Can Dogs Eat Beef Broth? Vet Reviewed Facts & FAQ
By Jessica Kim
Beef is one of the most popular sources of protein for dogs. Many dogs enjoy eating it, so it makes sense that most dogs are fans of beef broth. Beef broth is safe for dogs to eat as long as it’s prepared correctly.
Beef broth for dogs shouldn’t contain sodium or be seasoned with certain herbs and spices. It’s most convenient to buy beef broth specifically made for dogs, but you can also make a homemade batch.
Can Dogs Eat Beef Broth?
For the most part, dogs can enjoy properly prepared beef broth. However, beef broth used for cooking isn’t always the best option because it usually contains a lot of sodium. Dogs should refrain from eating too much salt because it can lead to salt toxicosis.1
Pre-prepared beef broth for human consumption is also seasoned and cooked with other foods that are harmful to dogs. Some common ingredients that are unsafe for dogs are onions and garlic. Any form of vegetable in the allium family is toxic to dogs, and they can develop anemia if they eat too much.2 Bay leaves are also harmful to dogs and can cause indigestion and an upset stomach.3
Plain beef broth that’s been simmered with unseasoned meat, bones, and organs is safe for dogs to eat. You can include some herbs and vegetables to add more nutrition to the broth.
These are some herbs and vegetables that dogs can eat without issues:
Once you’ve thoroughly cooked down the beef broth, make sure to remove all solids, especially the bones. Beef bones can be harmful to dogs and be an obstruction in their digestive tract if consumed.
Health Benefits of Beef Broth
Dogs can experience several health benefits from beef broth. First, it’s a great way to add more water to a dog’s diet and keep them hydrated. It can also help dogs recover from an upset stomach because it’s easily digestible and gentle on the stomach.
Bone broth is rich in collagen, which nourishes the skin and coat. The combination of collagen and water can help repair dry skin and brittle coats. Bone broth also contains glucosamine, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid, which help with joint and mobility health. While beef bone broth can’t treat arthritis, it can be a healthy supplement for dogs experiencing some mobility issues.
Beef broth made by reputable pet food companies can be enriched with vitamins and minerals that dogs need for daily functioning. They’re often excellent meal toppers that dogs enjoy eating while absorbing vital nutrients. Many beef broth recipes for dogs will include magnesium, calcium, sulfur, phosphorus, and essential amino acids.
Beef broth is often aromatic and savory, so it can wet a dog’s appetite and encourage it to eat. So, along with enhancing hydration, it can be a great way to encourage underweight dogs to eat more food.
Exceptions for Feeding Dogs Beef Broth
Of course, several exceptions apply where some dogs shouldn’t eat beef broth. For example, dogs with a beef allergy will not be able to eat beef broth and should drink broths made of other protein sources, like poultry or fish.
Make sure not to feed your dog any salted beef broth and not to treat beef broth as a meal replacement. Dogs should get their daily nutrition from regular dog food recipes, and beef broth should only be given as a supplement or treat.
Some dogs also have restricted diets and must limit their protein and fat intake. Large-breed puppies need to be careful of how much protein they eat because too much protein can lead to abnormal joint development. Dogs with kidney and liver issues must also be careful of how much protein they consume.
In general, beef broth is a safe and nutritious snack or meal topper for dogs. Just make sure to either purchase broth specifically made for dogs or make your own recipe and omit any ingredients that are harmful to dogs. If your dog has food sensitivities, health issues, or a restricted diet, make sure to consult your veterinarian before introducing your dog to beef broth.
With mindful preparation and moderation, beef broth can be an enjoyable snack for your dog and a great way to add more nutrients and water to your dog’s diet.
See also: Can Dogs Eat Bay Leaves? How Healthy Are They?
Featured Image Credit: Esin Deniz, Shutterstock