Dogs and bones have gone together for as long as humans have known dogs. So why has bone broth become such an afterthought for many dog owners?
Broths became widespread across cultures and more recently health-conscious communities for good reason, bone broth is really good for you. It’s also really good for your dog as they share many of the same benefits we do from broth. Many dog owners use dry dog food, meaning amino acids are lost when those foods are made through high heat processing (source). Giving your dog bone broth is a great way to supply their bodies with those essential amino acids.
What is bone broth?Bone broth is a liquid made from brewing animals bones, marrow, and connective tissue in water for 20+ hours. Along with a little acid such as vinegar, this elongated simmering process extracts loads of amino acids and minerals, especially collagen & gelatin that are beneficial to your dog’s health.
The most common broths are made from cattle, pork, chicken, or turkey bones but other animals are used as well.
Benefits of bone broth for dogs
1. Supports good joint health
Gelatin produced from the simmering process supports healthy joints. The gelatin has high glycine and is perhaps the most valuable component of bone broth. It acts as a cushion between bones and helps them slide together without friction. That friction will otherwise cause pain for your dog.
Bone broth also contains glucosamine and chondroitin which have become very popular dog joint supplements today. Together these two act as a natural anti-inflammatory, help decrease pain, and promote joint repair. Bone broth has even shown to help dogs with arthritis symptoms.
2. Strengthens gut healthThe gelatin produced from bone broth helps strengthen the lining of the gut and results in a healthier digestive tract, crucial for good health in your dog.
The lining of digestive tract is full of tiny pores that keep harmful bacteria and toxins from passing into bloodstream. If those pores widen, this can allow those harmful substances to enter the bloodstream. Glycine improves gut health by repairing that intestinal wall, shrinking those pores and sealing gut lining.
3. Boosts immune system
Amino acids are a key component of building protein blocks in a dog’s body. Ten amino acids are considered essential for dogs. Large quantities of amino acid are found in bones. Boiling them down into a broth is a great way to get these amino acids into your dog’s diet to build up their immune system.
If your dog is already sick, bone broth can help get them eating again both from taste and the positive impact to their gut.
4. Detox liverDog’s livers are regularly under attack from the toxic chemicals dogs come into contact with on a daily basis. These can include chemicals from household cleaners, chemicals from treating grass in parks or lawns, toxic de-wormers, flea & tick preventatives, or antibiotics to name a few.
Your dog’s liver only holds a certain amount of glycine so the added boost of amino acids from bone broth acts as reinforcement for your dog’s liver to help improve its function.
5. Added minerals and nutrients to dietBone broth can make a great addition to your dog’s diet as it contains important mineral nutrients such as amino acids, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus and many more.These nutrients are beneficial to dogs at any life stage.
6. Bonus benefit - Temps picky eatersDogs really love the taste of bone broth because of the rich amino acids. To dogs, broth smells amazing and is seen as a tasty treat. Many dog owners have found their picky eater or older dog can be enticed back to their bowls with adding some bone broth.
How to give bone broth to your dog
Giving dogs bone broth is easy. You can add it on top of the meals you already give your dog, or you can give it to them in a bowl separately as the taste will help them hydrate if you have a dog that doesn't drink as much on their own.
Most experts don’t recommend giving your dog the store bought broth that is made for humans because of the excessive amounts of sodium included.
Some dog owners make their own broth buying the bones from a store, and simmering them for 24+ hours to give themselves. There are many recipes online for this if you are up for some home cooking.