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The Healthful Benefits of Bone Broth for Pets

Written on October 1, 2018 by Healthful Pets

I often recommend the ‘healthful’ benefits of home-made bone broth, which makes a fantastic base for stews and soups, as it is full of nourishing substances. Well dogs and cats love it too and it makes a super nutritious and inexpensive treat or an additional source of nourishment...

Why is bone broth so good for our pets?

Bone broth, which is easily digestible, essential, anti-inflammatory, gut healing nutrients such as amino acids the building blocks of protein, easily absorbable forms of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, sulphur, silicon, phosphorus and chondroitin, glucosamine & gelatin which have been released into the water as the bones have been simmered.

Can how this nutritious stock can therefore help support your pets? 

  • A healthy gut and healthy digestion; the amino acid glycine stimulates the production of stomach acid and glutamine, another important amino acid which helps to maintain and restore the integrity of the gut lining. There is a strong link between gut health and overall health.
  • Joint Health from the strengthening nutrients including chondroitin, glucosamine, magnesium and calcium, together with proteins (including gelatine which has been broken down from collagen) which provide the body with raw materials it needs for healthy bones and joints.
  • Liver detoxification. The liver is the organ of detoxification and in the modern world a dog’s liver has a high toxic load to process from the environment, such as polluted air, chemicals in household cleaners, fertilised grass, processed foods and drugs. The amino acid glycine and mineral sulphur found in bone broth play an important role in supporting liver detoxification.

How to Make Bone Broth

  • Use bones from a whole chicken or whole carcass. Chicken carcasses can be purchased from many on-line food retailers or your local butcher. However you can also use any bones you wish - knuckle and foot bones are excellent. Bones from meat you have already roasted are also great to use. Organic, grass-fed bones are best.
  • Rinse the chicken carcasses (or equivalent) and add to a large saucepan or slow cooker and completely cover with filtered water
  • Add a splash of raw apple cider vinegar (approximately 1 teaspoon for every 4.5 litres of water or the juice of a lemon to the water). This will help to extract all the goodness out of the bones
  • Bring to the boil then simmer on a low heat for at least 4 hours but you can simmer for up to 24 hours (or longer!). This process doesn’t need to take place continuously – you can simmer during the day and turn off the stove at bedtime, turning it back on again in the morning. Stir occasionally while it cooks.  I will often cook for 3 days.
  • Ideally when the meat starts to fall off the bones (at approximately 2.5 hours) remove the meat and top up with a little water. However this may be longer, especially if you are simmering at a lower temperature - by four and a half hours all the meat should be off the bones. This meat makes a great first food for a sick pet or can be added as part of a meal, however if you are a raw feeder you may not want to do this.
  • After the required cooking time, allow to cool slightly, remove the bones and discard (NEVER feed cooked bones to your pet) and strain remaining liquid. Allow the broth to cool . The cooked bone broth will be liquid but once cooked the broth will congeal into a thick jelly-like substance (from the gelatine). A layer of fat will form on the top of the cooled broth. You may want to discard this but equally if you are using bones of healthy animals (organic and grass fed) then this can be used as a cooking oil for meat, poultry and vegetable dishes.
  • As soon as the broth has cooked serve a bowl to your dogs and cats.
  • Store in the fridge for up to four or five days. I normally put mine in a kilner jar or you can freeze (for up to 3 months) in small containers or ice cube trays for easy use.