Eaten by humans since prehistoric times, beef, the generic term for meat from cattle, is a nutrient-rich protein source ideal for both humans and dogs.
Since canis lupus familiaris, your family dog, was domesticated some 12-15,000 years ago, and since cattle began being cultivated for food around 10,000 years ago, it is probably safe to say that man’s best friend was partly enticed into the family fold by some of the bovine parts their human companions didn’t want or need.
How little has changed. I do much the same when feeding my own dogs today. When the owner of my local farm shop calls to say he’s had a beef cow slaughtered, I’m round there like a shot.
While the cuts that humans value most go into his chiller cabinet, my dogs get to eat the most nutritious parts that by and large modern man no longer appreciates. The heart and tongue, the liver and kidneys and much more besides. (See ox heart below and then ask yourself who gets the better deal)!
Benefits of beef
Beef is rich in vitamins B6 and B12, high in iron and zinc, phosphorus and selenium, and a prime source of high quality protein for dogs.
Highly nutritious and readily available organ meats from beef include:
Beef (Ox) Heart is high in choline, iron, potassium and vitamins B6 and B12. Beef heart is a delicacy in many parts of the world and higher in protein, thiamine, folate, selenium, phosphorus and zinc than steak or roast beef.
Beef (Ox) Liver is one of the most concentrated sources of natural vitamin A of any food, and a great source of choline, copper, folic acid, iron, zinc and vitamin B12, which helps with fatigue, mental ability and nerve health, as well as preventing anaemia.
Liver is as highly nutritious for dogs as it is for humans. Importantly though, liver should be fed to dogs in moderation because as beneficial as vitamin A is, it really is possible to have too much of a good thing. Liver should comprise no more than 5% of a dog’s total daily food intake.
Protein-rich beef provides the essential fatty acids, minerals, omega-3 and vitamins that give your dog a healthy coat and skin, supple joints and strong muscles. Look out especially for organ meats as they’re generally the cheapest and the best!