Bone broth is a nourishing and restorative liquid that tastes delicious. It can be savored on its own or you can use it to make soups, sauces, or gravies. Health experts claim drinking bone broth can be beneficial for your joints and digestive system and celebrities swear it helps them keep their hair shiny and skin glowing.
But do you know this savory liquid is also beneficial for your dog? It contains many essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that can supplement a well-balanced diet. Let’s explore the many benefits of bone broth for your dog.
5 Health Benefits of Bone Broth for Dogs
Conceptually the idea of feeding nutrients extracted from animals' bones sounds healthy. But how exactly does bone broth helps improve your dog's health and support their overall well-being? Let’s discuss this by exploring 5 benefits of bone broth for dogs:
1. Helps Support Joint Health
Bone broth contains glucosamine, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid. These are essential nutrients that help promote strength, elasticity, and flexibility in your dog's joints and promote collagen growth.
Collagen is a protein found in the connective tissues of your dog. Although it’s produced naturally in a dog's body, age can slow down the production of collagen. Hence bone broth is a great supplement for older dogs as it can help repair connective tissue in their body and relieve stiffness and discomfort in joints.
There are also certain dog breeds like Labrador retrievers, Golden retrievers, and German shepherds that are more prone to joint problems and arthritis. Bone broth can be a beneficial supplement in their diet.
2. Helps Improve Gut Health
Does your dog frequently suffer from digestive issues like gas, diarrhea, or bloating? These can be symptoms of poor gut health. Feeding them bone broth can help reduce gut inflammation as it contains gelatin, an ingredient derived from collagen. It also contains amino acids like glycine and proline which can help restore the gut lining.
If your dog suffers from a leaky gut syndrome, the gelatin from the bone broth can help heal the dog's intestinal lining and might reverse the leaky gut.
3. May Detoxify the Liver
A dog is prone to consuming toxic substances as they’re continuously licking the floors, walls, and other objects in their surroundings. The liver helps the body filter out these toxins to make sure your dog stays happy and healthy.
But over time as the liver continuously gets overworked it can lose some efficacy. Bone broth can help support liver function by supplying an amino acid called glycine. It’s an acid that plays a crucial role in removing toxins built up in your dog’s liver. This detoxification can improve liver function and clean the dog's entire body.
4. Can Support Immune System
The amino acid present in bone broth has another important role in your dog’s body. It can help reduce inflammation in your dog's respiratory system and helps improve their immune system’s ability to fight allergies, asthma, and arthritis.
If your dog is feeling under the weather and losing their appetite, feeding them bone broth will ensure they get proper nutrition and hydration. Plus the amino acids will support their immune system to fight off infections.
5. Helps Improves Skin and Coat
A healthy skin and coat can protect a dog from various external threats, help maintain a normal body temperature, and prevents water loss through the skin. Besides dry, flaky, and itchy skin can cause extreme discomfort to your dog.
Adding bone broth as a supplement to your dog's diet can help improve their skin and coat health. It contains collagen and gelatin that makes the skin more youthful, reduces the appearance of texture, and keeps the fur shiny.
Bone broth also contains Vitamin B-6, B-12, B-2, and B-1 which can help promote cell growth and division that leads to a healthy coat.
What is Bone Broth? How to Prepare it for Your Dog?
Bone broth is made by boiling bones and connective tissue of animals in the water. Although it’s gaining a lot of popularity these days, the use of bone broth dates back to prehistoric times. Hunters were known to make broth from the inedible animal parts including bones, hooves, and knuckles.
Even today you can make bone broth using the bones of many animals including chicken, pork, beef, turkey, lamb, or fish. You can also use marrow and connective tissues like the feet, hooves, or beaks of these animals to make a broth.
The recipe might look similar to animal stock but these are not the same terms—the difference in the amount of time taken to prepare them. Stock is usually made within 4-6 hours of slow cooking. Whereas the broth is simmered for 12-24 hours to extract more nutrients and minerals from the bones.
1. Cooking Bone Broth at Home
Cooking bone broth for your dog at home is very simple. All you need are raw bones with marrow. You can use the bones of any animal including chicken, turkey, beef, rabbit, or pork.
Place the bones in a soup pot, slow cooker, or instant pot, and add enough water to cover them by about an inch. Then add 2-3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice as it’ll help pull all of the minerals and nutrients from bones.
Allow the mixture to simmer on low heat for 12-24 hours. Once it reaches a thick and golden consistency, strain the mixture to remove bones and immediately discard them. Don’t ever feed cooked bones to your dog as they splinter into shards that can be a choking hazard and cause serious damage to the dog’s body.
You can however remove the bone marrow from the bones and mix it in the broth to serve your dog. But first, allow the bone broth to cool down to room temperature before serving. Then you can either feed it to your dog as a soup or mix it in with kibble.
In summers, people also prefer to freeze bone broth in ice trays to serve as a treat on a hot day. If you're using home-cooked bone broth, you can refrigerate or freeze the leftover for almost a week.
