Reviewed By Joana Garrido DVM
Is bone broth good for dogs? Yes! In fact, bone broth can be considered a superfood for dogs due to its abundance of health-boosting nutrients. It can aid in digestion, promote joint health, and even boost the canine immune system.
In this article, we’ll explore the various health benefits that bone broth can provide for dogs. Additionally, we’ll cover some basic guidelines to help you find the healthiest and safest bone broth for your beloved canine friend.
What Is Bone Broth?
Bone broth is a nutrient-rich liquid created by simmering meaty joints, connective tissues, and bones of animals for a long period, around 24 to 48 hours.
The lengthy cooking process is essential for extracting collagen, protein, and vitamins as well as minerals from the bones to the liquid.
Bone broth can be made from any animal including:
The history of this human food dates back to prehistoric times. Bone broth was a food staple for cavemen since it can be made from inedible animal parts such as knuckles and hooves
In ancient Chinese medicine, bone broth is regarded as a healing food that promotes better digestion and kidney function.
The Greeks believe it detoxifies the body and alleviates stomach problems. Jews use bone broth to remedy ailments like colds and flu.
7 Health Benefits of Bone Broth for Dogs
Dog owners will be delighted to know that the health perks of bone broth extend to their canines companions. Adding this human food to your dog’s meals improves several aspects of his health such as:
1. Provides Additional Dose of Nutrients
Bone broth is a good source of amino acids for your pooch because of its high protein content. Minerals such as calcium and magnesium are also dense in this human food.
In a study, it is found that longer cooking times greatly increase the concentrations of calcium and magnesium in bone broth.
Other nutrients bone broth for dogs yields are B vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin, K, sulfur, silicon, and phosphorus.
2. Bolsters Immune Resistance Against Diseases
The amino acids in bone broth help toughen the immune system of canines.
It keeps them from developing sensitivities to common environmental and household pollutants and decreases their susceptibility to various diseases, which we will touch on as you continue reading.
3. Lowers Toxin Concentrations in the Liver
Bone broth for dogs is a natural liver detoxifier. It contains ample amounts of glycine, which is an amino acid that filters out toxins to prevent them from building up in the body.
4. Enhances Skin and Coat Health
Dog bone broth is loaded with a certain type of protein called collagen. This substance is an important building block for maintaining strong hair and skin structure.
It is also responsible for the formation of strong connective tissues, nails, ligaments, and tendons.
Bone broth offers dogs a good dose of vitamins B1, B2, B6, and B12, which are all important for normal hair growth and clear skin.
5. Reduces Joint Problems
Pawrents frequently ask: “Is bone broth good for dogs with arthritis?” Yes, bone broth is good for dogs with arthritis because it helps strengthen their joints and mitigate arthritis symptoms.
Collagens are a large family of biomolecules, which include glycosaminoglycans. These compounds are integral for good joint health as they slow down the degeneration of cartilage. They can be found in bone broth.
This human food houses glucosamine, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid, providing joint support. Glucosamine and chondroitin minimize inflammations caused by arthritis, while hyaluronic acid increases collagen production.
6. Reduces Stomach Ailments
Some dogs develop a digestive issue called leaky gut syndrome. It causes fissures to form in the intestinal lining, allowing toxins and other harmful compounds to infiltrate the digestive tract.
As a result, affected canines begin to exhibit food allergies and sensitivities. The glutamine in bone broth helps the damaged gut lining heal and lessen gastric issues.
The gelatin that the bone broth created during the cooking process fills in the holes in the intestinal lining. Doing so keeps dangerous compounds out while allowing the nutrients to pass through.
7. Eases Stomach Upsets
Many dog owners wonder: “Is bone broth good for dogs with diarrhea?” Yes, bone broth is good for dogs with diarrhea because consuming it increases their water intake, preventing the risk of dehydration.
This human food is also gentle on the stomach. It is a wonderful addition to bland diets often recommended for pooches experiencing tummy troubles.
Are There Any Side Effects of Giving My Dog Bone Broth?
Feeding bone broth to your dog rarely causes unwanted side effects. However, it is always a good idea to know what they are and what led them to pop up.
1. Gastric Distress
The canine digestive tract is sensitive to changes in the diet, such as the sudden introduction of new food. So giving your furry pal bone broth in large amounts may cause stomach irritation and diarrhea.
To avoid this issue from happening, start by offering small quantities of the liquid. You can gradually increase its amount every day if your dog does not exhibit signs of stomach upset.
2. Allergic Reactions
Some bone broths for dogs are made from common protein allergens for canines like beef, chicken, and lamb. Ingesting them may result in symptoms of allergic reactions such as:
- Facial swelling
- Skin infection
- Inflamed and reddened skin
- Persistent itchiness
When feeding bone broth to your furry pal for the first time, only let him consume a small amount. Monitor him for signs of allergies. If he exhibits them, bring him to the vet for proper diagnosis and treatment.
There is no need to restrict your dog from having bone broth. You can use novel proteins such as turkey, venison, and bison to avoid triggering allergies.
3. Potential Toxic Metal Contamination
Research findings suggest that commercial bone broth may contain toxic chemicals such as cadmium and lead, but in small amounts. However, it is understandable that many dog owners find the result alarming.
We recommend sourcing high-quality protein sources from local reputable butchers or farmers to reduce the danger of acquiring contaminated products.
Avoid buying bone broth sources coming from other countries due to differences in animal welfare laws and standards.
They might have poor sanitary protocols and allow the use of hormones and antibiotics on animals, which can seriously compromise your dog’s health.
What Are the Different Types of Bone Broth for Dogs?
Bone broth for dogs typically comes in 2 forms: liquid and powder.
