All about secreting organs for dogs in raw feeding

All About Secreting Organs for Dogs

Secreting organs for dogs are a specific type of organ that – you guessed it – secretes a substance.

That makes them different from other types of muscular organ meat like heart, gizzards, tongue and lung.

But since they’re super nutritious, they’re a valuable raw dog food ingredient and are also known as natural multivitamins!

Keeping that in mind, secreting organ meat is only a small component of raw dog food besides:

  • Muscle meat
  • Raw meaty bones
  • Optional plant matter
All about secreting organs for dogs

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Why Do Dogs Need Secreting Organs?

…and that’s your first clue as to why dogs need to eat secreting organs as part of their raw dog food.

They are naturally rich in a variety of essential vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, B Vitamins, iron, copper, zinc, selenium, etc.

Dogs need all of these so that their bodies can function properly.

Since other cuts of meat don’t have these nutrients, you really can’t ignore secreting organs when you make homemade raw dog food.

Why It’s Important To Rotate Secreting Organ Meat For Dogs

But here’s the thing – not every secreting organ has the same (amount of) nutrients.

For instance, liver is very rich in Vitamin A while spleen is much richer in a variety of B Vitamins.

Or how about pancreas, which has an insane amount of digestive enzymes that other secreting organs don’t have.

That said, it’s important to feed your dog a variety of secreting organs. Not just liver and kidney.

Also!

Besides rotating the type of secreting organ meat you feed your dog, you should also rotate the animals you source it from.

That’s because the level of nutrients also differs from animal to animal.

Generally speaking, free-range, pastured animals always have a higher level of nutrients than their caged, corn- and soy-fed counterparts.

So for example, don’t just feed chicken liver, but also beef liver, duck liver, deer liver, etc.

The same applies for other cuts of secreting organs.

Different Types Of Secreting Organ Meat For Dogs

Secreting organs you can and should feed are:

  • Liver
  • Kidneys
  • Spleen
  • Eyeballs
  • Brains
  • Testicles
  • Ovaries
  • Pancreas
  • Thymus glands

How Much Secreting Organs Does My Dog Need?

Healthy adult dogs need to eat 10% of their daily raw dog food allowance in secreting organs.

Specifically, 5% liver and 5% other secreting organs.

Here’s a couple examples.

Say your 30 lb dog eats 12 oz of raw dog food per day, then 1.2 oz of that would need to be secreting organs.

Of those 1.2 oz, half = 0.6 oz would be liver, and the other half = 0.6 oz would be another secreting organ, for example kidney.

If you have a 75 lb dog who eats 30 oz of raw dog food per day, then 3 oz of that would need to be secreting organs.

Of those 3 oz, half = 1.5 oz would be liver, and the remaining 1.5 oz would be a different secreting organ such as spleen.

If you didn’t follow the math, check out my blog post How to measure percentages in raw feeding.

Also now available: My Ultimate Raw Dog Food Math Toolkit that features raw feeding charts for dogs!

As far as puppies and their secreting organ requirements are concerned, that's a different story.

Since they need more food in general during their growth phase, that includes a higher secreting organ meat allowance.

Read more about how much raw dog food puppies need here.

Where To Buy Secreting Organ Meat For Dogs

You can mostly find chicken liver, beef liver and calf liver at your local grocery store, including Walmart and Costco.

You can also check ethnic grocery stores for other secreting organs such as kidney or spleen. Many Asian supermarkets carry those "odd" cuts of meat.

Other than that, you can make friends with hunters and wildlife processors to get your hands on secreting organs from deer and hogs during hunting season.

Last but certainly not least, browse the websites of online raw dog food retailers for their selection of secreting organs.

For example:

Besides buying individual secreting organs for homemade raw dog food, you can also buy them as part of premade raw dog food.

However, I strongly suggest reading the ingredient labels of any premade raw dog food you buy as recipes and secreting organs used vary quite a bit.

Secreting Organ Meat Library

Now without further ado, below you'll find links to blog posts about different secreting organ meats for dogs.

Just click on the image and it'll take you to a blog post about the respective secreting organ topic.

Tip: Bookmark this page and revisit it as it continues to grow!

Raw Liver For Dogs

Raw liver for dogs - All your questions answered

How To Feed Raw Kidneys

How much raw kidney should I feed my dog?

Raw Spleen for Dogs

Raw spleen for dogs - all you need to know

How to Feed Raw Beef Eyeballs

How to feed raw beef eyeballs for dogs - advanced level

How To Feed Brains In Raw Dog Food

Brains in raw dog food - how safe are they?

Testicles For Raw Dog Food

Raw testicles for dogs

How To Use Raw Pancreas For Dogs For Digestive Health

How To Use Raw Pancreas For Dogs To Support Digestive Health

Easy Hack For Storing Secreting Organ Meat For Dogs

I use this easy hack to store my secreting organs

Are you looking for specific information that wasn't covered in the library?

Feel free to leave a note in the comment section below this blog post, and I'll answer it asap.


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Barbara launched her blog K9sOverCoffee in 2014 and has been feeding her dogs raw dog food since 2015. As a former professional dog walker, she’s passionate about balancing species-appropriate exercise with healthy dog nutrition. Barbara is raw dog food nutrition certified from “Dogs Naturally Magazine” and the author of several e-books about minimally processed, balanced raw dog food.


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