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A whole lot of offal!

By Sue Armstrong MA VetMB VETMFHom CertlAVH MRCVS RSHom 9 months ago 4889 Views

Offal is the collective word for the secretory organs (organs that synthesize substances needed by the body and are released into the bloodstream) we can use as food and that have different properties to meat.

The organs that form the offal group are:

  • Liver
  • Kidney
  • Spleen
  • Pancreas
  • Brain
  • Testicles


Many people think of e.g. heart, lung and trachea/gizzard as offal but these actually form part of the meat group along with muscle.

Whilst offal is also an excellent source of protein in the diet just as meat is, each organ contains a different array of vitamins, minerals (often in concentrated levels) and in some cases e.g. pancreas, enzymes and other biological products that can be very important to the overall health of dogs and cats.  If we look at just some of the concentrated nutrients in two of the offal’s used:

Liver       
Vitamins A, D, E and K
Zinc, magnesium, selenium and iron
B Group Vitamins
Vitamin C
Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids
    
Kidney
Vitamins A, D, E and K B Group Vitamins
Iron
Zinc

Spleen 
Vitamin C
Vitamin B2
Vitamin B3
Phosphorous


These additional nutrients are one reason why animals do not need excessive amounts of offal in the diet and can even end up with toxic levels of some nutrients e.g. excessive amounts of liver can cause Vitamin A toxicity, particularly in cats, if fed excessively.  Cats in particular can become addicted to liver and start refusing other foods, so this is where owners must not answer the addiction!

The general rule is that the percentage of offal in the diet should not exceed 10% and of that offal no more than 50% should be liver.

Offal is often talked about as being ‘rich’ food and can easily cause diarrhoea in sensitive animals or when too much is fed at once or if fed too often.  Some dogs cannot tolerate any more than a tiny amount, and a few cannot tolerate it at all.  This is the main reason why we at Natural Instinct do not automatically add 5-10% offal to every formula and we balance the vitamin, mineral and essential fatty acid requirements in these complete formulas without the use of offal.

However,there are some of our product that do contain offal:-

  • Natural Puppy
  • Working Dog Puppy
  • Natural Chicken and Lamb
  • Natural Lamb
  • Special Diet
  • Pure Beef
  • Country Banquet Chicken (non organic and organic)
  • Country Bankquet Turkey (non organic and organic)
  • Cat Food range


We provide an excellent range of offal treat products and our new Pure Offal mix to give owners the flexibility to be able to feed additional offal to their dogs which can be varied in amount according to the animal’s individuals needs.  

Offal is a really important food group and is particularly useful to your animals in times of growth, stress and recovery, so although it can make some people feel a little squeamish, it really is well worth thinking again and making offal part of your weekly feeding and treat regime.


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