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The Benefits of Bone Broth for Dogs and How to Choose the Best One

Have you ever heard of dog bone broth? If not, you may be depriving your dog of a wonderful opportunity to improve their health and happiness.

Bone broth is a liquid created by slowly simmering animal bones and other ingredients. It is rich in nutrients and minerals, and dogs enjoy its flavor.

BestForPets' article explains how to make bone broth for dogs at home, its benefits, and how to serve it to your canine companion.

Whether you want to give your dog a delicious treat, supplement their diet, or aid in their recovery, bone broth is a simple and effective solution.

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Deborah R. Fletcher (DVM)


The information provided is current and up-to-date, in line with the latest research conducted in the field of veterinary medicine.

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1. Benefits of Bone Broth for Dogs

Bone broth is not only delicious, but it is also highly nutritious.

Dogs of all ages, sizes, and breeds can benefit from the health benefits it provides. Here are some of the most important advantages of bone broth for dogs:

1.1 Promotes digestive health

Gelatin, which is formed by the breakdown of collagen present in bone broth, can soothe and heal the intestinal membrane, preventing or reducing inflammation, diarrhea, constipation, and leaky gut syndrome.

It can also promote the growth of beneficial gut flora, enhancing digestion and immunity.

1.2 Boosts immune system and detoxifies liver

Bone broth is a natural source of amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins.

Glycine, an amino acid found in bone broth, aids the liver in removing impurities from the body. It also promotes the production of glutathione, an antioxidant that defends cells against oxidative stress and injury.

1.3 Protects cartilage and bone

Bone broth is an excellent source of glucosamine, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid, which can promote joint and cartilage health.

They can alleviate joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation resulting from arthritis or aging. Additionally, they can prevent or delay the degeneration of joint tissues and bones.

1.4 Provides minerals and micronutrients

Saucepan with bouillon with a ladle on the table

Minerals and micronutrients found in bone broth are essential to your dog’s health. Bone broth contains calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulfur, and iron, among other minerals.

Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin K, and vitamin B complex are among the vitamins found in bone broth.

These minerals and vitamins support various bodily functions, including blood coagulation, nerve transmission, muscle contraction, immune response, skin health, and vision, in your dog.

2. How to Choose the Best Bone Broth for Dogs

If you don’t have the time or resources to make bone broth for your dog at home, you can always purchase it from a store or online.

However, not all bone broths are created equal, and some may contain ingredients or additives that are harmful to your dog. Here are some tips for selecting the best bone broth for dogs:

2.1 Look for organic and natural ingredients

The best bone broth for dogs should be made from organic and natural ingredients, such as grass-fed beef bones, organic poultry bones, or pasture-raised lamb bones.

These bones are more nutrient-dense and less likely to contain harmful hormones, antibiotics, or pesticides.

Additionally, avoid bone broth that contains artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, or sweeteners, as they may cause allergic reactions or digestive problems.

2.2 Check the label for nutritional information

The best bone broth for dogs will contain a high concentration of protein, as well as collagen, gelatin, amino acids, minerals, and vitamins.

These nutrients can support your dog’s gastrointestinal health, immune system, joint health, and overall wellbeing.

Also, check the label for sodium content, as excessive salt can be harmful to your dog’s kidneys and blood pressure. Ideally, each serving of bone broth should contain less than 100 mg of sodium.

2.3 Choose a flavor and form your dog enjoys

Your dog should enjoy and tolerate the flavor and consistency of the bone broth. Some dogs might prefer beef bone broth over chicken bone broth, or vice versa.

Some dogs may like liquid bone broth that can be poured over their food or served as a beverage, while others may prefer powdered bone broth that can be sprinkled over their food or mixed with water.

You may need to experiment with different options to find what your dog likes.

2.4 Read reviews and recommendations from other dog owners

Bowl with Beef Broth, boiled bones, meat and fresh vegetables

The best bone broth for dogs will have received positive feedback and recommendations from other dog owners.

You can read reviews on websites such as Amazon, Chewy, and Petco, or you can ask your friends, family, or veterinarian for advice.

You can also look for reputable brands that have a track record of producing high-quality pet products.

3. How to Make Bone Broth for Dogs at Home

Making homemade bone broth for dogs is easy and cost-effective. All you need are bones, water, vinegar, and a slow cooker or saucepan.

You can also add optional ingredients such as garlic or herbs to enhance the flavor and nutritional value of the broth. Here are the steps for making homemade bone broth for dogs:

3.1 Choose high-quality bones with joints

Joint-bearing bones like poultry feet, beef knuckles, and lamb necks are best for making bone broth. These bones contain more collagen and cartilage, resulting in a broth with more gelatin and nutrients.

You can use fresh or frozen bones, but they should be organic and grass-fed whenever possible. Avoid giving your dog bones that can fracture or cause choking, such as cooked or small bones.

3.2 Add water, vinegar, and any desired ingredients to a slow cooker or pot

Cover the bones with water and place them in a slow cooker or saucepan. Add about three to four tablespoons of fresh apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to the water.

