Every season, there is one or two trends that dog owners seem to focus on more than usual. For instance, over the past few years, people have asked a lot of questions about coconut oil for dogs, turmeric, sardines, essential oils, ketogenic diets, and fish oils among other topics.
While it is always good to be cautious about pet wellness fads, one that we can rally behind is bone broth for dogs.
This incredibly nutritious superfood is not only beneficial to the health of your dog but it also easy to make and inexpensive.
In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know about making homemade bone broth for your dog.
What is Bone Broth?
Bone broth is a fluid prepared by cooking bones in a pressure cooker or slow cooker with apple cider vinegar, garlic, and water for 2-24 hours.
Cooking the bones over a long period allows the ligament tissue and the joint to dissolve. It also ensures that the nutrients in the marrow and bone are absorbed fully into the broth.
Benefits of Bone Broth for dogs
So, why should you consider giving your dog bone broth? What’s special about it?
Bone broth is easy for pups to digest, nutrient-dense, and sparks the appetite for dogs. Most importantly, dogs just love it!
Below are the benefits of bone broth for dogs.
- It detoxifies your dog’s liver
- It is rich in a wide range of vitamins and minerals, including zinc, Iron, Collagen, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, glucosamine, and vitamins A, B, C, D, and K.
- Great nutrition for sick, elderly, and picky dogs. It is also good for dogs that need a break from solid food.
- It fosters a healthy digestive system. The gelatin in bone breath has been proven to help restore and protect the gut lining. Giving your dog bone broth, therefore, helps prevent leaky gut and improves digestion.
- Keeps your dog’s joints healthy. It contains glucosamine and other beneficial joint protecting compounds such as chondroitin and hyaluronic acid. The collagens in the broth also help strengthen and structure your dog’s bones.
- Have amino acids such as proline, glycerine, and arginine all of which have potent anti-inflammatory effects.
- It is free of common allergens hence unlikely to trigger allergies.
- Gelatin and Collagen in bone broth can also help your pooch maintain youthful skin texture and appearance.
Potential Side Effects
Are there side effects you should be aware of when it comes to giving your pooch bone broth?
Generally, bone broths for dogs are safe. However, some dogs might react poorly to certain ingredients found in a given recipe.
Another potential problem with bone broth is the long cooking hours, which is a characteristic of some broth recipes. For instance, in some recipes, up to 24 hours of cooking is recommended.
This increases the quantity of glutamic acid in the bone broth. Feeding your dog too much bone broth can, therefore, lead to some health problems.
What’s more, by giving your dog too much bone broth, they may over-consume certain types of amino acids and miss or not get enough of others. So, moderation is key.
Another issue is lead toxicity. Some animals could be exposed to greater levels of lead, something that could impact their bones as well as the broth we make out of such bones.
To reduce the risk of lead exposure, you must find high-quality protein and bone sources.
If your pet has allergies, go for bone broth products with simple ingredients. And if your dog has health issues such as cancer or liver disease, speak with your vet first before giving him any bone broth ingredient.
How Much Bone Broth Is Good For Your Dog?
The rule of thumb is that you should feed your dog 1 ounce for every 10 pounds of its body weight.
This means that one serving for a dog weighing 100 pounds is 10 ounces. You can feed this to your dog twice a day.
If you’ve never given your dog bone broth before, it is recommended that you start it with a serving per day.
The broth may take some time to agree with your pup’s digestive system.
Once you are certain that your furry friend likes this treat and that it agrees with its system, you can increase the servings to two.
If you want to give it more than the recommended two servings per day, divide it into small portions and then feed it all day to your pet.
Common Myths Surrounding Bone Broth
Like any other dog food fad, there is a lot of buzz around bone broth. If you haven’t tried bone broth, such buzz can confuse you.
Let’s try and debunk a few myths surrounding this superfood.
1. Bone Broth Is Just Another Craze
Lately, it seems as if bone broth is everywhere, especially with health benefit claims like improved digestion and joint healing in dogs.
However, there is a perception among some people that it’s just another fad boasting a long list of benefits.
The truth is that bone broth is a Superfood that has a rich history that can be traced to our ancestors.
2. Bone Broth Doesn’t Have That Much Nutritional Value
It might seem too farfetched that a mere stock made from animal parts that we usually discard could make such healthy treats for our dogs.
Well, here is what you should know: a single bone broth cup contains roughly as much protein as that in a chicken wing, a large egg, or even two bacon slices.
Besides, bone broth is also packed with glucosamine, amino acids, collagen, and many vitamins and minerals.
3. The Soup Alone Can’t Ease Arthritis Pain
You probably know by now that bone broth is packed with lots of glucosamine. This is an important nutrient when it comes to reducing joint pain, although it provides other benefits, especially for arthritic dogs.
