Is Bone Broth Good For Dogs?

is bone broth good for dogs

Bone broth has long been believed to have powerful healing capabilities. Bone broth for dogs is the pet equivalent of chicken soup for humans.

Like humans, dogs need to obtain a certain amount of nutrients to live healthy and vibrant lives. Serving bone broth to your dog has proven health benefits when incorporated into a wholesome feeding schedule. 

What Is Bone Broth?

In just about every culture, bone broth has been a staple in traditional diets. This is due to the broths being rich in nutrients, easy to digest, and heavy in flavor. They also use a lot of inedible animal parts such as bones and skin, which are normally discarded.

Bone broth is a liquid stock packed with nutrients. The broth is made by simmering stock for one or two days.  

The slow cooking releases many nutritious compounds, including collagen, amino acids (like proline, glycine, arginine, and glutamine), glucosamine, and trace minerals.

How Much Do You Give Your Pet?

Introduce bone broth to your dog by giving a little bit over their regular food to see how they react and slowly increase the amount. Start with about four to eight ounces several times per week. 

You can increase the amount as long as your dog doesn't show any side effects. Watch out for symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, and lack of appetite. Increase the amount to four to eight ounces per day, depending on the size of your dog.

Some bone broth manufacturers recommend a serving size of about one ounce per 10 pounds of your pet's body weight. If you are in doubt, consult your vet for recommendations.

Ingredients of Bone Broth

Bone broth is made of a variety of animal parts. Mix things like bones, marrow, skin, feet, tendons, and ligaments with herbs and vegetables and an acid like vinegar. 

Traditional broth is usually made using parts from cattle, chicken, pig, and fish. 

Benefits Of Bone Broth

Bone broth for dogs is hydrating and nutrient-dense, full of amino acids and minerals that are hard to get from other foods. 

Good For Joints And Arthritis

Tendons connect muscles to bones, and ligaments connect bones to one another. Dogs need both these connective tissues to be strong and healthy.  

Tissues over time break down, which causes your pet to slow down. Bone broth can help provide the proteins to help support and rebuild these tissues. 

Bone broth also has benefits for senior pets with arthritis. As pets age, the protective layer of cartilage between their bones can thin. Thinning leads to wear and tear of the joints, causing inflammation, fluid buildup, and pain. Bone broth is a natural source of glucosamine-chondroitin, which is proven to help keep cartilage healthy and joint pain at bay.

Liver Detox

Boiling bones break the marrow into gelatin. Gelatin contains collagen full of amino acids like proline and glycine. Both are essential to dog joint health.  

Glycine, also provided in limited amounts by the liver, is also a key factor in a detoxification process. Boosting the amount of glycine in your pet's diet can help support the liver.

Supports Gut And Digestion

Intestinal lining contains millions of tiny holes that allow the passage of digested nutrients to enter the body. Poor diet, bacterial overgrowth, and stress can cause more holes to open or enlarge the natural holes. This is called leaky gut. 

A leaky gut allows undigested food toxins and yeast to pass. The body will notice the undigested food as foreign matter and will attack it. This is how allergies and food sensitivities develop. 

Bone broth contains gelatine, which can plug the holes and fight against leaky gut. 

Great Source Of Minerals

Dogs that typically eat a diet of dried and packaged foods might be missing many important minerals. These help with essential functions like heart health, nerve signaling, hydration, muscle contractions, and sleep. 

Adding the broth to their water bowl might encourage your dog to drink more water, keeping your pet better hydrated. A sick dog or a dog lacking in appetite may be unwilling to eat or drink. The aroma of bone broth might make it easier for your pet to eat and stay fueled.

Nutrition For Sick Dogs

No one likes it when their pet suffers from vomiting or diarrhea. Getting a sick pet back onto a healthy diet and solid foods can be a tricky task. Bone broth is an excellent source of essential minerals that can boost the immune system. 

Dog bone broth is the perfect additive to a meal to ensure your pet is getting much-needed nutrients. It also increases fluid consumption. Bone broth is also loaded with glycine, which aids digestion by regulating the synthesis of bile salts and secretion of gastric acid.

Pour the broth over some dried or moist food to add more moisture and nutrients. It can also be added to the water bowl for dogs who are not eating solid food.

Easy To Make At Home

Bone broth for dogs is an easy way to treat your pet. All that is required is a bit of chopping and patience. You can cook the broth on the stove, in a slow cooker or a pressure cooker.

The main difference between homemade and store-bought broths is that you control what goes into the broth. The majority of store-bought broths are not traditional bone broths. 

Food companies will use fake meat flavors in bouillon cubes, soup, and sauce mixes. Many store-bought options are high in sodium and monosodium glutamate (MSG), which can negatively affect health. These don't have the same benefits as homemade broth.