Liquid bone broth is commonly stored in cartons and pouches. It is more suitable for home use as it requires refrigeration once opened.
Powder bone broth is more convenient to use when out traveling with Fido. It does not have to be refrigerated. However, preparing powder bone broth needs extra steps as it needs to be mixed with water before giving it to your dog.
5 Things to Consider When Finding the Best Bone Broth for Dogs
Be careful when shopping for bone broth for your canine companion. Some products are inferior in quality to others and do not provide optimum health benefits. They might even be harmful to his health.
Here are important pointers to keep in mind to find the best dog bone broth:
1. Look for 100% Pure Bone Broth.
Some pet food companies cut corners by opting for artificial meat flavors.
Do not buy products that use vague ingredient terms. Vague words like broth, concentrate, protein, or stock mean the liquid is not made with real bone broth.
Trustworthy products always list specified ingredient names on their ingredients list like beef bone broth or pork bones. The protein used to create bone broth should be first on the ingredients list.
2. Choose Low-Sodium or Sodium-Free Bone Broth.
Heavily salted bone broth for dogs will cause health issues if ingested excessively and in large amounts. It can lead to the development of kidney problems, high blood pressure, and even toxicity.
We advise going for a bone broth devoid of salt. If it is not available in your place, a low-sodium one will do. The product should not contain over 80 milligrams of salt per tablespoon of powder.
3. Avoid Products with Additives.
Low-quality bone broths for dogs have preservatives and added artificial flavoring to enhance their shelf life and taste. However, they are bad for your dog’s health.
Some of the most common additives found in this human food you should avoid are:
- Lactic acid
- Citric acid
- Potassium chloride
- Sunflower Lecithin
- Yeast extract
- Vegetable powder
- Xanthan Gum
Steer clear from products containing “natural flavors.” It hints that artificial ingredients were used to mimic the meaty flavor of bone broth.
Also, do not fall for added probiotics that are marketed by some brands. They only place minimal amounts of probiotics in the bone broth. Hence, your dog does not benefit anything from it.
4. Value High Protein Content.
Check the amount of protein that the bone broth for dogs has. Ideally, its liquid form must contain no less than 5% protein. On the other hand, dehydrated bone broth should have a minimum of 90% protein.
Take into account the carbohydrate content of bone broth. Some products contain filler ingredients like sweet potatoes. Keep them away from your dog as they are fattening for him.
How Much Bone Broth Should I Give My Dog?
The recommended amount of bone broth to give your dog will depend on how much he weighs.
The common guideline to follow is to offer a pooch an ounce of bone broth for every 10 pounds of body weight, twice per day. For example, a 50-pound dog can have up to 10 ounces of bone broth daily.
How to Make Homemade Bone Broth for Dogs
While homemade bone broth is time-consuming to make, it is the healthiest type of bone broth a pooch can have.
So if you have plenty of time on your hands, create one at home by following our bone broth recipe for dogs:
- 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
- ¼ chopped celery stalks
- 2 cups baby carrots
- 12 cups filtered water
- 2 pounds of beef bones or your choice of animal bones
- Place the beef bones in a large pot and pour the water. It should be enough to cover the bones.
- Add the apple cider vinegar, then fill the pot with more water. Leave enough space for the water to boil.
- Bring the water to a boil before lowering the heat.
- Add in the vegetables and turmeric powder.
- Allow the liquid to simmer for at least 6 hours.
- Remove any layer of fat that forms on the surface after 6 hours.
- Continue cooking the beef bones for 48 hours and 24 hours for the chicken bones.
- Turn off the heat and get rid of the congealed fat in the bone broth.
- Strain it to separate the liquid from the boiled bones.
- Let the liquid cool down before giving it to your dog.
How to Safely Feed Bone Broth to Your Dog
You can offer bone broth as is or mix it with dry food to make meals more enticing for picky eaters.
Aside from using bone broth as a meal topper for dog food, you can turn it into delicious frozen treats for Fido. All you need to do is pour the liquid into an ice cube tray and let it freeze for 4 to 5 hours.
Keep in mind to serve the bone broth in small amounts first to let your dog’s digestive system adjust to the new food. Never offer too much or else stomach upset will ensue.
Cooked bones are choking hazards and may cause intestinal blockage. Always check the bone broth for stray bones to avoid dangerous choking or impaction accidents.
After feeding, freeze the leftover bone broth for later use. You can simply reheat it in the microwave and then combine it with dog food.
Always test the liquid’s temperature with your finger before offering it to your dog so he will not scald his tongue.
FAQs About Bone Broth for Dogs
Can Dogs Have Bone Broth Made for Human?
What Bone Broth Is Safe for Dogs?
Homemade bone broth is the safest bone broth for dogs. Although there are commercially made bone broths specifically formulated for canines, distinguishing which of them are high-quality and preservative-free can be tricky.
When you make bone broth at home, you have a clear idea of the ingredients used because you are the one selecting them. So you can rest easy that it will not harm your furry pal.
Is Bone Broth Good for Dogs to Have Daily?
Yes, bone broth is good for dogs daily so long as they consume it in moderation. Do not exceed the recommended serving according to your dog’s body weight to avoid stomach issues.
How Long Does Dog Bone Broth Last in the Fridge?
Dog bone broth can last for up to a month in the fridge. However, this only serves as an estimated guess.
Thus, be sure to check the bone broth for signs of spoilage before serving it to your furry pal. If it tastes foul and has a rancid smell, throw it away. The presence of molds also hints that the bone broth is no longer edible.
Bone broth is a superfood for dogs, rich in protein, amino acids, collagen, and minerals that can benefit their health. When choosing bone broth, be cautious of products with additives that can harm your furry friend.
Check out our article on Organ Meats for Dogs for other healthy protein and nutrient sources.