Is Chicken Broth Good for Dogs? Recipe, Benefits & More
Is Chicken Broth Good for Dogs?
Chicken broth is a delicious and hydrating beverage. But most of the broth you find in stores is bad for your dog's health. So, is chicken broth good for dogs?
A good chicken / beef broth is a protein rich, hydrating beverage for dogs. Even though it's human food, it tastes delicious to them and has minerals that are essential to their immune system, fur and digestion.
Learn the benefits of using and, when to use it, how to find a good one and a simple recipe recipe to get you started. If you have a picky eater, you'll want to read this.
Before we get started, I'll mention that the highest protein and electrolytes are found in the dog specific chicken broth powder from Bluebird Provisions.
It's non-gmo with no junk or harmful ingredients. With that out of the way let's get on to the information you need.
Is Chicken Broth Good For Dogs?
Chicken broth is good for dogs to eat if you use a high quality one that does not have added salt, natural flavors, yeast extract or preservatives.
You need to be careful because most store-bought options have all or some of the ingredients. These are bad for dogs and should be avoided. I tried some of them with my husky and poodle and they got sick.
Dog-Friendly Chicken Broth
A dog-friendly chicken broth is a low sodium broth made from the whole carcasses or meat that have been ethically raised on pasture.
Ideally it is high in protein (to hit their requirements) with electrolytes for hydration. The ideal one satisfies their nutritional needs with just 2-3 ingredients with no added fillers, preservatives, natural flavors or yeast extract.
There are man different types from powder to liquid.
Chicken Broth Health Benefits for Dogs
Chicken broth benefits for dogs include: nutrition, electrolytes, immune system support, digestion, fur and skin health and as a palatability enhancer when used as a savory wet dog food meal topper.
Let's go through each quickly so you can see for yourself.
Nutrition: trace minerals including amino acids, iron and electrolytes.
Immune System Support: The vitamins, minerals and proteins help keep canine immune systems and major organs (liver, heart, etc) strong and resilient.
Amino acids like glycine, glutamine, glucosamine and chondroitin provide the building blocks for great gut health and help heal damaged GI tracts to help them digest food properly. Studies show that these proteins are used to treat IBS, crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
Pictured above are my two dogs: Atlas and Nitotem.
Fur and Skin Health: Gelatin and collagen in high protein versions are fantastic for building new collagen in their skin, teeth, nails and improving the condition of their coat.
Appetite Stimulation: Picky eaters or underweight dogs will devour their food with a bit of broth drizzled on it. It's a great way to work some variety into the diet of canines.
My poodle is was the pickiest eater you've ever seen. We were concerned about his body weight and we tried everything. Finally, we started using a high quality bone broth and it worked wonders. He gobbles it up.
Read my review of the top 6 best store-bought bone broth's for dogs to see which one we used.
Is store bought chicken broth safe for dogs?
Store-bought chicken broth is not safe for dogs because most of it is high salt, full of chemicals and onions that are damaging to their gut function. Don't believe the bogus health claims and always check the nutrition label.
Look for one sourced from pasture raised farms with limited ingredients like Bluebird Provisions. This is the safest option for your pup.
What to Look For in Store-Bought Chicken Broth
You want to look for a chicken broth that is unsalted, has no onions, garlic or yeast. Look for one with water, chicken bones, broth or bone broth as the first two ingredients. Powder options are ok too.
Any other ingredients after the first two should be looked over with a fine toothed comb. You'll likely find preservatives and nasty chemicals that do not belong in human or canine diets.
Veggies are ok but not needed as they do not add any nutrients and your dog will love the taste regardless of extra vegetables.
As for the nutrition facts: make sure there is less than 150 mg sodium per cup or standard serving. Look for at least 200 mg potassium per serving.
Protein is usually 1 g but with chicken bone broths you can look for 6-12 grams. Carbs should not be any higher than 1 g per cup. Fat doesn't really matter. Most brands remove the fat anyways, so you'll find 0-2 g.
The Best Chicken Broth For Dogs Diet
The best chicken broth for dogs is made by Bluebird Provisions. It's a convenient powder format that does not use any spices, junk fillers, preservatives or sketchy ingredients.
In fact, there is only one ingredient: chicken bone broth.
Bluebird Provisions Chicken Bone Broth Topper
Bluebird Provisions Dog Chicken Broth is a great alternative to store-bought bone broth for dogs, especially for building healthy joints.
It is sourced from pasture raised chicken in the USA and Canada and has 12 g of collagen protein per 2 tablespoons serving size.
You'll love that it uses 100% human-grade ingredients with only 130 mg sodium per serving with 300 mg of potassium.
I just checked and you can get free shipping if you purchase on Amazon Prime (affiliate link).
How to Use Chicken Broth for Pets
You can use chicken broth in many different ways including gravy, to soften food, as a frozen treat and more. As I mentioned above, it is among the most versatile foods. Here's a few ideas to get you started.
Healthy Meal Topper: It makes for the perfect kibble or meal topper / addition for your canine friend. Simply add 1/4 cup to their meals and mix it all up for a delicious gravy consistency.
Hydration By The Cup: Fill their bowl with a 1/4 cup if you are concerned about their hydration, especially in senior dogs. They will drink it up and get potassium, magnesium and phosphorus. Be careful of the temperate if you warm it up. Don't want to burn their mouths!
Frozen Treat Popsicle
Pour it into an ice cube tray and you have savory chicken broth dog treats (aka brothsicles) or your pet. This works great in the summer after a long walk outside or as a flavor boost.
