How to Make Bone Broth for Dogs
You want to make bone broth for your dog because you heard it is packed with health benefits, but you don't know where to start.
There are many recipes out there that call for different ingredients and have different cooking times. This can make the process of making bone broth seem daunting and time-consuming.
It doesn't have to be!
I'll show you how to make bone broth for dogs using simple and easy-to-follow instructions.
By following these steps, you'll be able to provide your dog with the essential nutrients they need while helping to improve their gut health, digestion, skin, coat, joints and energy levels.
Before we dive in I'll mention that making it is not for everyone, and that is ok! If you struggle to make it but still want to give you pup the nutrients they deserve, you can try Bluebird Provisions bone broth powder available on Amazon Prime.
This is a brand that I trust because they only use one simple ingredient: chicken bones (and water, of course).
It has double the protein and way less salt than most other options you find.Click HERE to jump to the recipe.
Can dogs have homemade bone broth?
Dogs can absolutely have homemade bone broth, and they should! It is a nutritious addition to their regular meals and can help with a variety of health problems.
This is because it is naturally high in protein, glycine, collagen, glutamine and glucosamine. These help to keep your pup's joints strong, skin and coat healthy and their digestion on point.
The bottom line is that it is safe for dogs if it is a supplementary source of nutrition, and not the primary source of nutrients.
Differences Between Human and Dog Bone Broth
The main difference between hum and dog bone broth is that human bone broth often uses onions and sometimes garlic -- two things that makes dogs sick.
These two ingredients are dangerous if given to pets. For this reason, you need to be wary of some store bought options. Simply check the ingredient list to see if they are on it before you purchase.
The other differences lie in cook time and overall quality. Sadly, most dog food brands take shortcuts when making bone broth. They use concentrates or short simmer times combined with filler ingredients and the product quality suffers.
You'll notice that the protein levels in some of these dog food branded products are way lower than they should be. So what's in them? Filler ingredients like oats, pumpkin, sweet potato, flour... basically carbs.
For example, check the protein levels in the product below. This is a very popular one on Amazon. But it only has 64% protein and 6.4% fat. That means the rest are carbs.
If you're researching better options, read the list of 6 dog food bone broths you can trust.
You want the guaranteed analysis statement to look like this one below.
Dogs thrive on protein, but carbs are generally cheaper, so many of these brands use them to get costs down, while still being labelled as bone broth.
That leaves you with two options:
- Make it yourself.
- Do your research to find the best pre-made option.
How often should dogs have bone broth?
Dogs should have bone broth with every meal, provided that they have been gradually introduced to it. The biggest mistake owners make is giving them too much too soon.
So where do you start?
1/8th cup of liquid or 1 tsp of powder stirred into one regular meal per day is a safe starting dose. Do this for 5-7 days and see how they look and feel.
Oftentimes, days 1-3 will give them softer stool. This is natural and completely ok during the transition period. Their digestive systems are getting introduced to new gut healing amino acids glycine and proline.
If they have full on diarrhea, then you will need to discontinue or use less. Learn more in my ultimate guide to bone broth for dogs.
The table below is for powder products only. The amount of water is needed to stir an incorporate the powder into their regular kibble.
After 5-7 days you can gradually work your way up to and follow the serving instructions below.
- 1-25 lbs: 1/2 tbsp per meal
- 26-50 lbs: 1 tbsp per meal
- 51-75 lbs: 1.5 tbsp per meal
- 76-100+ lbs: 2 tbsp per meal
What is the best bones to use for bone broth for dogs?
The best bones to use for dog bone broth depends on your dogs preference, sensitivities and allergies. Some dogs are allergic to poultry, so chicken, turkey and duck are out of the question.
Other dogs are sensitive to pork, so that is off the table. Beef and lamb are great options that dogs tend to be less allergic to.
Now, assuming your dog doesn't suffer any reactions, consider yourself lucky. You can enjoy a mix of leftover chicken carcasses, wings, drumsticks or even a whole chicken / turkey.
Frozen necks, beef marrow and knuckle bones can be found in some grocery stores or butcher shops. Oftentimes you have to ask where it is.
I'll often mix chicken and beef bones to make a hybrid broth for my two dogs, using best dog food mix ins. This works great for taste and offers different types of collagen and health benefits.
If you want to do a deep dive into bones, read my guide to selecting the best bones for broth.
What can I put in my dogs bone broth?
You want to put as many bones and meaty pieces as possible into your pot as this gives you the most protein. From here you can add your dog's favorite vegetables to get some more flavor, but it is really not necessary.
