Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Tuesday Reviewsday: Dr. Harvey's Oracle Tripe

A few weeks ago Dr Harveys contacted me to see if I'd be interested in trying out their newest Oracle complete meal mix - tripe!  Here... their photo is way cooler than mine.

Ah screw it, my photo is cool too.

First, let's talk about green tripe.  Dog food aficionados know what it is, but I'm pretty sure no one else does.  Simply put, tripe is the stomach from ruminant animals - such as cows.  Sounds disgusting, but it's basically a superfood for our dogs.  Now, the tripe you'll find for human consumption has been washed, boiled, and bleached.  Green tripe, on the other hand, hasn't had its wonderful nutrients and enzymes removed, making it one of the healthiest things you can feed your dog.

Here is what Dr. Harveys has to say about their new tripe complete meal, and really tripe in general:
Dr. Harvey’s, manufacturer of fine all-natural health foods, treats, herbal supplements and herbal grooming essentials for companion animals, has added the truly irresistible Oracle Tripe to the existing line of highly nutritious, freeze-dried foods for dogs and cats. Raw green tripe is a very high quality protein with an abundance of amino acids, omega 3’s, omega 6’s, enzymes and vitamins essential for every dog’s diet. 
Tripe is known to be one of the best sources of meat protein available for dogs. Using tripe as a main protein source can help dogs with a myriad of health problems, including, skin problems, digestive issues, allergies and kidney problems. 
“Feeding a protein source such as tripe that is highly digestible is likely more beneficial to dogs with kidney problems than low protein, hard to digest prescription diets that so many dogs are given,” commented Wendy Shankin-Cohen, President of Dr. Harvey’s. “Dogs really don’t enjoy these prescription diets and they really love tripe. Because of the appealing flavor of freeze-dried Tripe, even the pickiest dogs will be eager for mealtime.” 
“Raw green tripe is truly a perfect food for dogs suffering from kidney problems due to its low phosphorus levels and palatability,” says Dr. Harvey Cohen, founder of Dr. Harvey’s. “Tripe can be a miracle for many dogs with kidney problems or chronic renal failure who have been put on low or no protein diets and have, as a result, lost all interest in their food. Tripe is also very helpful for dogs with allergies and digestive problems and is a great food for keeping all dogs at the peak of health.”

The main complaint I hear from dog owners about tripe is that it smells horrendous.  It really does. Raw green tripe (and most of the canned versions available) smells like "barnyard" if we're going to be polite about it, but I prefer to be honest:  Green tripe smells like rancid cow manure.  Knowing this, I was curious to see how smelly Dr. Harvey's new tripe-based Oracle would be.

Pictured above is what the mix looks like in its dry state.  The tripe balls are cute.  They make me want to get meatballs at Ikea.  Also, the dry mix does NOT smell like rancid cow leavings!  Excellent!

Before I get too carried away, here are the ingredients:
Tripe, whole egg, rolled oats, sweet potatoes, carrots, flax seed meal, calcium citrate, barley, spelt, green beans, zucchini, broccoli, peas, beets, parsley, dried yeast, lecithin, alfalfa, dried kelp, dried ground fenugreek, dried ground fennel, dried ground ginger, dried ground peppermint, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, vitamin E supplement, manganese proteinate, vitamin A acetate, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, rosemary extract, and mixed tocopherols.  

And the guaranteed analysis:
Min Crude protein 22%, Min crude fat 14%, max crude fiber 4%, max moisture 10%

I added 3/4 C of hot water and let it sit for 12 minutes.  

Perhaps 3/4 C was too much water, but I'd rather add too much than too little.  Looks pretty appetizing!  (And yes, at this point I really wanted Ikea meatballs!)  ... and still NO hint of that trademark "cow manure on a hot day" tripe smell! Instead, it has the same "medicinal and slightly metallic" odor that I noticed with the other Oracle varieties.  It's not a bad smell at all.

Taste test: Success! (Though the veggies always seem to confuse my dogs.)

In short, I feel the new Oracle Tripe is on par with the other Oracle varieties, and infinitely more fun due to the adorable little tripe balls.  What I like about Dr. Harvey's Oracle formulas is that they're chunkier than other just-add-water mixes on the market.  Instead of turning into a paste like other brands, they turn into more of a chunky stew.

This is definitely something I'd keep on hand and feed in my raw rotation.  While it's not "raw" in the way I usually feed raw, it's definitely not kibble!  I'd also 10000% recommend it to people who vomit at the smell of traditional raw green tripe.  Tripe is really important, and Dr. Harvey's Oracle Tripe is a great way to feed such an important and beneficial superfood without the nasty tripe smell.

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