As pet parents, you may have been hearing more and more about the benefits of bone broth for dogs. Well, we’re going to shed some light on this superfood and why you should consider feeding it to your pet! Plus, we’ve got a great recipe for how to make your own homemade broth. Read on for more info!

The Benefits Of Bone Broth For Dogs

Bone broth is chock full of minerals and nutrients. Since they are made primarily from animal bones, they are a source of two very important nutrients: glucosamine and chondroitin. These are perhaps the best ingredients for joint support and are great for puppies, senior dogs, active dogs, and breeds with joint issues (such as luxating patella and hip dysplasia). Additionally, those bones are excellent sources of calcium and phosphorous, which are also great for bone and joint support. Furthermore, bone broth contains an amino acid called glycine, which aids in digestion and clearing out the liver.

This broth is also an amazing source of hydration for pups, especially those kept strictly on a kibble diet (which is extremely low in moisture). However, it can also be used as a topper for raw diets, or even to rehydrate freeze-dried and dehydrated meals. You can even give bone broth by on its own. It makes a great warm treat in the wintertime (akin to a nice cup of hot cocoa for humans!). In the summertime, I like to pour some into an ice tray and freeze them. They make great pup-sicle treats!

Making Your Own Bone Broth

 You can find some great deals on raw beef and chicken bones at the butcher section of your local grocery store. If your pup can’t have common proteins such as beef and chicken, you can also ask for buffalo bones instead. They will be pricier, but they are well worth the cost. Additionally, you can also use turkey necks for your broth (and these come with nice bits of meat you can tear off after everything is cooked).

We also recommend checking out your local independent pet supply stores. Frequently, they have a frozen section that contains bones from both common and novel protein sources. And unlike big box companies, they typically have products with much better sourcing (always a plus!). These bones (while a bit more costly) will work just as well for your broth. And below is one of our favorite homemade recipes for bone broth (courtesy of K9 Instinct):

Ingredients
water, apple cider vinegar, several raw bones

Directions
Fill a large pot with water. Cover the bottom of the pot with a layer of raw bones. Add a splash of apple cider vinegar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to the lowest setting. Cover and let simmer for 16 – 24 hours.

Alternatively, you can also work with a crockpot for this recipe. Set it to low and leave for the same amount of time (16-24 hours). You can use necks, feet, marrow bones, etc. and take bits of meat off the cooked bones to save as treats or food toppers. Discard of the bones afterward, as cooked bones are bad for a dog’s teeth and digestive tract. 

Some Extra Tidbits

On a separate note, the apple cider vinegar is just as an important ingredient as the bones themselves. It helps to draw out all the nutrients, amino acids, and gelatin (great for cartilage support) from the bones and marrow. And there are other optional add-ons you can include to your broth. For example, pumpkin, turmeric (a natural digestive aid) or a tiny bit of liver are all great options.

After your broth is ready you’ll have a layer of fat on top. Just skim it off and dispose of it in the trash. After this, place the pot in the fridge and let it chill for a few hours. Once completely cooled, it will have a jelly-like consistency. You can take half and put it into a freezer-friendly Tupperware container before placing it in the fridge. Freeze the remaining half to thaw and use later. You can either serve this broth in its cold, gooey form or you can reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop and then feed to your pups.

How Much Broth To Feed Your Dogs     

This is entirely up to you! Typically, you can feed dogs up to 30lbs about 1 tbsp.per meal. For those over 30lbs, you can give 2-3 tbsp. per meal. Bone broth is a relatively low caloric add-on, so you can certainly increase this amount if you like. However, as with any new treat, food or supplement be sure to first test a small amount with your pet for any potential intolerances or allergic reactions. And of course, introduce this delicious topper gradually, as its richness can cause a bit of an upset stomach if given too much of. 

There are so many benefits of bone broth for dogs and it can certainly be worth it to make your own! For another great recipe, check out this alternative from Dogs Naturally Magazine.

  References

“The Benefits of Bone Broth.” Blog. K9 Instinct.  https://www.k9instinct.com/blog/the-benefits-of-bone-broth-for-dogs

Scott, Dana. “How To Make Bone Broth For Your Dog.” Diet and Nutrition. Dogs Naturally Magazine.  www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/how-to-make-bone-broth-for-your-dog/

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