Collagen is known to nourish the skeletal system. It is also important for rebuilding bone constantly lost as a result of normal wear and tear and aging.
This way, bone broth helps in easing preexisting arthritis pain and also slows its progression.
4. Picky Dogs Won’t Touch It
There are just some dogs that won’t eat your treat, no matter what it is. But one of the biggest advantages of bone broth is that it is a delicious meat gravy that can be fed to dogs as a snack or even over their preferred food.
There are great chances that your pup will love it unless he is a vegetarian.
5. It Will Cause Upset To The Bellies Of Sensitive Dogs
While it is recommended to always consult your doctor before you make diet changes, bone broth is generally safe and even beneficial for pooches with delicate stomachs.
Bone broth is one of the kindest foods to give your dog since it is made from bones—the most basic dog food.
General Procedure for Making Homemade Bone Broth
There are many recipes of bone broth but all of them have two things in common:
- Adding Acidic Liquid: This helps in a more effective drawing of the minerals from the bones. The most common acidic liquid is raw apple cider vinegar, which is known for its ability in drawing minerals out of plants. You can also use lemon juice as a substitute.
- Long Cooking Time: This optimizes the number of nutrients that you’ll get from the bones. When you use a pressure cooker, it can take 2-3 hours. A slow cooker often works best but you can also use a pot on a stove.
1. Start With Raw Or Cooked Bones
Make sure you mix joint bones with cartilage especially if you are after collagen and other joint care nutrients. You can use any wild, grass-fed or free-range bones. Chicken frames are also good.
You may gather and save bones from family meals and store them in a freezer. However, make sure you rinse off any sauce that could be bad for the digestive system of your dog.
If you want the bone broth to double up as a meal, you can add turkey leg quarters, meaty bones or a whole chicken. Meat from other species may also be added.
2. Cover The Bones Completely With Water And Add Vinegar
The water cover should be an inch or more, which helps to keep the broth denser. To the mixture, add 2 tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar.
Cover it with a lid for the whole duration of the cooking. Finally, set the slow cooker to low. Remove any scum layer forming.
Dispose of the bones and put the soft tissue and the meat back in. In case the broth has jelly-like consistency when chilled, that’s a sign that it’s been well-cooked.
Cool it and leave the hard fat layer until the bone broth is eaten. It is okay to feed this fat to your dog unless it has pancreatitis.
If you cannot follow the above general procedure, here are specific recipes that you may find useful:
1. Chicken Feet Broth
- Chicken feet
- Lemon juice
- Cut off nails from the chicken feet.
- Put the chicken feet in a pressure cooker.
- Add lemon juice (it helps to drain nutrients and minerals from the bones into the soup).
- Add water (ensure it covers the bones).
- Lock the pressure cooker. Ensure that you close the pressure valve.
- Set pressure cooker to high pressure and cook for at least 75 minutes.
- Allow it to cool then remove bones from the broth. You can serve your broth or freeze for future use.
2. Beef Marrow Bone Broth
- 3 pounds beef marrow bones
- 4 carrots
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- Put beef marrow bones, carrots, apple cider vinegar (it also pulls minerals and nutrients from bones to the broth) and olive oil in a croc-pot.
- Add water (it should cover the bones by at least an inch).
- Boil for at least 24 hours since it’s a slow cooker.
- Drain the broth from bones. Allow it to cool before serving.
3. Turkey Legs Bone Broth
- Turkey legs
- 5 cloves fresh garlic
- Raw apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
- Turmeric powder
- Healthy greens such as oregano, parsley or kale (optional).
- Put turkey legs in a slow cooker or pressure cooker.
- Add garlic, apple cider or lemon juice and water.
- Add greens if you choose to use it.
- Boil for 20-24 hours if you are using a slow cooker and 75 minutes for a pressure cooker.
- Add turmeric powder a few minutes before it is ready.
- Remove the turkey legs, cool and serve.
4. Pig Legs Bone Broth
- 4 pig legs
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 carrots
- Lemon juice
- ¾ cup fresh parsley
- Olive oil
- Put pig legs, lemon juice, garlic, carrots, and olive oil in a pot.
- Boil on low heat for at least 24 hours.
- Add fresh parsley 10 minutes before draining.
- Allow it to cool.
- Fish out the bones.
- The broth is ready to serve. You can also freeze it for use when needed.
5. Mushroom Bone Broth
- Chicken necks and duck feet
- 2 carrots
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 pieces fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoon salt (add taste)
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 3 shiitake mushroom
- Put all the ingredients in a large pot.
- Boil at high temperatures and remove the foam.
- Once the foam is over, bring to low heat and allow it to boil for almost 20 hrs.
