Bone broth is all the rage in human diet circles right now. Despite the new and fancy name, bone broth has been around for centuries. But are there any benefits in bone broth for dogs? We take a look at the pros and cons, and how to safely feed bone broth to your pet.
What is bone broth?
Bone broth is essentially just a stock that’s been made from simmering bones and connective tissue slowly for hours to draw the nutrients and goodness out of them.
Ever since people learned to make pots, and then simmer bones, stews, and soups in those pots over the flames, bone broth has been nourishing the human species.
Chefs use this stock as a base for gravy, sauces, soups, and other dishes, and many people cook this and drink it on its own as a healthy tonic.
Now touted as the latest “miracle food” due to the many essential nutrients and anti-inflammatory properties it contains – we’re rediscovering how easy bone broth is to make, and the different ways we can use it.
Cooking up bone broth together with dog-safe vegetables is a delicious and easy way to give your dog a nutrient boost.
What are the health benefits of bone broth for dogs?
Broth has anti-inflammatory properties that support joints and bones, plus improve digestion and give a hydration boost.
During slow cooking, the cartilage, collagen, and gelatin contained in the bones and connective tissues gets broken down and released into the cooking water, together with amino acids and nutrients such as:
- Chondroitin sulfate
The specific benefits of bone broth for dogs can include:
- Healthy gut
- Immunity support
- Weight management
- Better sleep
- Improved digestion
- Healthy joints
- Improved hydration
- Shiny coat
- Healthy skin
- Improved appetite
If your dog is experiencing inflammation, feeding them nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory whole foods like bone broth can help them achieve a healthier state of being, with less metabolic stress. And it’s also incredibly tasty for them!
As bone broth can be made from different animal bones, such as pork, beef, chicken, and fish – it’s hard to calculate the exact nutrients in each batch that you cook.
As a guideline, one cup of beef broth (the most common type of bone broth) can contain:
- 31 calories
- 5 grams of protein
- 12 grams of fat
- 3 grams of carbohydrates
- 1 gram of sugar
- 0 grams of fiber
Where to buy bone broth for dogs
You can usually find bone broth ready made in your local supermarket or natural health store. You’ll usually find it in the freezer or fridge sections near other meat products or soups.
Many commercial dog food brands also make long-life broth, and dried bone broth powder that you can buy online, or in pet stores.
Best bone broth products for dogs
Easy recipe for homemade beef bone broth for dogs
If you can’t find bone broth locally – you’ll be happy to know it’s super easy to make!
It’s also cost effective, as a little goes a long way for your dog. Best of all, dogs generally LOVE the taste of bone broth, so even if you have a furry fussy eater, it’s sure to go down a treat with them.
You can also use this bone broth recipe as a base for your family’s own soups, stews, and sauces.
- 1 pound of beef marrow bones (or any other raw bones e.g. lamb, turkey, duck, chicken)
- 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
- 8 chicken feet
- 2 stalks of chopped celery
- 1 chopped carrot
- Any other dog-safe vegetables you want to add
- 1/4 cup of chopped parsley or cilantro
- Enough water to cover these ingredients in the pot
- Add bones, chicken feet, and vegetables to your slow cooker
- Add the water and cider vinegar
- Cover the pot and cook slowly on a low heat for 24 hours
- Check the water level and top it up if the bones become exposed
- Strain the broth into a large container
- Allow to cool, and then refrigerate for 4 hours, or overnight
- Remove the fat layer from the surface
- Now it’s ready to serve to your dog!
Note: DO NOT FEED THE COOKED BONES TO YOUR DOG!
Your dog’s bone broth will keep up to 5 days in the refrigerator, or for up to 3 months in the freezer.
You can freeze the prepared bone broth in ice cube trays to give to your dog as a cool treat, and use them as a guide to appropriate serving portions if you want to defrost it and add it to your dog’s meals.
Recommended serving size of bone broth for dogs
All dogs have different food tolerances, and it’s best to start your dog slow on any new food. As a guideline, here’s how much bone broth you can feed your dog, depending on its weight and size:
- Dogs less than 20 pounds: 2-3 tablespoons of bone broth per day
- Dogs between 20 and 40 pounds: 1/4 cup of bone broth per day
- Dogs between 50 and 80 pounds: 1/2 cup of bone broth per day
- Dogs over 80 pounds: 3/4 cup of bone broth per day
Consult with your vet if you’re unsure of how much bone broth you should give to your dog, and how often.
How to serve bone broth to your dog
On its own
Bone broth is yummy all by itself for your dog. Simply tip some into your pet’s bowl and let them lap it up!
As a meal topper
Pour some bone broth over your dog’s usual meal as a tasty, nutrient-rich topping. Adding the broth to your dog’s kibble can add extra hydration, aid with digestion, and soften the kibble nicely as well.
As we mentioned above, freezing the broth in ice cube trays is a tasy, nutritious snack to keep your dog busy and refresh them on hot days. It’s healthier than plain ice cubes too.
In summary – benefits of bone broth for dogs
There are many health benefits of bone broth for dogs – including extra protein, extra hydration, and functional properties such as reducing inflammation and promoting healthy joints.
Many dog food brands offer bone broth as part of their range, and you can easily find this online, or at any store that has a good range of dog foods.
Bone broth is super simple to make, and a little will last a long time in the fridge or freezer for your dog. We’ve never met a dog that didn’t love the taste of bone broth, so it can be a fantastic treat for fussy eaters!
We suggest asking your vet for advice before introducing any new food to your dog’s diet – no matter how healthy it is for them. Your vet can advise you on whether bone broth would be a good addition to your dog’s food, how much you should give them, and how often they can eat it.