Bone broth can be a great addition to your dog’s diet. Although it’s not a superfood or a cure-all remedy, bone broth provides many benefits that can boost your dog’s health.
What is bone broth?
Bone broth, also known as bone stock can be made by using bones from any animal such as pork, beef, veal, turkey, lamb, bison, buffalo, venison, chicken, or fish.
Depending on what animal bones you are using, bone broth generally contains calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and other trace minerals which are beneficial to your dogs overall health.
Bone Broth Benefits For Dogs
Bone broth increases overall immunity, nutrient absorption, and joint health as a natural source of trace minerals, amino acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin sulfate.
It is beneficial for sick or senior dogs who have trouble gaining weight or have low appetites. A dog that has diarrhea can benefit from bone broth to replenish the lost liquid your dog has lost.
Bone broth is beneficial for dogs with kidney disease, as water is essential for a healthy kidney function. It can help treat leaky gut syndrome and digestive issues (repairing damage to the tissues that line the colon and entire gastrointestinal tract).
Fermented Fish Stock For Dogs
Fermented fish stock is made from wild North Atlantic sardines. This stock is better than fish oil and is a healthy way to replace probiotics and supplements for joint, enzyme, thyroid, and kidney support.
Dogs with allergies should be fed beef or chicken broth if your dog is allergic to fish.
Consider feeding 3-4 times per week using the following serving sizes*:
- Up to 20 pounds: ¼ cup per day
- 20 – 50 pounds: ½ cup per day
- 50 pounds and up: ¾ cup per day
Storage & Handling
Fermented fish stock can be stored in the freezer and thaw out over a few days in the fridge until needed. It usually lasts in the refrigerator for up to 14 days.
Benefits of Fermented Fish Stock
Joint Support – Fermented fish stock contains glycosaminoglycans, which are a major component of glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid, and joint cartilage.
Thyroid Support – Rich in iodine and other thyroid supportive nutrients.
Kidney Support – Fermented fish stock is beneficial for pets with kidney disease who are put on a low protein diet. It reduces the body’s need for protein by up to 50%. Rich in arginine, fermented fish stock helps to metabolize protein waste and reduces blood pressure, which puts less strain on the kidneys.
Digestive Support – Gelatin, a naturally occurring product in fermented fish stock lines the digestive system and helps resolve leaky gut syndrome and colitis, while also providing a barrier against bad bacteria. Fermented fish stock is also high in Glycine, which helps regulate bile salts and secretion of gastric juices and also aids in liver detox. Glycine produces a calming effect, aids in sleep, and can help protect against seizures as well as brain damage.
Skin / Coat Support – Ground fermented sardines provide a dense source of all Omega fatty acids, which are essential for optimal skin and coat health.
Dental Support – Fish stock helps remineralize tooth enamel by absorbing minerals into your pet’s saliva. Glycosaminoglycans also assist in the repair of ligaments and the tightening of teeth.
Diabetic Support – Ground fermented sardines naturally stimulate the secretion of insulin. They are also rich in magnesium, which increases insulin sensitivity.
Immune Support – The minerals provided naturally in fermented fish stock are more readily absorbed, and they trigger metabolic enzymes that boost healing functions.
Seizure Relief – The gelatin found in fermented fish stock has anti-inflammatory and brain-protecting functions. Specific glycosaminoglycans also enhance the brain’s ability to eliminate heavy metals and other toxins.
How to prepare a basic bone broth for dogs
- Place your bones into a large stockpot and cover with water.
- *Optional: Add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to water prior to cooking.
- Fill the rest of your pot with filtered water, leave plenty of room for water to boil.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer for at least six hours. Remove scum as it arises.
- Cook slowly and at low heat. Chicken bones can cook for 24 hours. Beef bones can cook for 48 hours. Low and slow cooking time is necessary in order to fully extract the nutrients in and around the bone.
You can also use an instant pot or pressure cooker for faster cooking.
After cooking, the broth will cool and a layer of fat will harden on top. This layer protects the broth beneath. Discard this layer (or use it for your own consumption) when you are about to feed the broth.
*Adding apple cider vinegar helps draw the minerals out of the bones more thoroughly. Use one teaspoon of raw apple cider vinegar per gallon of water. You can also use lemon juice, approximately one to two whole fresh lemons.
Bone Broth Addons
DO NOT ADD ONIONS! They are highly toxic.
Broths made with added vegetables like celery, fennel, and carrots can further aid digestion and soothe an upset stomach. Vegetables added to bone broth will have more minerals in the broth. Adding Turmeric to bone broth can add extra anti-inflammatory and detox boost from Turmeric.
Serve about 1/4 cup of broth per 25 lbs of body weight per serving. Adjust accordingly for larger or smaller pets. Your dog can eat up to two servings per day.
Storage and Handling
Store fresh bone broth in the refrigerator for about four days, or freeze it up to a year.
How to serve your dog bone broth
There are different ways you can serve bone broth to your dog. You can use it as a base on your dog’s meal or as a supplement to your dog’s regular diet.
It can also be added on kibble, canned or home-cooked meals, or as a tasty drink. You can also serve on hot days as a tasty ice cube treat.
How Much Bone Broth Should You Feed Your Dog?
A standard serving of bone broth for a dog is 1 ounce of broth for every 10 pounds of body weight. Your dog can eat up to two servings per day. Start small, if your dog has never tried bone broth, we recommend starting your pet with one serving per day, just to make sure it agrees with your pet’s digestive system.
Warnings, Do’s & Don’ts
Bone broth is not dangerous to your dog but it is best to feed in moderation and variation. Discard the top layer of fat after making the broth (or use it for your own consumption). This fat can be linked to pancreatitis in dogs.
Do not rely SOLELY on bone broth to provide nutrition to your sick dog.
Don’t feed broth to dogs with serious health issues like GI troubles or bone-related problems if left untreated long term.
Dogs With Cancer
Do not add carrots in the bone broth if your dog has cancer. Carrots have a fair amount of starch and are not ideal for dogs with cancer.
Dogs with Liver Disease
Bone broth can potentially be dangerous to give to dogs with liver disease. They may not be able to break down extra proteins found in bone broth or get rid of waste products.
Bone broth is highly nutritious and addresses certain health problems that dogs experience. Don’t overthink it. Start with a simple broth recipe if your dog is new to it. Always do your own research or ask your vet if your dog has certain health conditions prior to introducing new foods to your dog’s diet.
Have questions or don’t agree with something in this article? Awesome! We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Good to know we can share our left over bone broth with the dogs.
I don’t really use onions in my stocks but I can see how this could be toxic for dogs if dog parents are uneducated. Do your research people!
Exactly Zay. Many of people go get a new pet not knowing anything about animals and then ” learn by trial and error at the expenses of the pet” vs. doing research beforehand. There are many things that can kill a pet or make it very sick because of lack of knowledge. And to Anamile thank you for this forum. I have been raising animals for many years from dogs to cats and professional horse training and Rodeo circuit and still research as much as I can.
I have made beef bone broth for our dog with kidney disease. He eats a kidney diet but hates it and I want to encourage his appetite. Should the marrow be included or discarded?
I think you should include the marrow when making a beef bone broth for your dog. However, I suggest you contact your vet first.