As dog owners, we are in charge of feeding them the proper diet. Often, we may wonder if a particular food is healthy for them even if they seem to love it. Cow tongue is one such food that dogs love. But is cow tongue good for dogs? It’s a tasty treat for sure, and dogs munch at it with love, but is it good for their health? If so, how should we feed it to our dogs?
Is it safe to eat beef tongue?
Cow tongue is not only safe but also very healthy for dogs. It is rich in proteins, calories, fatty acids, zinc, iron, choline, and vitamin B12. It contains 224 calories with 16.4 grams of protein and 19 grams of fat. Unlike the rest of the beef, the cow tongue has 20 percent less fat which is healthy not only for the dogs but also for us. Cow tongues are also cheaper than other portions of the cow as it is an organ/muscle meat. In many places, it is as cheap as only $2.
It is available in every store that sells meat. Or we could buy specialized cow tongues from any pet store that also collects different treats for pets. However, commercially processed cow tongues are more expensive than those we buy from any general store, or a butcher, for example. So if we are on a tight budget, buying from a general store or a butcher will be the best option.
How to prepare cow tongue for dogs?
Cow tongue is straightforward and less time-consuming than a lot of treats to prepare for our dogs. To prepare it, we need to boil it for two and a half or three hours with a pinch of salt. After that, we should peel off the outer layer/skin, and the tongue is ready to be served. Disclaimer: it should not be more than 20% of our pet’s diet.
Some pet owners suggest feeding the tongue raw, but whether raw meat should be provided to domestic dogs or not is a debatable matter, and opinions differ among pet owners. Pet owners who put their dogs on a raw meat diet claim it gives them more energy and vigor. But on the other side, vets suggest against feeding a raw meat diet as it comes with dangers not only for our dogs but also for ourselves.
Humans have bred dogs for thousands of years, and so they can digest both meat and grains, unlike their ancestors. Of course, both grains and meat have their pros and cons, but raw meat comes with more dangers than kibble.
Should raw cow tongue be fed to dogs?
Feeding our dogs raw cow tongue or any other raw meat can endanger them to have salmonella. Although often, it is not the case. Even if they do not contract salmonella, we might contract it while handling raw meat for our pets.
Salmonella is a rod-shaped bacteria that can affect both dogs and humans alike. Salmonella in dogs can cause fever, nausea, anorexia, and diarrhea. Weight loss is also visible due to loss of fluid. It can spread to affect us too. So raw tongues could become dangerous for not only them but for us.
We shouldn’t feed raw cow tongues or raw meat in general to our puppies, as they are young. Or dogs with liver/kidney failure or dogs diagnosed with cancer of any kind.
If we still want to feed our dogs raw cow tongue or meat (that is, if the dog is healthy and doesn’t suffer from any problems mentioned above), one way to do it would be to freeze it up. That way, it would be safe as the cold will kill bacteria or parasites. Processed and frozen meat is also available in pet stores for our dogs as a treat.
Cooking the tongue or meat is still the best option and inexpensive, unlike commercially processed and frozen cow tongues or raw meat.
Other treats for our pets:
- Beef liver : It is good and healthy for our dogs, especially if they are recovering from sickness or injury. Beef liver contains proteins, vitamins such as vitamin A and B, iron, copper, zinc, phosphorus, and fatty acids. It cleanses the blood and removes toxins, and beneficial for our dog’s vision too. Chicken livers are also a healthy alternative to beef livers.
- Beef kidneys : Beef kidneys provide necessary vitamins for our dogs, including vitamins B12, E, and K. Though, Chicken kidneys are more nutritious and equally tasty.
- Raw bones : Raw bones are nutritious for our beloved dogs and a fun and tasty treat. They contain calcium, phosphorus, fat, minerals, and protein. It is necessary to ensure that the bone we are giving them as a treat is longer than their muzzle. Uncooked bones have enzymes that break down the biofilm (a bacterial barrier in a dog’s test).
We should avoid feeding cooked bones to our dogs. Cooked bones can break down into small fragments, choking our dogs, making them suffer from diarrhea, vomiting, gastrointestinal blockage, and even rectal bleeding.
We must supervise our dogs while they chew bones to avoid any accident such as choking.
Is cow tongue good for dogs? Yes. It is good, nutritious, and healthy for our dogs. The cow tongue contains a wide range of vitamins, proteins, fats, etc., which are beneficial for our dogs’ bodies. The best way to feed it is to boil it, and providing it raw is better avoided.