Features July 2008 Issue

Green Tripe for Dogs

This old-fashioned cut of meat is a wonder food for dogs.

If your dog thinks it’s the most exciting thing you’ve ever put in a bowl while you gag and hold your breath, it’s probably green tripe – raw, unprocessed stomach tissue from ruminants such as cows or sheep. Tripe fans claim that this smelly meat has multiple benefits for dogs who are lucky enough to have it regularly fed to them. Mary Voss knows the fragrance well. Twenty years ago, she and her husband, Peter, lived in the Netherlands, where they bought their first dog, an Afghan Hound. “All the old-time breeders there fed their dogs green tripe,” she says. “It was sold in stores and was easy to find, so that’s what we fed our dog, too.” But after moving back to the United States, she found that the only tripe sold in markets was white honeycomb tripe that had been bleached, scalded, and deo-dorized. Her growing canine family did without until local butchers put her in touch with farm slaughterers who agreed to sell her tripe fresh from the cattle. “The first time I brought a cow’s stomachs straight from a farm,” she says, “it was a hot day, the drive was over 100 miles, and the container in the back of my truck stank to high heaven. When I finally got home, the dogs went berserk. They couldn’t see the truck, but they were so excited by the smell they were screaming.”

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