I'm always looking for ways to give Dolly & Reggie nutritious extras that complement their current diet. A fantastic way to do this is to make Bone Broth! (or if you don't have time, buy Boil & Broth Bone Broth Powder).
Bone Broth is SO simple to make, I love that I can chuck it all into my slow cooker and literally forget about it for 24 hours whilst it simmers away. I then portion it into ice cube trays and give the pooches one per day with their food.
What are the benefits of bone broth for dogs?
Bone broth is beneficial for dogs due to its nutrient-rich composition, which includes vitamins, minerals, collagen, gelatin, glucosamine, and chondroitin. The benefits of bone broth are wide and varied.
Nutrient-Rich: Bone broth is made by simmering bones and connective tissues for an extended period, which releases various nutrients such as vitamins, minerals (like calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium), collagen, gelatin, glucosamine, and chondroitin. These nutrients can contribute to joint health, digestive function, and overall well-being.
Joint Health: The collagen, gelatin, glucosamine, and chondroitin found in bone broth can support joint health and help manage joint-related issues like arthritis. These substances are known to promote the health of joints, cartilage, and connective tissues.
Digestive Health: The gelatin in bone broth is gentle on the digestive tract and may help soothe and heal the gut lining. This can be particularly helpful for dogs with sensitive stomachs, food allergies, or digestive issues.
Hydration: Bone broth has a high water content, which can help keep your dog hydrated, especially if they're not drinking enough water on their own.
Improved Appetite: The rich aroma and flavor of bone broth can entice dogs to eat, especially when they're not feeling well or have a decreased appetite. It can be used as a topping for dry kibble or to rehydrate freeze-dried or dehydrated foods.
Immune System Support: The nutrients in bone broth, including amino acids and minerals, can contribute to a healthier immune system.
Coat and Skin Health: The nutrients in bone broth can help improve the condition of your dog's skin and coat, making it shinier and healthier.
Detoxification: Some proponents believe that bone broth's amino acids, such as glycine, can support the body's detoxification processes.
Weight Management: Bone broth is low in calories and fat, making it a good option for dogs that need to manage their weight.
Homemade and Natural: When prepared at home, bone broth for dogs can be made using high-quality ingredients, allowing you to control what goes into the broth and ensure that there are no additives or artificial ingredients.
Bone Broth is an excellent supplement for dogs of all ages, all sizes and for all different diet types.
Step by step guide on how to make bone broth for dogs
First, fill your slow cooker with bones (if you don't have a slow cooker you can use an ovenproof dish with a lid and cook on very low). To make sure there’s lots of healthy, joint protecting gelatin in the bone broth, use bones with a lot of joints in them (raw chicken or duck feet are perfect) and a marrow bone or two if you have them. Snap the bones before putting them in if you can to help release the goodness inside.
If you don't have raw bones, you can use ANY bones leftover from your own meals, just ensure you wash any sauce or gravy off before putting them into the pot.
Fill the pot with boiling water so the bones are covered plus an extra inch (this makes plenty of broth). Then add three tablespoons of unpasteurised Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) - must contain 'the mother'.
Why use Apple Cider Vinegar?
It helps to pull the minerals out of the bones and creates a nutritious, gelatinous (jelly-like) broth. Broth made without ACV will not be as thick or nutritious.
Put your slow cooker on low (or pop the pot in the oven at around 120C) and leave to cook for 24-36 hours. You can leave it a little longer but I find it starts to overcook and dry out after this time.
Strain the bones out! Your dog cannot eat the bones as they are cooked so strain them out and put them in the bin and leave your broth to cool on the side. Use a colander or sieve to strain the broth into a new bowl.
Once cool enough, pop the broth into the fridge. Leave it long enough for any fat to form on the top and go hard. Overnight is ideal but a few hours will suffice.
Get rid of the hard fat from the top with a spoon and throw it away. What you are left with underneath should be a clear, jelly broth.
The jelly means you’ve got lots of gelatin in there, and that’s what helps with your dog’s joints and the leaky gut that can cause allergies and digestive upset. That gelatin plugs the holes in leaky gut that can cause allergy symptoms, so the more jelly-like, the better!
If your broth doesn’t look like jelly, don’t worry … it just means you didn’t add enough vinegar. Next time just add a little more vinegar and your next batch will be just fine. But first use the broth you have because it will still be packed with healthy goodness!
Decide how you want to store your broth. I put mine into ice cube trays and freeze. I then give Dolly & Reggie one ice cube a day. You may prefer to store yours in a kilner jar in the fridge (especially if you have a larger dog or more than one dog) and give them a spoonful daily. The broth will happily keep in the fridge for three days.
Feed it to your pooch!
With Woofs and Wags,
Laura, Dolly & Reggie