Which Meats To Use?
The same types of meats are suitable for dogs and cats. The most commonly accessible are beef, chicken, turkey and lamb. If you have access to venison, buffalo, emu or elk, these are also good choices. Below are some suggestions of meats that are easy to find and tend to be most economical but, all other cuts of meats are suitable as well. Use what is available to you and choose a busy butcher to access the freshest meats. The best choices are organic and free range. Feed one type of meat per meal, ie. beef, chicken, turkey or lamb. It may cause indigestion if meats are mixed and the body works harder to breakdown different proteins at once. However it is fine to mix meats from the same animal. Ground beef and beef heart are excellent to mix in the same meal. Cut all meats into bite size chunks or use a meat grinder.
Beef: regular ground beef, stewing beef, and beef heart
Chicken: hearts, thighs and legs are easy to cut and have a good amount of fat, ground is easy although it is quite lean
Turkey: thighs are easiest to cut, legs are somewhat difficult due to the small bones that run lengthwise. If you find a butcher that prepares their ground meats on premises they may save you the chicken or turkey skin upon request. This is great to add to the ground turkey or chicken as these are very lean on their own
The nutrients in organ meats are very different than the muscle meats and are very important. If your store does not seem to have any organ meats, always ask. The Meat Department manager at your grocery store will most likely be able to order some in for you. Stock up and freeze it. As with the muscle meats, it is best not to mix meat types. Therefore, if you are feeding beef that day, use beef liver or beef kidney. Liver tends to be better tolerated when mixed and is the most nutrient rich. If you have trouble finding the various types of livers and other organs then choose to mix beef liver with the other muscle meats over not including the liver. Another choice is to purchase dried liver powder as it is convenient, clean and versatile. When preparing fresh liver consider using the food processor or blender if you prefer not to handle and chop it.
Beef: sliced beef liver, beef kidney
Chicken: chicken livers or a mixed package of chicken organs called gizzards (may include hearts)
Turkey: the only time I’ve had access to turkey organs is when they come inside the whole turkey
Lamb: kidney, liver
Pork: Don’t dismiss as an option….Fact: Trichinosis is now virtually nonexistent in Canada due to improved production methods. In Canada, there has not been a case of trichinosis related to pork in over 15 years. Trichinella is killed when pork is frozen at minus 5 degrees F for 25 days OR to minus 22 degrees F for 25 hours. According to Agriculture Canada, trichinosis is destroyed in any meat if cooked to an internal temperature of 137°F (58°C), well below the recommended 160°F (70°C) for a medium doneness.