Choosing to make bone broth at home can be a time-consuming activity, taking one to two days minimum to prepare. A good alternative is bone broth powder used for both dogs and humans.

Free From Common Allergens

Traditional bone broth is not made by using any grains gluten or other common food allergens like dairy. Make beef or chicken broth for dogs that are allergic to fish and shellfish. Dog chicken broth is easy to digest and is unlikely to trigger allergies.

Homemade Bone Broth For Dogs

While you can buy broth from the store, most pet owners will choose to make bone broth themselves, so they are in control of the ingredients. This is important for owners wanting to watch out for unwanted additives like sugar.

Ingredients 

To make a traditional bone broth recipe, the essential ingredients are bones, fat, a type of acid, and water. Include meat and vegetables too for added flavor. Buy grass-fed bones from your local farmers market, an online butcher, or health food store. 

If you make bone broth out of beef or lamb, brown any leftover meat or organ meat before adding it to the pot. Poultry and FIsh are fine to put in the pot without browning first. Beef bones don't require cooking beforehand. 

Use a bit of acid in your broth as this helps to draw the minerals out of the bones. Raw apple cider vinegar is commonly used, but lemon juice is a good alternative.

Good Additions To Bone Broth

Kombu kelp is a seaweed containing a range of vitamins and minerals like iodine, carotenes, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

Parsley is a herb that has anti-inflammatory properties, which can improve digestion. Shiitake mushrooms contain antioxidants and beta-glucan that support your pet's immune system.

Spices like turmeric, ginger, and garlic have powerful antioxidants that soothe upset stomachs, fight inflammation, and can provide disease-fighting compounds.

Broths that are made with fennel, celery, and carrots can soothe an upset stomach and aid in further digestion.

How To Make Bone Broth For Dogs

Place your choice of bones in a large stockpot in layers. You can also use a slow cooker or pressure cooker. Add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or choice of acid to water and cover the bones. Leave plenty of room for the water to boil.

Heat slowly. Once the water boils, reduce to a simmer and leave for at least six hours. Remove the scum from the top of the broth as necessary.

Cook the broth slow and at low heat. Chicken bones can cook for 24 hours, and beef bones can cook for 48 hours. Cooking bone broth slow is necessary to fully extract the nutrients in and around the bone. Cooking time will depend on which method you choose.

In the last 30 minutes of cooking, add in a variety of vegetables such as carrots, fennel, and celery for extra nutrient value. Adding them in at this time will not turn them to mush and will be easy to remove. In the last 10 minutes, add any herbs or spices. 

After cooking, leave the broth to cool. A layer of fat will harden at the top of the broth. This layer protects the liquid underneath. Discard this layer only when you can use the broth. This is important as it can be damaging to your pet. The layer has been linked to causing pancreatitis. Remove any bones that have not broken down. Do not feed your dog any bones from the broth. 

Bone broth can be stored in your refrigerator for about four days. It can also be frozen for later use. Freeze in ice cube trays to defrost one serving at a time.

To serve, spoon cold over your dog's regular meals or heat slightly as a nutritious treat.

Side Effects Of Bone Broth For Dogs

Despite being rich in nutrients, you should be aware of the side effects of giving your dog bone broth. Your dog may react poorly to certain ingredients found in some bone broth recipes.

If your pet has too much broth, they may over-consume certain amino acids without getting enough of the other. Like your health, moderation and variation is important to your dog's overall health. Make a range of broths and mix it up.

There is also the risk that the bone broth can be contaminated with heavy metalsor bacteria. These can cause issues like gastrointestinal trouble or bone-related problems if not treated. 

Avoid giving bone broth to your dog if they have serious health issues like liver disease or cancer. Speak with your vet first.

To reduce the risk of side effects, look for a bone broth made from good quality ingredients. If you make bone broth from scratch, choose human-grade protein sources from trustworthy farmers or butchers.

Using a pressure cooker and cooking the broth for 24 hours reduces the chance of bacteria. Browned and cooked meat is also safer than using raw meat. If your dog has allergies, opt for a bone broth made with simple ingredients, avoiding herbs and seaweeds.

Bone broth for dogs isn't a nutritionally complete meal for long term feeding. It should be used as a base for a full meal or supplemented into your dog's regular diet. 

The broth is a healthy way to moisten dry food making it more palatable for sick pets or lacking an appetite. It is also a great way to hydrate your pet when they are ill.

Freeze the broth in ice cube trays, making it easy to defrost servings. If you don't want to spend too much time making a homemade broth, look for high quality, store made bone broth for dogs. Choose grass-fed and organic options that are human grade.

Bone Broth is something you can share with your dog, and you both can reap the benefits. While including healthy additives like broth to your dog's diet is low risk to their health, it is still recommended to speak with your vet before making it a regular part of their diet.