The Benefits of Bone Broths for Dogs
Cultures around the globe have been cooking up bone broth for centuries, but only recently has the recipe regained momentum in mainstream cooking. This immune-boosting super food isn’t only beneficial for humans, it also makes a fine supplement for dogs, young and old. Rich in perks such as gelatin, potassium and calcium, bone broth aids in your dog’s gut health, joint and bone condition and an overall immune system, especially later in life.
So, what is bone broth? Different from traditional soup or stock—which may include toxic ingredients such as onion or garlic—bone broth for dogs combines beef, chicken, or a variety of animal bones in a slow cooker, stock pot or pressure cooker with water and apple cider vinegar. A litany of beneficial vitamins such as C, K and D, among many others, make up this doggie favorite.
What’s more, making bone broth requires minimal cooking skills, and reuses otherwise discarded beef or chicken bones after a big family meal. Whether your pup is young and spry or needs some help with a difficult stomach, sluggish immune system, or general bone and joint complications as they get older, consider this bone broth recipe to please both their health and taste buds.
Health Benefits of Bone Broth for Dogs
Just one cup of bone broth a day, supplemented with their usual favorite food, contains enough fiber and gelatin to aid in leaky gut syndrome and other digestive issues such as dog anal gland complications. If your sick dog is on the mend after being ill, both chicken bone broth or beef bone broth aids in the reintroduction of food and nutrients to a sensitive tummy. This makes it both a cost-effective and nutrient-loaded option for giving your dog a treat, especially when they’re under the weather. And what’s more, your dog will love the taste and delicious odor of the cooking meat throughout the house, encouraging a boost in appetite.
Bone broth ingredients lead to a list of additional advantages. Other perks of gelatin, for example, lead to a healthy, shiny coat and skin. Simmering a pot of both broth also creates a natural defense against ongoing respiratory infections.
Even if your pup is full of health, this recipe acts as a multivitamin in a pot, supplying the extra nutrients their everyday food may not provide. Most importantly, your dog will be thrilled by its naturally beef and chicken flavor.
Bone broth has been a buzz word on the tongues of chefs and pet owners recently, but this isn’t a passing fad. A true superfood, broths have been used for humans, cats, and dogs for centuries. It must be reiterated however, that a post of bone broth should be paired with dog food as it cannot stand on its own.
As mentioned above, bone broth for dogs differs from other meat stocks, such as beef broth, chicken broth or chicken soup. Pre-packaged variations may include added sodium, dangerous ingredients for dogs, or meat substitutes. Stock made at home still includes nutrient-rich ingredients like gelatin but is cooked for much fewer hours. This does not give minerals a chance to fully pull from the bones.
It may seem confusing that a simple soup-like food has all these health benefits for your dog. The collagen in the meat bones is crucial to joint and bone health, and often difficult to obtain from a modern dog food diet. Though raw bones—often given to dogs for chewing—contain these nutrients, making bone broth is an example of when cooking provides more accessible benefits than the raw alternative. The water and apple cider vinegar pull more minerals from the bone during the cooking process.
Good Candidates for Bone Broth
Cooking up a pot of bone broth benefits all types of dogs; but those healing or aging receive a particular immune boost from minerals in the beef and chicken bones. Known for its high Vitamin C content, a bone broth diet fights against infections, helping your pup get past any lasting illness. Studies have found that bone’s connective tissue contain the helpful amino acid glycine, excellent for balancing and detoxing the liver.
Packed with Chondroitin Sulfate and hyaluronic acid, the broth eases inflammation common in dogs prone to arthritic issues. These minerals are also excellent supplements for dogs experiencing weakness as they get a bit older.
Try introducing bone broth to your dog before their usual meal to encourage a big appetite, especially if they’ve been experiencing discouraging health or stomach issues.
How to Make Bone Broth
Although bone broth requires approximately 24-72 hours of cook time, preparation is very quick and easy. When gathering ingredients, raw bones are always best for their levels of bone marrow and nutrients, but cooked bones and leftover beef bones such as chicken foot and neck do just fine as well. Consider grass-fed beef or other sustainable meat practices to make an organic bone broth. Also note that apple cider vinegar can be substituted with another acidic addition such as lemon juice or white vinegar.
- Begin by gathering raw or pre-cooked bones from cow, chicken or turkey into a slow cooker or crock pot. Cooking bone broth on the stove is always an option, but since a long simmer is necessary, slow cookers are the safest bet.
- Cover the ingredients with just enough water to go about an inch above the top of the bones.
- Add between 2 to 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to the water—this pulls the minerals from the bones. As noted, lemon juice or plain vinegar works as well.
- If you choose, throw in some dog-friendly vegetables including sweet potato, celery and carrots.
- Simmer in the pot for 24-72 hours on low. If the water drops below the bones, add a bit more the pot to cover.
- Once the broth has cooled to a safe level, strain out all the bones and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
By the end, your pup will be thrilled by the savory smell wafting through your house. Serve them a bowl just before their usual food or add some to their usual meal to soften or moisten its texture.
How to Store Bone Broth
If used within the 3-4 day time window, bone broth can be stored in the refrigerator in its original pot or in air-tight Tupperware. Since each recipe yields a good amount of broth, consider storing the broth for later in the season. Bone broth will freeze well for up to one year, can be kept in an ice cube tray or small freezable containers for easy access. the summer, consider giving your pup bone broth pops as a mineral-rich treat.
The new wave of bone broth popularity is based in years of traditional cooking. Its comeback is not only great for humans but excellent for helping our dogs at home. Ingredients including glucosamine, glycine, gelatin and many others support the immune system, decrease the effects of leaky gut, soothe stomach upsets and decrease inflammation in joints. It’s also so tasty that your dog will feel rewarded with the bowl of broth each day. This sustainable recipe requires little effort and cooking experience but yields large amounts and endless benefits. In just 24 hours, you’ll have a pot of nutrient-rich broth to support your dog’s long life and boundless energy.