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The Benefits of Bone Broth for Dogs and How to Feed It Safely

Bone broth for dogs can support your best friend’s gut, joints, liver, and overall wellness. However, only feed them bone broth specifically intended for dogs.

A cup of bone broth.

Bone broth for dogs can support your best friend’s gut, joints, liver, and overall wellness. However, only feed them bone broth specifically intended for dogs.

Take a look around your local grocery store and you'll find bone broth on the shelf, next to other kinds of broth and stock. Bone broth is popular in human cuisine because it's delicious, versatile, and nutritious. And you may be surprised to learn that bone broth is gaining a lot of traction in the dog world, too.

Bone broth is made by simmering bones, herbs, spices, and other ingredients together in water for a long time (sometimes for even a day). The result is a nutrient-dense, delicious broth that can be used in other dishes or enjoyed all on its own. Bone broth for dogs can be mixed in with normal meals or given as a tasty treat by itself.

Can you grab the closest bone broth off of the grocery store shelf and start giving it to your dog? No — it's wise to keep bone broth made for humans away from your canine companion. It may contain ingredients like onions and salt that aren't safe for pets. A better choice is to pick up a bone broth made specifically for dogs or to make your own. 

Read on to find out more about why bone broth for dogs is so healthy and how to make and serve bone broth to your dog.

What Are the Benefits of Bone Broth for Dogs?

A French Bulldog drinks from a bowl.

One of the greatest reasons to consider adding bone broth to your dog's diet is because it's very good for them. It's beneficial for various bodily functions and is packed with nutrients that help your dog live his or her happiest, healthiest life. 

Here are some of the top benefits of bone broth for dogs:

Bone Broth Is Nutritious

One reason that bone broth is great for dogs is very simple: It's highly nutritious. This tasty liquid is jam-packed with vitamins and minerals, and it's a great source of protein, collagen, glycine, and glucosamine. These nutrients provide various benefits to your pup's immune system and entire body, including the ones described below. 

It Benefits Your Dog's Gut Health

The nutrients found in bone broth help with your dog's digestion. Bone broth also benefits your dog's gut health by making a condition known as leaky gut less likely. 

The intestinal lining contains millions of microscopic holes that allow digested nutrients to pass through so they can benefit the rest of the body. But these holes can become bigger because of bacterial overgrowth, a poor diet, stress, and other health problems. When that happens, your dog suffers from leaky gut. With this condition, things can pass through the holes that aren't meant to, like toxins or undigested food. Usually, this results in allergies or food sensitivities.

Because bone broth contains a lot of gelatin (an ingredient produced when collagen is cooked) it can help prevent or reverse leaky gut. That's because gelatin literally plugs the larger holes in your dog's intestinal lining, only allowing the essential nutrients to pass through.

To improve your dog's gut health, you can also consider a probiotic created for dogs. Native Pet's Probiotic Powder is a great choice that can help promote a healthy microbial balance in the intestines.  

It Supports Your Dog's Joint Health 

Bone broth is loaded with nutrients like glucosamine, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid, which help promote collagen growth. It's one of the biggest benefits of bone broth for dogs. 

Collagen is important for your dog's joint health. It's literally the cushion at the ends of your dog's bones and around the ligaments and tendons. And when your dog starts to lose some of that collagen, joint pain can develop.

Want to give your dog's joint health an additional boost with a simple dog treat? Native Pet's Relief Chicken Chews are a great option. They even contain chicken bone broth.

It Helps Detox Your Dog’s Liver 

Bone broth contains high levels of an amino acid called glycine. Glycine helps the liver perform its main function: filtering toxins from your dog's body. In this way, bone broth for dogs supports liver function to help detoxify your dog's entire system.

It’s Hydrati​​​​​​​​ng and Easy on the Stomach

Because bone broth is a liquid, it's a good way to add a little moisture to your dog's diet. It never hurts to make sure your dog is well-hydrated. 

Plus, bone broth is easy on Fido's tummy — it's especially helpful for a dog with a tender stomach, perhaps after having surgery or a bout of diarrhea. Think of bone broth for dogs as your four-legged friend's version of chicken soup when they're sick.

How to Make Bone Broth for Dogs

Interested in making your own bone broth? While it is a bit time-consuming, it's not incredibly difficult. First, get your ingredients together. You'll need a few pounds of raw bones with marrow. Chicken, turkey, pork, or beef bones work well, although you should never use anything that your pet might be allergic to. Visit your local butcher shop and ask them what cuts of meat contain the best bones for broth. You can also save the bones from the meat you buy at the grocery store and use those in your broth.

You'll need a few quarts of water as well as a small amount of apple cider vinegar, which helps to extract the minerals from the bone marrow and connective tissues. You can also add some pet-safe veggies and herbs, like parsley, celery, or mushrooms. (Ask your vet before including anything you're unsure about.)

Place all the ingredients together in a large soup pot, crockpot, or slow cooker and cook on low heat for 12 to 24 hours. Allow the mixture to cool. Remove all of the cooked bones and discard them. Never give your dog cooked bones, as they present a choking hazard. 

Next, put the broth in the refrigerator. Once all the fat has risen to the top, skim it off and discard it. Then, you're ready to give this superfood to your pet. 

If researching the right bone broth recipe for your dog and making your own homemade bone broth seems like a lot of work, don’t worry. Native Pet's Grass-Fed Bone Broth Topper can be mixed with water to create a delicious broth or simply sprinkled on top of dry food or wet dog food for a nutritional boost. 

It’s always a good idea to choose a dog-specific bone broth or follow a recipe that specifically states it’s intended for dogs. While dog bone broth and bone broth made for humans can be very similar, human bone broth could be made with potentially harmful ingredients like onions and may contain preservatives and additives that you don’t want your pet consuming.

How to Safely Feed Bone Broth

A dog rolls on its back in the grass.

Whether you make your own bone broth or purchase a premade version, it’s important to give it to your dog in a safe way. 

Keep the portion size small. Add one or two tablespoons of bone broth to your dog's normal meals at first. If your dog seems to like it, you can add a bit more. But too much of any new food can upset your dog's digestive system, so only give your dog a few ounces of bone broth per day. And again, always remove the bones before feeding your dog bone broth. Bones present a choking hazard.

You can store your bone broth in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to a year. Another idea is to pour bone broth into an ice cube tray and freeze it. (This will also keep for up to a year.) Then, you have a convenient serving size you can warm in the microwave before adding it to your dog's kibble. Just be sure to test it with your finger to make sure it's not too hot.

Bone Broth for Dogs: Delicious and Nutritious

Looking for a way to add some extra nutrition and health benefits to your dog's diet in a tasty package? Pet parents can give their dog a healthy bone broth as a nutrient-packed, delicious addition to a meal or all on its own. 

Bone broth for dogs helps to promote a healthy gut, the liver’s detoxification of the body, joint health, and hydration, all while providing a plethora of vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients.

If you're making your own bone broth, follow a recipe intended for dogs, and always ask your vet if you're unsure about a particular ingredient. When adding pre-packaged or homemade bone broth to your dog's meals, keep the portion size small so as not to upset your dog's stomach. And remember that you can add broth to pet food or let your dog slurp it up all by itself. 

To learn more about your dog's health and wellness needs, visit the Native Pet blog for more articles.

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