- Add parsley 10 minutes before it is done.
- Drain the broth from the bones
- Allow it to cool then serve or refrigerate
What’s The Fuss about Bone Broth Powder?
Want to give your dog bone broth but you don’t have the time and patience to make it? Bone broth powder could just be the best thing for you!
The main advantage of bone broth powder is that you don’t have to be constantly checking your pot every hour when preparing a broth for your dog.
You only need to sprinkle a spoonful of the powder onto one of the daily meals of your furry friend.
Bone broth powder is an excellent food topper, whether you feed it fresh or kibble. You could also mix it with a little organic peanut butter for a great-tasting treat!
Benefits of a Bone Broth Powder
- It is a convenient and easy way of providing a nutrient boost to your dogs
- Dogs love the taste
- The antlers used in the powder are cruelty-free and have been naturally shed
Pro Tips to Help You Spruce Up Your Bone Broth
- Chicken feet, knuckles, and joints add a ton of gelatin and flavor to the broth
- Add in healthy and dog-friendly vegetables for added nutrition
- You can use lemon juice in place of apple cider vinegar. It will work perfectly
- Make popsicles from your broth and serve it in the summer. It makes a wonderful summer treat.
- Add the following ingredients for an extra supplement boost:
- Ginger: serves as an anti-inflammatory and is believed to fight cancer
- Rosemary: promotes digestion and serves as an antioxidant
- Kelp: promotes balanced glandular and thyroid system
- Turmeric: Another potent anti-inflammatory
- Medical Mushrooms: Promotes a healthy immune system
Storing Your Bone Broth
Considering the many benefits of bone broth, being armed with a ready recipe in your fridge is always a fantastic idea. You can store your broth in the fridge to last you several days.
The easiest and one method that I highly recommend is to freeze the bone broth in a muffin tray.
Put half a cup of the broth in each disk of the muffin tray. This will allow you to get the exact amount of broth that you need for a recipe without defrosting the whole bag.
Besides, with a muffin tray, you just need a few runs to freeze a whole batch.
It is also convenient to freeze this way because you only need to lay the disks in a flat bag, which takes very little space.
5 Videos to Watch If You Want To Prepare A Good Bone Broth For Dogs
In this YouTube video, Dr. Judy Morgan takes you through an easy recipe for making a delicious, healthy and natural bone broth for your fur fella.
This video contains steps and all the ingredients you need to make a tasty treat for your dog. You will be walked through all the things you need to do to make a great bone broth for your dog.
Want to show your dog some love by brewing a bone broth for him? This video detail all the steps, ingredients and how to go about making bone broth for your lovely pet. You also get information on the best bones to use.
Dr. Karen Becker, who is integrative wellness and proactive vegetarian, demonstrates the steps for making a bone broth from home.
This video features a simple 3-ingredient recipe that you can use to prepare a delicious homemade bone broth for your dogs. The 2-minute video is a great resource for anyone looking to make their broth at home.
1. Is bone broth good for sick dogs?
Bone broth is an extremely mild liquid that sits comfortably in the upset stomach of your canine friend.
Besides, it is nutritious and provides a delicious way of adding flavor and moisture to dry food. What makes it even more ideal for sick dogs is that it encourages dogs with a poor appetite to eat.
2. Is store-bought bone broth good for dogs?
Store-bought bone broth is good for dogs as long as you purchase organic, non-GMO types that don’t have preservatives and added salt.
3. Can you give dogs bones from bone broth?
Bones from bone broth are extremely dangerous for dogs. It’s important to remove all the bones from the broth before you serve it to your dog. This will save you from making an emergency trip to the vet.
Just to be sure that no bones get into your broth, make sure you strain the broth.
4. Is Turkey bone broth good for dogs?
Cooked turkey bones can splinter and puncture the digestive tract of your dog. Generally, poultry and fish bones aren’t good for bone broth.
5. Is it okay to feed your dog bone broth meant for human consumption?
Feeding your dog bone broth meant for humans is a bad idea. This is because products designated for humans tend to contain vegetable flavorings that could pose danger to pets.
Always feed your dog bone broth specifically meant for them.
6. What’s the best meat for bone broth?
If you want your broth to be a meal for your dog as well, you can throw in some meats and vegetables. For instance, you can use mutton, beef, and pork depending on what you deem fit for your dog.
Turkey meat is also okay and so is chicken. They all make for great flavor and also add lots of nutrients to the broth.
Bone broth is advantageous to dogs in several ways. It is particularly good for senior pooches or those that have chronic conditions.
The best part is that all dogs love bone broth.
And when it comes to bone broth for dogs, the best idea is to make a homemade treat by yourself.
If you didn’t know which ingredients to use or the steps to follow, I hope that all your questions have been answered in this post.