Yes, organs and liver are essential for your dogs diet and should be around 10% their diet. We are in a process of creating a calculator for how much meat and organs to feed, according to your dog(s) weight. Organs contain important fatty and amino acids , phosphorus, iodine, magnesium , copper, K, A, D, and E vitamins making them very important for the physiology of the dog.
In the wild the first thing wolves do is tear open the stomach of their prey and shake out the contents of the stomach. They eat the tripe and the organs before moving on to tackle other big chunks of meat.
Because some people get very confused what organ meat is, here is my list:
Note that the Heart is NOT organ meat. It is actually a hollow muscle. Tripe is also not considered as an organ. I will have another section just for tripe and why tripe is a very important part of your dog’s diet as well.
Liver has to be half of the organ meat. For example, if you give organs 10%, then liver has to be 5% and other organs 5%.
There are a few different approaches to feeding your pet organs. Some people feed once a week as a whole meal whereas others feed organs a few times of week splitting the weekly allowance into smaller additions to the regular meat. I tried both approaches and decided that the second approach works best for our dogs. Many dog owners complain that their dogs refuse to eat organs or how their dogs get ”the runs”. You could safely avoid this by giving them a small amount of organs a few times of a week instead of one meal. I usually rotate: one week liver only and the other week rest of the organ meat. Our dogs never get upset stomach using this feeding method and you also reduce the chances of having “picky eaters”. If you mix just a little bit of organ with the other meat, the flavours of the meat mix together and your dog will enjoy it, despite their prior distaste of the organs. In a separate blog entry I will post some pictures from my sample menu to give an example how much organs I put in our dogs daily meals.
I encourage you to feed organs from all types of animals. The more variety the better. For new dogs on Raw diet, you can start them with chicken, turkey, elk, venison and beef organs because they contain less fat content. Eventually you can introduce lamb, duck, pork or some exotic meals like emu and ostrich (if available) .