The vegetables provide no health benefits of nutrition compared to bones. Keep in mind not to add onions or garlic as these are harmful to canines.
How do you make bone broth for dogs?
You make bone broth for dogs by placing your bones, meat and animal parts into your stock pot, Instant Pot or slow cooker.
From here you add water -- enough so that all of the bones are submerged in the water with 3 extra inches of just water in the pot.
You want your pot with bones to resemble a glass full of ice that is then filled with water.
From here you simply bring to a boil, skim and simmer for 6-24 hours. Get the full step-by-step guide below.
Looking for dog food? Read my guide to find the best freeze-dried dog food.
Do I Need to Roast the Bones First?
You do not need to roast the bones first. Roasting the bones before making broth gives it extra flavor, but keep in mind that dogs do not care if you roast the bones first. They will love you and the broth without them being roasted first.
Do I need to blanch the bones first?
Bones do not need to be blanched before making broth for dogs or cats. It is a complete waste of time and energy. Dogs and humans do not need 'clean' bones in their broth. This gets rid of valuable nutrition.
The cook process strips these bones of all of the nutrients anyways, so why would you want to take some of the nutrition off the bones before cooking them?
Bone Broth For Dogs Recipe
3 lbs mixed bones (beef, chicken, pork)
12 cups water
Optional: 1/2 tbsp turmeric
Optional: 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Place bones in your pot, crockpot or Instant Pot.
Turn heat to high and bring to a boil.
Once you reach a boil, lower heat to low. But you still want a very steady rolling simmer.
Skim the foam, scum and fatty bits that bubble to the surface 2-3 times over the first hour of you total cook time.
Cook for 6-24 hours.
Once finished cooking, scoop out your bones and veggies using a slotted spoon or spider stainer.
Strain liquid through a fine strainer with a bowl underneath to catch the liquid.
Store in the fridge or freeze for later use.
- You can store it in the fridge for 5 days or in the freezer for one year.
- Never stir it or you risk the dreaded 'cloudy broth.' Leave it as is to simmer away on it's own.
- All of the ingredients you need can be found at your local grocery store. If you want to make organic bone broth, use organic ingredients.
- Bones from leftovers can be used. Keep them in the freezer for later use.
- Apple cider vinegar, turmeric or lemon juice can be added as optional add ins, but are not necessary.
- In the summer months pour, liquid into ice cube trays for a refreshing treat.
- Serving Size
- 1 serving (60 ml)
- per serving
- 1.7 grams
- 0 grams
- 0 grams
- 40 milligrams
Which is better for dogs bone broth or chicken broth?
Bone broth is better for dogs than chicken broth because it is made from real bones, has 900% more protein and less salt.
Most store bought chicken broths are sodium bombs with little to no protein and extra carbs. This is not exactly a stellar nutrition profile or ingredient list for your puppy.
If you want to share homemade chicken broth with your dog, make sure it is just plain broth without any added ingredients.
Bone broth is thicker because it has more gelatin / collagen and more nutrient-dense than chicken broth, making it a better choice for dogs.
Can I buy bone broth for my dog instead?
You can buy a pre-made option for your dog instead of making it yourself. But you must beware and know what to look for because big pet food brands are now making products.
The problem is that these big companies care about profits over quality, so they take shortcuts in manufacturing and ingredient selection -- at the cost of our pets health.
Look for one that has bones or 'bone broth' as the first or second ingredient. It should not say concentrate, protein or collagen.
From here you want to check the protein percentage on the back of the package. For powder products, protein must be at least 92%.
For liquid products, since there is moisture, it will be much lower. Look for at least 3%.
Now we look to the rest of the ingredient list to check for gums, fillers or carbs that take away from the nutrition. Avoid anything with 'natural flavors,' 'yeast,' any type of flour or vegetable powders.
The best option is made by Bluebird Provisions. Just two ingredients and 94% protein
Making bone broth for dogs is easy, and it's a great way to add some extra protein to your dog's diet. Plus, it's a delicious treat that your dog is sure to love.
My poodle, the self proclaimed pickiest eater alive, gobbles all his meals down with the addition of it. So why not give it a try?
And if you're struggling to make it yourself, there are a few brands sold online that I would recommend. Look for a high quality bone broth made in the USA like the one from Bluebird Provisions.
Have you made bone broth for your pup? How did they like it? Leave a comment and let me know.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used to treat or supplement any pet's diet. Consult your veterinarian or animal health specialist if you have questions about anything related to their food, consumption or health. The statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, USDA or CFIA.