Feeding bone broth for healthy pets


Bone broth

Bone broth is an amazing, healing powerhouse of nutrients. This wonder food has been used for centuries as a nourishing and rejuvenating food. Fortunately bone broth has recently regained popularity.

The process of long, slow simmering of bones and joints in water, with an acid helps to draw the nutrients out of the bone and cartilage.

The cartilage is broken down by the cooking process, and the minerals in the bone tissue are dissolved into the watery component. When in a liquid form, these nutrients becomes readily absorbed and utilised when ingested.

Full of nutrients

Cartilage tissue is composed of connective tissue, rich in elastin, proteins, collagen and glucosaminoglycans.  Bone tissue is full of minerals, such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium. The addition of an acid- either vinegar of lemon juice help to pull the minerals out of the bone tissue, and hold them in suspension in the liquid. The long, slow, low temperature cooking in water, breaks down the collagen and cartilage of the joints.

The finished bone broth is full of amino acids, glucosamino glycans (such as hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate), minerals, and vitamins.

Bone broth is rich in the amino acids glycine, proline, and lysine. These amino acids are lacking in muscle meat protein and although Glycine and proline can be made by the body, they are beneficial in the diet, and are really anti- inflammatory


Health benefits

The amino acids and proteins in bone broth are anti inflammatory, and also rich in the nutrients that are so important for tissue repair. Bone broth is part of my health protocol for most pets.

In pets suffering cancer, and undergoing radiation or chemotherapy- bone broth is easily digested and absorbed, and provided the nutrients required to heal damaged tissues and recovery. Its usually well accepted by pets with a poor appetite.

Any surgery or tissue injury– Any time the body needs to replace connective tissue for healing injuries, bone broth can provide these nutritents in a readily digested and absorb food

Stomach or bowel issues. Bone broth is fantastic for healing and soothing inflamed and irritated mucous membranes. Its also a very light meal to provide some energy and sustenance.

Allergies– pets with allergies usually have really damaged skin, either through the excessive scratching and damage this causes, or through the skin eruptions and irritations.  Really important to make sure that the bones don’t come from a protein source your pet is allergic to.

Arthritis– Glucosamine and chondroitin  are such common supplements for arthritis, but why give it in a tablet when you can give it in food form. with the extra benefits of the anti inflammatory amino acids!

How to feed it

Bone broth can be fed warmed, and liquid. In the bottom of the food bowl, on its own, or with other foods depending on the circumstances. If feeding warm, make sure it is not too hot, and around body temperature.

It can be fed as a cool jelly treat, added to a meal, or on its own, or even frozen in ice cube trays and fed as a frozen ice cube treat- great for a hot day!

Warnings and precautions

When making a bone broth for a dog or a cat I tend to leave the onion and garlic out. Garlic in small amounts is really not too dangerous for dogs, but I prefer to err on the side of caution, and if I am using garlic I use it as a freshly crushed clove. You can read more about garlic on my facebook post I did about it here

Please don’t feed the left over cooked bones to your pets. I know this should go without saying, but because the bones are soft, people will feed them.  Although the risk of an impaction with the soft bones is a lot less likely, it is still possible, at the very least, it can cause constipation and discomfort. Not all of the minerals are pulled out of the bone tissue, and there are huge amounts of calcium left in the soft bones. There is way too much calcium in a meal of soft bones than your pet requires. If you want to feed your dogs bones, feed raw meaty bones.


My pet recipe

2kg Free range chicken carcass or grass fed beef bones- or any free range bones, joints, feet you can find
3 stalks Celery, including leaves
3 Carrot
Handful of Parsley
2Tbsp apple cider vinegar

Place all ingredients in slow cooker. Cover with filtered water and simmer gently (chicken 12 hrs, beef 24 hrs).
Allow to cool, and strain.

Pour into ice- cube trays, or small containers (depending on the size of your dog) and freeze.
To use, defrost a single portion, and serve.


How do you like to use bone broth for your pets? Do they have it daily, or is it only when they are sick, or recovering? let me know in the comments below.

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1 Comment

  1. Dana on March 20, 2017 at 5:25 am

    Thanks Kerrie! Great info on why bone broth is so good for our pets. I make it every week or 2 and try to add a little each day when I have a batch in the refrigerator. I need to do the ice cube tray trick! I’ll share your post with some of my rescue friends…so many of the dogs we take in are in need of healing nutrition…

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