This will help extract gelatin and minerals from the bones. You can also add garlic or herbs to the water for added flavor and health benefits.

Garlic can repel parasites and insects, strengthen the immune system, and reduce blood pressure. Herbs such as parsley, rosemary, and thyme can provide the broth with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties.

3.3 Cook at low temperature for 24 to 48 hours

Set your slow cooker to high for one hour, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 24 to 48 hours. If using a pot on the stove, bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 24 to 48 hours.

Check the broth periodically and add more water if needed to keep the bones submerged. The longer the broth is simmered, the more gelatinous and nutritious it becomes.

3.4 Strain the liquid and discard the bones

When the broth is finished, remove it from the heat and let it cool. Then, strain the broth through a colander or cheesecloth to remove the bones and other solids.

The bones and solids should be discarded, as they are not safe or beneficial for your dog to consume. You should be left with a clear, golden liquid with a pleasant aroma.

3.5 Store the broth in the refrigerator or freezer

Transfer the broth to a glass jar or plastic container and refrigerate it for up to one week or freeze it for up to six months. You can also pour the broth into ice cube trays for easy portioning.

When refrigerated, the broth will solidify and a layer of fat will form on top. You can either remove the fat or leave it on, as it provides your dog with additional calories and flavor.

“If you don’t have the time or ingredients to make bone broth for your dog, the article below recommends the best pre-made bone broths available on the market: Best Bone Broth For Dogs

4. How to Serve Bone Broth to Your Dog

Beef bone on wooden background

Depending on your dog’s preferences and needs, there are several ways to serve bone broth. Here are some of the most common ways to give bone broth to your dog:

4.1 As a treat or refreshment

You can offer bone broth to your dog as a treat or a refreshing drink between meals. You can serve it either chilled or barely warmed in the microwave or on the stove.

You can also mix it with plain yogurt, pumpkin puree, or peanut butter to create a creamy and delicious snack.

4.2 As a topping or condiment

You can add bone broth to your dog’s regular food to make it more nutritious, flavorful, and moist. You can either pour it over dry kibble or canned food, or mix it with fresh or raw food.

Especially if your dog is picky or has a sensitive stomach, bone broth can improve the digestibility and palatability of his diet.

4.3 As a liquid supplement or hydration aid

You can give bone broth to your dog throughout the day as a supplement or to promote hydration. Bone broth can either replace some of your dog’s water intake or be given in addition to water.

Especially if your dog is dehydrated, sick, or recovering from surgery, bone broth can help replenish his fluids and electrolytes.

When serving bone broth to your dog, there are several factors to consider, including:

4.4 Your dog’s size and weight

The amount of bone broth you give your dog should be based on their size and weight. As a general rule, you can give your dog about one ounce of bone broth per 10 pounds of body weight per day.

For instance, if your dog weighs 50 pounds, you can give them approximately five ounces of bone broth daily.

4.5 Your dog’s dietary needs and preferences

The type and quality of bone broth you give your dog should be based on their dietary requirements and preferences.

For example, if your dog has joint issues, you may want to choose a bone broth that contains more glucosamine and chondroitin.

If your dog has digestive problems, you may want to select a bone broth with a higher concentration of gelatin and probiotics.

If your dog has allergies, you may want to avoid bone broth that contains allergenic ingredients.

4.6 The quality and quantity of bone broth

The quality and quantity of bone broth you give your dog will depend on how you make or purchase it. If you make your own bone broth at home, you can control the ingredients and cooking time.

If you buy bone broth from a store, check the label for any additives or preservatives that may be harmful to your dog.

4.7 The timing and frequency of bone broth servings

The timing and frequency of bone broth servings will depend on their intended use and purpose. If you use bone broth as a treat or reward, you can give it to your dog once or twice a day.

If you use bone broth as a meal supplement or mixer, you can give it to your dog whenever you feed them their regular diet.

As a liquid supplement or hydration aid, you can offer bone broth to your dog throughout the day as needed.

5. Conclusion

Transparent Cup of bone broth is placed on boiled beef bones

Bone broth is a nutrient-rich superfood with many potential health benefits for dogs. It may boost their immune system and support liver function, help protect their joints and bones, and provide essential vitamins and minerals.

Making bone broth at home for your dog is easy and cost-effective, and there are many ways to serve it. Whether you want to treat your dog, enhance their diet, or support their overall health, bone broth is an excellent option to consider.

Have you ever prepared or served bone broth to your dog? What did they think of it? Please share your experience in the comments below!

We love hearing from our readers and appreciate any feedback or suggestions you may have. For more information on dog nutrition and health, visit our website at BestForPets.org.

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Dr. Ramona Terrell

Dr. Terrell has served on the boards of several organizations, including the Wildlife Conservation Society, in addition to her professional affiliations. She is the Veterinarian Director of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Exotic Animal Health Program.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Ramona Terrell


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