The Benefits of Bone Broth for Dogs.
Bone broth is a fabulously healthy and delicious addition to your dog’s diet. It’s also easy (and cheap!) to make and has so many health benefits for pooches of all ages. Holidays4Dogs finds out more about bone broth for dogs and provides some hints on how to make your own.
The addition of bone broth to your pet’s diet is a quick way to get a lot of nutrients into his body. It’s great for sick, or convalescing dogs, as well as growing puppies, or older dogs. Bone broth is also a super food for people too!
IMPORTANT – don’t give your dog proprietary bone broth meant for human consumption. This often contains onions and seasoning, which can be highly toxic to dogs.
Home made bone broths are the way to go if you want to add this to your dog’s diet. However, this can be a little messy and time consuming. Alternatively, there are many ready-made bone broth products which are specifically made for dogs.
There are loads of different nutrients in bone broth such as glycine, collagen and gelatine. In addition, it contains trace minerals such as calcium, potassium and magnesium. Many of these nutrients are hardly present in processed dog foods. Therefore, bone broth is a good addition for dogs fed with a processed ‘kibble’ food.
Joints – bone broth contains glucosamine which helps to protect joints and chondroitin which supports the elasticity, and strength, of the skeletal bones. Collagen and gelatine, strengthen connective tissue like ligaments and tendons.
Therefore, bone broth is great for older dogs with mobility issues, such as arthritis. It is also beneficial for dogs competing in canine sports, such as agility.
Digestive system – because bone broth contains high levels of amino acids, such as glycine and proline, it helps to create a healthy gut flora. At the same time, it decreases inflammation and intestinal permeability, (as seen in conditions such as ‘leaky gut syndrome’).
By creating a strong gut lining this helps dogs with food sensitivities to wheat, or dairy. Wheat and dairy ingredients found in processed foods can cause conditions such as itchy skin.
All round tonic and detox – bone broth is a good all round tonic for dogs and great for general kidney detox. It is also good for dogs who have a reduced appetite as it provides lots of nutrients, even consumed in smaller quantities.
It can be useful for dogs that need to take medication. By adding bone broth to a meal, most dogs will find the smell overpoweringly irresistible!
Finicky eaters will usually be tempted by some delicious bone broth added to various foods – or lapped up on its own.
What is it made of?
Basically bone broth is a ‘soup’ made from meat bones such as chicken, beef, turkey, lamb or, even fish carcasses. However, the key is in the length of time the broth is simmered for – generally over a period of 24 hours. It contains bones, marrow, skin, feet, tendons and ligaments and importantly the addition of an acid, such as apple cider vinegar which helps to break down the bones. Herbs and vegetables can be added if desired, but always make sure these are safe for dogs to eat. Do not add onions, or leeks, for example as these are toxic to dogs.
You can either use a ready bought whole chicken, or use left-over bones from family meals. Left-over meat should have the skin removed.
Cover the chicken carcass with water adding the juice from a whole lemon, or a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.
Do not add salt, pepper, or other seasoning.
Simmer the bones for around 4-6 hours. Then, remove the meat and bones and continue to simmer, (ideally in a slow cooker) for around 24 hours.
The meat can be fed to your dog, but make sure all bones have been completely removed. Once cooked, thoroughly strain the mixture to remove tiny bones. Leave to cool. Skim off and discard the fat that forms on the top.
You will be left with a delicious meaty broth, some of which you may want to keep by to make soup for yourself. Bone broth can be refrigerated for a few days, but can also be frozen.
Use ice cube containers to freeze during the summer and your dog will definitely appreciate some healthy bone broth ‘ice lollies’ on a hot, sunny day!