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The Benefits of Bone Broth for Dogs: Plus, Nutrient-Rich Recipes!

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Chicken broth soup in a bowl

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Dr. Paola Cuevas

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As a dog owner, you’re likely always trying to find ways to optimize the health and happiness of your pup, no matter their breed or size. Sticking to a high-quality dog food free of fillers and artificial ingredients, making time for daily exercise and fun activities, and offering love are all important things you can do as a dog parent to enhance your pooch’s quality of life. But there is something else that you can do to support the happy and healthy experience you strive to provide your dog with: Feed them bone broth!

In fact, bone broth is a healthy food that both you and your pooch can enjoy together. There are many good reasons to incorporate bone broth into your dog’s diet regularly. We’ve put together this guide to provide you with all the information about why you should be feeding your dog bone broth and how to safely do so. Here are the benefits of bone broth for dogs that you should know:

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Benefits of Bone Broth For Dogs:

There are no negative health implications to worry about when feeding your dog bone broth. But there are many positive ones to consider. For instance, bone broth promotes a healthy gut, helps detox the liver, and can improve joint health over time. The same is true for humans! The abundance of gelatin that’s present in bone broth alone will help reduce inflammation, heal the gut lining, and make it easier for you and your dog to digest food.

Golden Retriever eating
Image credit: Chendongshan, Shutterstock

Bone broth is high in nutrients too. While it’s tough to determine just how much of a nutrient will end up in your own homemade bone broth due to variations of the ingredients that you might use, you can expect to find the following nutrients in your finished broth.

  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin K
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Fatty acids

These are just a few of the vitamins and minerals your dog will ingest when enjoying a bowl of bone broth. Of course, bone broth shouldn’t replace your dog’s regular food during mealtime unless they’re sick and won’t eat. But it will supplement the nutrients that your dog is getting from their food.

What Exactly Is Bone Broth?

In short, bone broth is simply water that bones from chickens, cows, and pigs have been simmered in for an extended period. You could use bones from just one animal or a mixture of animals, depending on your preferences. After the bones have been simmered, they are strained from the water, and the water becomes your bone broth. Sometimes vegetables are added to the mix for a little variety, but this isn’t a requirement. Bone broth isn’t complicated, and it can be as affordable or as expensive as you want it to be.Divider 4

How to Make Bone Broth at Home

You can always buy bone broth from the store, but commercial broths tend to include extra ingredients that aren’t necessary, like sugar. Luckily, it’s easy to make bone broth at home. All you must do is put animal bones of your choice into a stockpot, then fill the container with just enough water to cover the bones.

Two dogs sitting behind the kitchen table_Fotyma_shutterstock
Image Credit: Fotyma, Shutterstock

You should add a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar to the mix, as it will help pull the nutrients out of the bones so they end up in the actual broth that you’ll be feeding your dog. Bring your water to a boil, then reduce the heat and let the broth simmer for about 12 to 24 hours.

The longer you simmer the broth, the richer in flavor and nutrients it will be. You can use a slow cooker instead of a stockpot for fire-free cooking. Or, try using a pressure cooker or Instant Pot to significantly cut the simmering time down. After you’re done simmering the broth, strain it to remove the bones. A good bone broth is one that, after cooking and cooling, thickens and “gels”. Like a soft, semy-liquid Jello.

Bone Broth Variation Ideas

Bone broth shouldn’t have chunky ingredients in it when all is said and done. It should simply be broth, as its name suggests. But you can add ingredients to the stock as it simmers before straining the broth for extra flavor and nutrition. You can also serve the broth in various ways to enhance enjoyment.

Here are a few options your dog may appreciate:
  • Embrace the Flavors of Fall. Consider putting half a Ceylon cinnamon stick in the bone broth while it simmers for a fun fall dog snack. The cinnamon is an anti-inflammatory and can help regulate your dog’s blood sugar levels.
  • Add Root Veggies. Carrots will add flavor and extra health benefits to your dog’s bone broth. Just throw a couple halved carrots in the pot while the bones simmer. Other root vegetables to consider adding to the mix include beets and parsnips.
  • Soak Dog Food in It. If your dog is older and has a hard time chewing dry food, you can soak their food in the broth to enhance the food’s nutritional profile and make eating a little easier.

You can also use bone broth instead of water to bake homemade dog treats, or ice the broth and serve it instead of water to cool and refuel your pup on a hot summer day. The options are limited only to your imagination!Divider 7

Bone Broth for Dogs: Our Final Thoughts

Bone broth is a delicious, healthy addition to any dog’s diet. The good news is that humans can also enjoy all the work you put into making bone broth at home. It may take a while to simmer, but bone broth is easy to make overall. It holds up well in the fridge, and you can even freeze it for long-term use if you make a big batch of it.

When you’re short on time, you can always buy some. Have you ever made bone broth? Have you thought about feeding bone broth to your dog?

Featured image credit: LisaRedfern, Pixabay

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