Bone broth is a staple for my pack as it serves so many purposes. First, they love it, and second, the nutritional benefits are numerous.
Before you learn how to make it, here's why bone broth, particularly homemade bone broth, is good for your dog or cat. Bone broth is loaded with methylsulfonylmethane-- we call it MSM-- which is a form of sulfer. MSM, is shown to have anti-inflammatory benefits to aid in arthritis, and other illnesses, so particularly beneficial for elderly pets. Bone broth also aides in alleviating diarrhea, leaky gut syndrome, renal health (kidneys, bladder, etc) and dental health. It can also help accelerate healing after having a poor diet, so we really recommend this for rescued pups, foster pet parents and new adoptions!
If you feed a dry kibble diet, then bone broth can be even more important. Like us, it's very easy for dogs and cats to not get enough moisture in their diet. This is particularly true for dogs on a dry diet. Bone broth is a delicious way to add moisture and nutrients to your dog's diet!
Now that you know why, here's the how!
Making bone broth for your dog (or yourself) is actually a pretty simple process. First, get the bones! You can use the bones leftover from preparing your own meals or start with a whole chicken. Going organic or free-range for your precious four legged family member is best for their health, but non-organic works as well as the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
There are many methods of making bone broth. Here are some suggestions!
From whole chicken:
- Using a pot, put a whole chicken with a splash of vinegar (I use Bragg's Organic Apple Cider Vinegar) into a pot and simmer for a couple hours or until all the meat and skin falls away from the bones.
- Separate the meat and skin from the bones. Use the meat, skin, and liquid for your own homemade dog food.
- Take the remaining bones and put into a slow cooker with water and another splash of vinegar. The vinegar is essential to making bone broth, so don't forget it!
- Let the bones cook for 24 to 48 hours, or until the bones are so soft. During this process, the vinegar and water mixture is leaching the healthy minerals from the bones. 24 hours in a crock pot, pot, or slow cooker usually does the trick!
- Strain the mixture and discard the remaining bones. You may also blend the soft bones into a slurry, making sure no hard pieces are left. Be very careful if you do this to make sure no solid pieces of bones remain to cause a blockage or become lodged in your dog's digestive system.
From leftover bones:
1. I often do a mix of free range beef bones and accumulated chicken bones left over from my own dinners. I store left over bones in the freezer and toss them in! Just cover the bones in filtered fresh water, add a splash of vinegar and let it simmer for 24 hours.
2. Just like above, strain and serve!
Use a pressure cooker
You can do the same steps as above, but you may use a pressure cooker. If you wish to pulverize the bones into a slush, the pressure cookers may be more effective at adequately softening the bones to reduce any risk of blockage or splinters.
Make sure to store unused portions in the freezer or refrigerator!