Some wellness trends are nothing more than crazes providing little nutritional value and in certain cases are harmful altogether. It’s always good to be cautious of fads, but there is one that we can unquestionably get behind: bone broth for dogs.
Serving bone broth to pets has proven benefits when incorporated into a wholesome feeding schedule. While healthy additives like broth rarely pose risks, we still recommend you chat with your vet before making it a regular part of your pup’s diet.
Below are some of the main benefits of including bone broth in a diet, and a couple of delicious bone broth recipes for dogs.
What is Bone Broth?
It’s common for humans to cook soup or stew using leftover poultry and beef bones, yet few know that homemade broth doubles as a nutritious meal additive for canines.
Bone broth is a stock liquid packed with nutrients made from raw or cooked bones. The delicious taste is achieved by simmering poultry, beef, or pork bones (or all three!) for up to 24 hours. It’s also common to throw in a mix of vegetables for added flavor and nourishment.
But is bone broth good for dogs, too? Absolutely!
While bone broth alone should not be used as a meal replacement, it’s a nutritious addition to your dog’s regular feeding schedule to complement their normal diet.
Benefits of Bone Broth for Dogs
Bone broth is a tasty meal additive packed with major nutritional benefits. In conjunction with proper diet and exercise, consuming bone broth can provide benefits for dogs to support their overall well-being.
Most notably, it has been shown that bone broth:
- Protects Joints
Joint health is important for all canines but is especially a concern for senior dogs, dogs who have previously suffered injuries, and breeds prone to certain ailments. Joint cartilage wears down with continual use and becomes damaged with time.
Bone broth is a fantastic source of collagen and gelatin. This protein helps form connective tissue and promotes joint health.
- Detoxes the Liver
Livers can struggle to detoxify the body when battling all of the toxicity dogs are prone to consume. Dogs encounter things in everyday life that makes their liver work overtime: flooring cleaned and treated with chemicals, grass, and landscaping sprayed with poison, and other toxic compounds found in certain toys and treats
Livers only have a certain amount of the amino acid glycine; since bone broth contains glycine, it helps the liver get back on track.
- Supports Gut Health and Digestion
The body’s intestines are lined with tiny holes that act as a passage for nutrients to pass throughout the body. An unhealthy lifestyle can cause these holes to open wider – a condition called leaky gut. When these holes widen, undigested food and toxins begin to enter the body, causing it to develop allergies and food sensitivities.
Bone broth contains gelatin which helps restore and protect the gut lining. This fights against leaky gut and improves digestion.
Bone broth is an excellent addition to a dog’s existing healthy diet and lifestyle. Talk to your veterinarian before incorporating bone broth into a dog’s diet if they’ve been diagnosed with conditions like kidney disease or cancer.
Bone Broth for Dogs – Recipes
Purchasing bone broth is convenient, but pet owners often want to learn how to make bone broth for their dogs to be in full control. This is especially handy for pet parents concerned about unwanted added ingredients, like sugar.
Pet parents looking to avoid certain allergens can make organic bone broth for dogs. Since bone broth does not contain foods canines are commonly allergic to (grains, gluten, and dairy), it’s a safe addition to most diets.
Here are some of our favorite ways to prepare the bone broth for our pups:
Homemade Bone Broth for Dogs
Making bone broth is simple and requires few ingredients. Though bone both slow cooks for a long time, once it’s prepared, you can set it and forget it until it’s done.
Below is a simple bone broth recipe for your dog that you can add or subtract from to work with your pup’s diet.
- 2 pounds of bone (poultry or beef)
- Apple cider vinegar
- Optional: Add carrots and a tasty seasoning (our favorite is turmeric for its anti-inflammatory properties!)
- Place the bones in a large stock pot, pressure cooker, or slow cooker. Pour enough water in the pot to cover the bones.
- Add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to the water. This will help pull the nutrients from the bones.
- Fill the rest of the pot with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and let simmer for at least 6 hours.
- After 6 hours, remove any debris that has risen to create a film at the top of the broth.
- Cook slow on low heat for 24 hours for poultry bones, and 48 hours for beef bones. Note that cooking time may vary between a pressure cooker and a slow cooker.
- Once more discard of the hard layer formed at the top of the broth before serving. Bone broth can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
More broth for your buck: Pour some in an ice cube tray and freeze to make nutritious summertime popsicles!
Bone Broth Dog Treats
Making homemade dog treats sounds like it’d be time-consuming, but it’s pretty simple! Plus, you will have peace of mind that your pup is eating healthy and nutritious treats.
If you’re making your bone broth, be sure to keep the filmy layer of fat instead of discarding it, as you’ll need it for this recipe.
Enjoy our take on this delicious pumpkin bone broth treat recipe from Vanessa Baked!
- ½ cup of bone broth
- ⅓ cup of bone broth fat (or vegetable shortening)
- ½ cup of pumpkin puree (or butternut squash, peel, and seeds removed)
- 2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
- Peanut butter to spread
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- Combine bone broth and bone broth fat (or vegetable shortening) in a bowl and heat for 45 seconds, or until liquefied.
- Add pumpkin (or butternut squash) and stir, then add flour and stir until mixed. Knead the dough together with your hands.
- Roll the dough on the counter to ¼ inch thickness and cut out treats. Bake in the oven at 375° F for 40 minutes.
- While treats are still warm, spread peanut butter on top. Let the treats cool completely before feeding to your pup.
Paw Tip: Sprinkle bacon bits on top of the peanut butter spread for when your pup has been an extra good boy.
Store-bought Bone Broth for Dogs
As pet parents, we understand how hectic life gets among various human and animal responsibilities. If you’re finding it hard to make your bone broth but still want your pup to reap the benefits of it, you can always purchase it from the store.
These great bone broth treats and meal enhancers have the same benefits as the homemade options above:
- Honest Kitchen Bone Broth Pour Overs
- Only Natural Pet Free-Range Chicken Bone Broth
- Bocce’s Bakery Bone Broth Biscuits
Most homemade dog foods and treats are safe for your pup; however, you should always ask your veterinarian before introducing a new food into your pet’s diet.
Are you interested in other natural additives to support your dog’s diet and lifestyle? Try CBD oil to help alleviate pain and anxiety.