Soften Dry Food: Add it to any foods instead of water to help soften their food. Great for older dogs or those with dental issues. Just keep the dog food consistency in mind when you mix it. It's the perfect complement to their regular diet.
Looking for the best food mixer for your pet? Read my review of the 9 best healthy meal toppers for dogs.
How much chicken broth can I give my dog?
Start with 30 ml or 1/8th cup in one meal per day. If you are using a powder version, then try 1 tsp in one meal per day.
See how your pup responds over the next 3 days. Bowel movements may be softer in the first day, that is ok. Are they normal by the 2nd or 3rd day?
Then you can begin to increase the dose to 1/4 cup per meal or 1 tbsp of powder.
After two weeks you can work your way up to two servings in your dog's diet. If you have any concerns it is always best to check with your vet. And use your best discretion.
Dog Chicken Broth Recipe: Meat and Bones
A dog-friendly chicken broth recipe is one without any added salt, spices or herbs. Just simply add chicken meat and water in a pot and simmered for an hour or two. Get the step by step guide below.
You don't need any spices or seasonings, no added flavors or ingredients are necessary.
If you are not using deboned chicken, make sure you carefully remove all bones before serving the broth to your dog! Cooked bones are incredibly dangerous and can get caught in dogs digestive systems.
Pet Food Broth Ingredients
- 8 cups water
- 3 lbs chicken meat (use a whole / rotisserie chicken, or a mix of breasts, thighs, wings, etc). Or you can make turkey / lamb broth.
- Add meat and water to a large stockpot
- Place pot on stove and bring to a boil over high heat. You can put the lid on to speed things up.
- As it begins to boil, use a large spoon to skim off any little bits of foam, scum, or impurities that rise to the top.
- Do this 2-3 times over the first 30 minutes.
- Reduce heat to a rolling simmer and let it cook for 1-3 hours. You can add some water back to the pot if the liquid reduces too much.
- Once finished cooking, scoop out the animal meat using a spider strainer or slotted spoon.
- Pour broth through a fine mesh sieve or strainer into a bowl or jars.
- Place jars in the fridge to cool and enjoy!
A natural fat cap will form as the broth cools, you can leave this on or remove it. The fat is great for their skin and hair. But you usually need to warm it first to make it mixable.
This recipe has no aromatics, veggies or broth additives. You can add in carrots or sweet potatoes if you like. Avoid onions or garlic as they are harmful. And you do not need any vinegar either as it can upset their stomachs or cause illness. Fancy things like turmeric or pumpkin are not needed either.
You can use a slow cooker on the high setting for 2 hours.
Can I give my dog chicken broth everyday?
You can give your dog chicken broth everyday provided that it agrees with their digestive system and they have no side effects. If they have diarrhea, other digestive issues or low energy, then it is best to stop using it immediately. Start with a conservative amount like 1/8th cup to be on the safe side.
Are there any risks associated with giving your dog chicken broth?
The risks associated with giving your dog chicken broth products include diarrhea, allergic reactions, constipation, low energy and long-term health risks.
It can also be dangerous if it is not gradually introduced into their diet. For this reason I recommend that you be conservative when you introduce it. Their tummies are sensitive to changes.
Also, make sure you have a quality product as many of the added compounds and preservatives can pose health risks. If you notice any distress or sign of trouble, stop using it.
While chicken broth is a delicious and healthy beverage for humans, most store-bought brands are not good for your dog's health.
However, you can make a healthy and delicious one at home that your dog will love. And if you don't have time to make it, Bluebird Provisions offers a delicious and healthy option that is perfect for your dog. Order it today!
Have you fed broth to your pup? How did they like it? Leave a comment and let me know.
Frequent Asked Questions
Below are some FAQ's.
Can Dogs Have Chicken Broth
Dogs can eat chicken broth provided that it is made specifically for dogs and does not have any harmful additive ingredients like onions, garlic, sweeteners, preservatives or citric acid.
Does chicken broth hydrate dogs?
Chicken broth can help promote hydration in dogs for a few reasons. First, it gets them drinking more because it tastes delicious to them.
Second, it has naturally occurring electrolytes like potassium, magnesium, phosphorous and chloride. These improve hydration status by helping water get stored in their muscles. Remember that it is not a substitute for fresh, clean water in their dish. While it is all the rage, it is no replacement for their proper meals.
What are some other ways to keep your dog hydrated?
There are a few creative ways to keep your dog hydrated other than plain water.
The first is by serving broth as is for meal additives. Pour it in their bowl as you would water to stimulate them to drink more. Be sure to adjust your pet's caloric intake of their regular food to account for the extra calories.
The second is frozen broth popsicles. Simply pour the broth into ice cube trays or popsicle molds. Freeze them then give it to your pup as a treat on a hot day.
The last is a broth slushie. Partially freeze it in a bowl for 1-2 hours. Remove it from the freezer and mix it up for a slushie and you won't need to worry about them getting thirsty.
How do I add chicken broth to my dog's food?
You add chicken broth to your dog's food by pouring 1/4 cup on top of their regular kibble, dry or wet food. Now mix it together with a spoon to moisten everything up. Now give it to them and watch them devour it.
Can I mix chicken broth with dog food?
You can mix it with dog food to soften up food and entice them to eat. This works especially well for picky eaters who are underweight, sick or to combat dehydrated.
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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.