**Important note** I'm not a vet and have had no medical training. Do not use this post as a way to treat your dog for any illness - see a vet! This is simply something that I think will work for us because of the information I have found on it and am very passionate about sharing this information with you.
I got really lucky because the butcher that I went to sells raw meat specifically for dogs. A lot of it is not quite what I want (the bone is ground into the meat instead of allowing them to chew on the bone. The downside to that is it doesn't clean their teeth the way gnawing on a bone would) but with a few modifications, I can get everything I want from them if I choose to do so. One of the things that they sell is green tripe.
Now don't be confused - there are two types of tripe. Green and white. White is what humans eat but provides no nutritional value for dogs and green is for our pups. I found a 5 pound bag for $8.50 so of course I had to take it home. It was a big hunk of frozen gunk so I had to defrost it and break it up into smaller sizes. I put them into 5 ziplock bags and put 4 back in the freezer to save for later. The last bag went into the fridge and it is what we are adding to each meal. I'm not going to lie though - to say this stuff stinks is an understatement. I opened the bag and started gagging. I portioned everything out with a candle burning beside me. It was nasty. So of course, Luna and Ares spent the entire time begging for it! See how gross it looks?!
I've mentioned before that a lot of the raw food diet doesn't really agree with dogs who are still on a kibble diet but this is an exception. It is absolutely fine to give with your dog with the kibble and starting last night, that's exactly what I did. I've taught Ares and Luna to sit and wait for the "ok!" to start eating. Last night, however, it didn't work. Luna went straight for the tripe as soon as I set it down. This morning, she did the exact same thing with one difference - she grabbed the tripe out of her bowl and chewed it up while sitting and waiting for me to tell her that she could eat her food. Silly girl! How can you be mad at that genius?
Disclaimer: because Ginger is not my dog, she did not get to experience the joys of green tripe. Sorry, Ginger!
Now the educational stuff about green tripe:
Now I'm sure most of you are wondering: what in the world is tripe?! Simply put, it is a cow's stomach lining (specifically, the fourth chamber of the stomach where the actual digestion takes place). Because of this, it contains partially digested plant matter, gastric juices, and digestive enzymes. The only processing that this tripe receives is to remove the larger pieces of undigested food. Yummy, right? It's a completely different process to get white tripe, including washing and bleaching it. It is also usually from the first three stomach chambers rather than the last. Because of this, it doesn't provide any of the benefits that green tripe provides.
Now, why I put up with the disgusting smell to give it to Ares and Luna:
It's so healthy! I'm terrible with myself, but I kind of gravitate to the crunchy, organic stuff. I'll be the person who makes their own baby food instead of buying the jars of it. I've always done things to help keep Ares and Luna healthy. They get probiotics (specifically bene-bac) when they have upset tummies and now they're getting allergy medication twice daily to control their reverse sneezing (giving it to them at night keeps Luna from waking up and reverse sneezing). I've never liked a lot of medicine. I think our society over medicates. (That said, I take a small mountain of pills each morning. Pot, meet kettle). If I can get them off of medicine and provide organic and CHEAPER ways to keep them healthy, I'm all for it.
Green tripe aids digestion, purifies and cleanses blood, removes toxins, parasites and fungus, improves metabolism, hormonal function, and boosts the immune system. Even though it is boneless, it is a great way to keep your dogs teeth clean and white which means little to no trips to the vet to get expensive teeth cleaning!
Green tripe also contains probiotics and amino acids! These maintain a healthy belly for your pups. The naturally occurring probiotics rather than the manufactured stuff I had been buying was reason enough for me to buy the tripe!
The specific strain of probiotics found in green tripe is lactobacillus acidophilus. It is known to prevent and treat diarrhea, yeast infections, and urinary tract infections. It also counteracts the side effects of medications such as antibiotics, improves their coat and prevents shedding, relieves the pain of arthritis, and eases the symptoms of allergies.
The last part is what really interests me. Something natural to keep the dogs from reverse sneezing during pollen season? Our pollen counts have been off the chart the past few days. It's terrible here but because Ares and Luna don't actually suffer from severe pollen allergies, I thought I would experiment a little. I stopped giving them their allergy medication a couple of days ago. They haven't had any symptoms yet but I've now given them the green tripe last night and this morning. I'm waiting to see if they will continue to have a lack of allergic reactions, or if the green tripe is enough to keep it from presenting itself in Ares and Luna.
**Important note** I am NOT a vet and do not give medical advice. I am simply compiling and relaying all of the information I have found about green tripe online. If your dog is sick, SEE A VET. This is NOT a cure-all! For example, because Ginger suffers from severe allergic reactions to pollen, I would never take her off of her medication to test the green tripe on her, nor would I recommend that her owner do so. Talk to your vet to see if this is a good fit for you - I simply find that it is a good fit for me.