Dogs were in existence long before the creation of kibble. So how could they have possibly survived? In the wild, a dog will catch it's food and devour nearly all of it...the flesh (good source of protein), fat (a good source of energy), bone (good source of calcium), muscle and organ meats, and the stomach with its contents (a good source of enzymes, minerals and pre-digested plant material consisting of herbs and grasses).
Whether you wish to admit it or not, dogs, both domesticated and wild, are members of the carnivore family. Anatomically, they are built for it. No one describes this more eloquently than Juliette de Bairacli Levy in her book, The Complete Herbal Book for the Dog A Handbook of Natural Care and Rearing:
"...the dog is a meat eater, from the teeth fashioned for tearing and crushing, the powerful jawbones and muscles, the small, very muscular stomach, the short intestines (to avoid putrefaction of flesh foods), and above all, the very powerful digestive juices peculiar to the carnivorous animals - digestive juices that can dissolve even lumps of bone. In health, the dog's juices, both of mouth and stomach, are strongly antiseptic, and thus "high" meat and even flesh from diseased animals - food which would kill a human being in a day - can be eaten without harmful effects."
Ms. Levy's philosophy of raising dogs is called Natural Rearing and it means just what it says - raising the canine in such a way as to reproduce the way they would exist in their natural state.
Natural rearing diets, such as NR (Natural Rearing) or BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food, also known as, Bones And Raw Food), are based on fresh foods such as raw meats, raw bones, raw vegetables and herbs. Because dogs in the wild would not eat every day, one day of fasting (only for adult dogs) per week is also recommended. This allows the animal to cleanse its body of toxins.
Cooking breaks down many of the proteins and amino acids in raw meat, thus destroying much of it's nutritional value. The canine being not only a hunter, but a scavenger as well, will be able to exist on a diet of cooked food, but it will not be in optimal health. I guess a similar comparison would be to place a human being on a strict diet of only MacDonalds hamburgers and fries for the rest of his/her life!
Raising your dog on poor diets will eventually have its effect - disease, immune deficiencies, short life span, high vet bills, the list is endless. Thanks to the works of Juliette de Bairacli Levy, Dr. Ian Billinghurst, Wendy Volhard and Dr. Kerry Brown, Dr. Tom Lonsdale and Kymythy Schultz a step in the right direction (back to nature) has been taken. Their books have been and invaluable source of information for all dog owners.
I am sure you are thinking, "...what is Green Tripe?". The answer to that is simple, because it is the best, most natural food you could feed your K9 friend. It has been a well known secret of top breeders/kennels of performance dogs for years. The following excerpt from Juliette de Bairacli Levy's book, The Complete Herbal Book for the Dog, says it best:
"I would suggest breeders make good use of such flesh foods as the following:...paunches of all animals (the raw, uncleaned paunches of healthy grass-fed animals can be fed with much benefit to all breeds of dogs). I learned this from a gypsy in the Forest of Dean: this man had bred many famous greyhounds, and he told me that such fare was the finest of natural food tonics."
Tripe is the stomach of ruminating animals. These animals (i.e. cattle, buffalo, sheep, deer, goats, antelope, etc.) are classified as being four-footed, hooved, cud chewing mammals with a stomach that consists of four chambers. The four chambers of such a stomach are known as the rumen, reticulum, omasum and the abomasum. The food the animal eats (i.e. grass, hay) is swallowed unchewed and passes into the rumen and reticulum where it is then regurgitated, chewed and mixed with saliva. It is again swallowed and then passed through the reticulum and omasum into the abomasum, where it is then further broken down by the gastric juices, amino acids and other digestive enzymes. Yummy!
So how can something so disgusting, be so good? These same gastric juices and enzymes not only aid the animal in digestion, but also aid the dog in digesting and efficiently utilizing his food. The amino acids are necessary for muscular development and, the other gastric juices, I believe, are the best cleaner for their teeth!
In an analysis of a sample of green tripe by a Woodson-Tenant Lab in Atlanta, Georgia, it was discovered that the calcium:phosphorous ratio is 1:1, the overall pH is on the acidic side which is better for digestion, protein is 15.1, fat 11.7 and it contained the essential fatty acids, Linoleic and Linolenic, in their recommended proportions. Also discovered, was the presence of Lactic Acid Bacteria. Lactic Acid Bacteria, also known as Lactobacillus Acidophilus, is the good intestinal bacteria. It is the main ingredient in probiotics.
Finally, because of itís rubbery texture, serving it in large chunks also aids the canine in strengthening itís jaw muscles and has an added benefit as a form of canine dental floss.
Nothing beats the "green" tripe from a freshly slaughtered animal