This is a simple recipe for making bone broth, but you can always take things up a notch by adding more healthy ingredients to the pot. You can add vegetables like carrots, celery, and parsley, or other parts of an animal like feet, beaks, joints, or knuckles.
You can add many ingredients to your bone broth but avoid adding spices or seasonings like salt, pepper, or paprika as these can be toxic for your dog.
2. Buying Bone Broth From Store
If cooking bone broth at home is not feasible, you can always use store-bought bone broth. But make sure you’re buying bone broth that’s made for dogs. The bone broth that’s made for human consumption often contains salt, pepper, preservatives, and onions that can be toxic for a dog.
The bone broth you’re buying for your dog shouldn’t contain any preservatives or artificial flavors. It’s better to buy from brands that make bone broth especially for dogs. You can choose from a variety of flavors available like beef bone broth, chicken bone broth, or even mushroom broth.
As long as you read the packaging properly and ensure the broth is suitable for dog’s all life stages and all dog breeds, buying store-bought bone broth can be beneficial and convenient.
How Much Bone Broth to Feed Your Dog?
Bone broth is a great source of nutrients and vitamins for your dog. But it’s only beneficial if you serve in moderation. Too much of any food item can be harmful to your dog’s health.
The Right Portion Size
The right amount of bone broth to serve a dog will vary depending on their age, breed, and prior health conditions. Ideally, if your dog is under 20 pounds you can serve them 1 oz of bone broth in a day. If they weigh between 20-40 pounds, you can serve them 2 oz of bone broth in a day.
You can either feed them bone broth as a soup in a bowl, mix it in with dry kibble, or freeze them to make small popsicle treats.
If you use bone broth as a supplement to a well-balanced diet, it can provide the right amount of collagen, glucosamine, amino acids, and other nutrients that your dog needs. It can help improve their skin, coat, joints, and gut health.
But if your dog suffers from a pre-existing health condition, you can consult a veterinarian before adding bone broth to their diet.
Side Effects of Bone Broth
Bone broth is usually safe for dogs but in rare cases, your dogs can have an allergic reaction to certain ingredients added to the broth. Hence it’s a good idea to first feed 2-3 tablespoons of bone broth to your dog and monitor their health for 24 hours. If there’s nothing unusual about their behavior, you can continue to feed them bone broth. If you notice a reaction, contact a veterinarian immediately.
Bone broth is a nutritious and flavourful dietary supplement for your dog. It’s chock-full of vitamins and minerals that can help improve your dog’s immune system, detoxify their liver, support gut health, and heal their joints.
You can easily buy bone broth in various flavors from a store or cook it at home and let your dog slurp the savory liquid. Just be cautious of the portion sizes. Even if your dog loves drinking bone broth, you shouldn’t overfeed them.
If you have any further questions, you can consult a veterinarian before feeding bone broth to your dog.
Let’s address some frequently asked questions about feeding bone broth to a dog:
1. Is chicken bone broth good for dogs?
Yes, chicken bone broth is a highly nutritious supplement for your dog. It’s packed with benefits that help support your dog’s overall well-being.
2. Is beef bone broth good for dogs?
Yes, just like chicken bone broth, beef bone broth is a great dietary supplement for your dog.
3. Is bone broth good for puppies?
Yes, the protein-rich bone broth can help support the growth of a puppy by supporting their gut health and immune system.
4. What kind of bone broth is safe for dogs to eat?
You can feed bone broth made using animals like chicken, pork, beef, turkey, lamb, or fish. Apart from bones, you can also use other parts of the animal-like their feet, hooves, or beaks to make a broth.
If you’re buying bone broth from the store, make sure it’s safe to consume for a dog. Many bone broths available in the grocery store contain artificial flavors, preservatives, salts, pepper, onion, etc. all these ingredients can be toxic for your dog. Read the ingredients before buying. It’s best to buy from brands that make bone broth especially for dogs.
5. Is bone broth good for dogs with arthritis?
Bone broth is a joint-supporting food that can help reduce pain and swelling in a dog’s joint. It might help slow down the progression of arthritis in dogs.
6. Is bone broth good for dogs with pancreatitis?
Bone broth can be a great addition to a diet of a dog who suffers from pancreatitis. But it’s recommended that you consult your veterinarian before adding any new food to your dog’s diet if they suffer from a health condition.
7. Is bone broth good for dogs with kidney disease?
Water helps keep your dog's kidneys hydrated and working well. So if they’re suffering from kidney disease, the water from the broth can help their kidneys.
But this isn’t a cure or a replacement for proper medical care and assistance that’s required for a dog that’s suffering from kidney disease.
8. Is bone broth good for dogs with diarrhea?
If your dog is suffering from diarrhea, it’s usually recommended that you feed them bland food that’s easy on their stomach. You can feed them bone broth in moderation. It’ll keep them hydrated while providing essential nutrients.