored outer layer and a juicy dark red inside.
That’s because it stores blood.
Where Does Spleen Fit Into the 70/10/10/10 Raw Feeding Formula?
In raw feeding, we recreate prey animals following the 70-80/10/10/10 formula:
- Muscle Meat, 70%
- Raw Meaty Bones, 10%
- Plant Matter, 10%
- Secreting Organs, 10% (5% liver, 5% other secreting organs)
Why 70-80%? Well, the exact muscle meat percentage depends on whether or not you’re adding plant matter (veggies, fruit, seeds, herbs) to your raw meals.
If you are, feed 70% muscle meat. If you feed whole prey without plant matter, feed 80% muscle meat.
I personally add plant matter to my raw meals and switch it up between homemade pulp and the store-bought kind.
Now, back to raw spleen and where it fits in the secreting organ category:
Secreting Organs, 10% (5% liver, 5% other secreting organs)
Within the secreting organ category, raw spleen is grouped in the 5% other secreting organs where it’s fed alongside liver.
Again, that’s such a small amount, right? A 50lb adult dog who eats 20oz in raw dog food per day only needs 1oz of raw spleen!
Keep reading, I’ll explain how to do that math.
Which brings me to the next question:
What’s In Raw Spleen?
As a secreting organ, raw spleen is incredibly nutritious and therefore a natural multivitamin.
Here’s what’s in raw (beef) spleen, listed in descending order:
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin C
- Niacin (aka Vitamin B3)
- Vitamin B6
However, spleen doesn’t have any Vitamin A, which is why it complements liver which is very rich in Vitamin A!
So if you were ever wondering “Can dogs eat raw organ meats?”, not only CAN they, but they SHOULD!
Why Is Raw Spleen Good for Dogs?
As we saw above, spleen is rich in a variety of vitamins and (macro) minerals. That’s why it’s also known as a multivitamin for dogs!
Specific spleen benefits for dogs:
- Vitamins B6 & 12: Support blood flow & nervous system
- Iron: Supports normal formation of red blood cells
- Phosphorus & Calcium: Supports a healthy metabolism, teeth & bones
- Niacin (vitamin B3): Helps break down fatty acids
- Cholesterol: Builds cell membranes and helps produce Vitamin D
- Riboflavin: Helps break down and digest protein, carbs & fatty acids
- Zinc: Supports the immune system and a healthy thyroid
- Copper: Helps make red blood cells, skin cells, connective tissue and absorbs iron
- Potassium: Supports a healthy heart, nerves and muscles
- Magnesium & Sodium: Support healthy nerve and muscle function
- Selenium: Supports a healthy thyroid and is important for reproduction
- Thiamine: Helps digest carbs
How Much Raw Spleen Do Dogs Need Per Day?
The amount of raw spleen your dog needs on a daily basis depends on their:
- Activity level
- Maintenance percentage (2%, 2.5%, 3%, 3.5%, 4%)
For example, adult dogs need less secreting organs, including spleen, than puppies, pregnant dogs, nursing dogs and working/athlete dogs.
The average adult dog is fed at a maintenance percentage of about 2.5%.
That means they eat 2.5% of their target body weight in raw dog food per day, split up as follows:
- 70% muscle meat (including 10% fish)
- 10% raw meaty bone
- 10% plant matter
- 5% liver
- 5% spleen (and other secreting organs)
Here’s a concrete example for a 50lb adult dog who’s fed at a maintenance percentage of 2.5%.
Divide the target body weight of 50lb by 100, then multiply the result with 2.5%:
50/100=0.5. 0.5×2.5=1.25lb. 1.25lb=20oz
So your 50lb dog will need to eat 20oz of raw dog food per day. Of those 20oz, he’ll need the following:
- 14oz muscle meat
- 2oz raw meaty bones
- 2oz plant matter
- 1oz liver
- 1oz spleen (rotate with other secreting organs)
If you feed your pup two daily meals, you can divvy up the daily allowance into two meals when you raw meal prep.
How Do I Feed Raw Spleen to My (Picky) Dog?
Well, the good thing about spleen is that your dog only needs a tiny amount, so most dogs will gobble it right up with the rest of their raw dog food.
For super picky eaters, for example smaller dogs who do have the tendency of being overly picky, you could try grinding it up and mixing it in with something irresistible. For example, green tripe or fish.
Here’s a raw dog food recipe I recently fed my pup Wally which includes raw beef spleen.
The ingredient amounts I featured below are for the 50lb dog we’ve used as an example before:
- 12oz deer meat
- 2oz thread herring (counts towards the 14oz muscle meat)
- 2oz chunked whole rabbit (bone)
- 2oz dehydrated veggie & herb mix
- 1oz deer liver
- 1oz beef spleen
To make your own plant matter smorgasbord, you can mix any of the following:
- Berries (blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries)
- Vegetables (shiitake mushrooms, bell peppers, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, carrots, green beans, mung beans, pumpkin purée)
- Herbs (turmeric, ginger, dandelion, nettle leaves, parsley, peppermint, red clover, basil, chamomile, horsetail, dill, thyme)
Below is an example of what I combined for this raw meal (I change it up a lot depending on what I have at home and what’s available at the markets):
Where Can I Buy Raw Spleen for My Dog(s)?
So, where to buy spleen? Here are several suggestions:
- Raw Paws Pet Food (beef). Save 15% with my affiliate discount code K9Savings.
- Raw Feeding Miami: beef spleen or pork spleen
- My Pet Carnivore: beef spleen, lamb spleen or goat spleen
- Try Asian grocery stores. They carry a variety of “odd” cuts of meat and you may just get lucky and find raw spleen.
- Ask your local butchers or farmers if they’d be willing to sell you raw spleen.
- You can also contact wildlife processors if you’re interested in deer spleen (and other deer organs).
Raw Feeding Miami also has a (secreting) beef organ mix called Monstermash that has spleen rotated into it. These are its ingredients: 50% beef liver and 50% kidney, spleen, pancreas or thymus gland.
Monstermash is super convenient for raw meal prep. The only con is that it only consists of secreting beef organs, so I would switch it up.
For example, use it for one batch of meals and then use secreting organs from other animals in the next batch.
You could feed rabbit liver and lamb spleen, duck liver and beef pancreas, etc.
Be creative and rotate as much as possible!
Speaking of lamb spleen – the other day I was cutting up a whole piece of lamb green tripe that had a hidden piece of spleen on it!
What Are Similar Cuts of Meat?
Similar cuts of meat in terms of other secreting organs you feed in combination with liver are the following:
- Eyeballs & brains
- Ovaries & testicles
- Thymus glands aka sweetbreads
FYI: Heart, lung, gizzards and uterus are considered muscle meat!
Raw Spleen for Dogs: All You Need to Know
So, is raw spleen good for dogs? You betcha!
It’s chock full of nutrients which is why it’s considered a natural multivitamin for dogs.
Although dogs only need very little of it, it’s an essential component in raw feeding and should absolutely make it on your list of ingredients if you DIY raw meal prep.
That said, if you find spleen on sale, stock up! You can freeze it for a minimum of 1 year.
- Raw Liver for Dogs: All Your Questions Answered
- I Use This Hack to Store My Secreting Organ Mixes
- How to Feed Raw Beef Eyeballs for Dogs: Advanced Level
- How to Use Raw Pancreas for Dogs to Support Digestive Health