We want our pups to be as healthy as possible, so we ensure they eat nutritious dog food and exercise daily. But is there more to do to ensure our dogs’ health and well-being? There is, and one great way is to give your pet a health boost with bone broth.
What is bone broth? It’s a stock liquid made by simmering animal bones in water for a long period. And this superfood offers lots of nutritional benefits for your pup (and you, too!).
Below, you’ll find eight benefits of bone broth for dogs. Take a look to see just how great this food is for your favorite canine!
The 8 Amazing Benefits of Bone Broth for Dogs
1. Decrease Inflammation
Chronic inflammation doesn’t just affect humans; it can affect dogs too. And just like with us, chronic inflammation in dogs can lead to illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, arthritis, dementia, and heart disease. You can help reduce inflammation in your pup (and decrease the risk of serious disease) with the help of bone broth. Bone broth is rich in gelatin, which has been shown to reduce inflammation, and also contains important amino acids, like arginine, that do the same. Simply adding a bit of bone broth to your dog’s meals can go a long way in fighting inflammation.
2. Enhance Appetite & Hydration
When you’re sick, there’s nothing better than a bowl of chicken soup, right? Think of bone broth as chicken soup for your doggo when it’s not feeling well. If your pup has diarrhea or is throwing up, it can easily become dehydrated (and may not be in the mood to drink water). Giving your sick pet bone broth can help keep it hydrated and provide some nourishment if it’s having issues keeping food down.
Then there are senior dogs—seniors may experience a loss of appetite as they age, but they still need to eat! Bone broth is a food that can help enhance a senior dog’s appetite and provide needed nutrients.
3. Good for Skin & Coat
You’re likely familiar with collagen, but you may not know exactly what it does for the body. Collagen is one of the most bountiful proteins found in the body and provides support to tissue, plus aids in certain cellular processes. Collagen isn’t just found in people, though; it’s also in our dogs’ coats and skin. And like with us, collagen production begins to slow as your pet ages.
However, bone broth contains collagen, so by giving it to your pup, you’ll be helping keep its coat and skin healthy (and more youthful looking)!
4. Boosts the Immune System
Bone broth is an excellent food for boosting your dog’s immune system! This tasty broth contains a wealth of nutrients your pup requires (some of which we’ll take a closer look at below)—nutrients that can improve how well the immune system is able to fight off disease. So, if your pet isn’t feeling well, give them some bone broth to help them get back to feeling better!
5. Improves Gut Health
The intestines have a lining of tightly closed cells that work as a wall with selective permeability to allow only certain substances, such as nutrients, to reach the circulatory system. The space between healthy intestinal cells is very tight preventing the leakage of non-nutritional substances, such as bacteria, allergens, or toxins.
However, when those cells are damaged, the space between them can become enlarged, losing its selective permeability function. This can happen for many reasons for example an overgrowth of bad bacteria or a poor diet. When that happens, it’s known as leaky gut syndrome.
You might’ve heard of leaky gut in reference to humans, but dogs can experience this as well. If your dog has leaky gut syndrome, things that shouldn’t pass the intestinal wall (yeast, toxins, food that’s not yet digested) manage to leak out. When those things get out of the intestines, the body doesn’t recognize them and can begin to attack them, leading to food sensitivities, allergies, and other inflammatory conditions.
The good news is that bone broth can help with a leaky gut, as it has been proven to help the recovery and healing of the gut’s lining.
6. Offers Joint Support
While bone broth won’t cure joint conditions, it can definitely help joints stay healthier. That’s because bone broth contains collagen, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid, and glucosamine—all of which are important in repairing and strengthening joints. In fact, your pup (especially if it’s a large breed) may already have food that contains chondroitin and glucosamine. Again, bone broth isn’t a substitute for proper medical care if your dog has joint issues, but it can aid in keeping your canine’s joints working as they should.
7. Detoxes the Liver
We love our dogs, but sometimes they’re downright gross, particularly when they’re eating anything and everything off the ground! Sometimes the things they find on the ground to munch on aren’t very good for them and introduce toxins to the body. That’s where the liver comes in, as it’s the liver’s job to detoxify your pet’s body to keep it in optimal health. You can help your pup’s liver do its job of getting rid of all those nasty toxins by giving your dog bone broth. Bone broth has tons of amino acids, like glycine, that can aid the liver in detoxing.
8. Provides Essential Minerals
Your pupper needs lots of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to stay healthy. And as we’ve mentioned a couple of times, bone broth offers your dog plenty of nutrients it needs. It also contains a host of needed minerals. Minerals like phosphorus, calcium, silicon, magnesium, and sulfur are all vital to your dog’s health as they aid in keeping the heart and nervous system working properly, ward off muscle contractions, and help your pet sleep better. And bone broth contains all of those!
How to Make Your Own Bone Broth
While you can buy bone broth at the grocery store, you’ll find many of them contain ingredients you don’t want your dog to have, such as onion, garlic, extra sugar, excessive salt, or seasoning for flavoring. You can also find dog foods that contain bone broth or bone broth food toppers, so your pup gets those extra nutrients and health benefits. However, you can easily make your own bone broth, too. It’s a bit time-consuming, but it’s relatively simple to do.
First, you’ll need to gather your ingredients—animal bones, two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to draw out nutrients from those bones, and water. Throw everything into a pot, boil, then reduce to a simmer for at least 24 hours. (If you don’t want something bubbling away on the stove for 24 hours, you can go with a crockpot instead.)
When the broth is done, strain out the bones (don’t give them to your dog!), and you’re done! If done correctly, the bone broth should have the consistency of a soft Jello once cooled.
If you want to give your favorite canine a nutritional boost with a wealth of benefits, you’ll want to add bone broth to its diet. Bone broth can help your dog’s liver detoxify, improve the health of joints, aid in keeping the gut healthy, and so much more! Plus, it’s delicious, so your pet will love eating it.
While you can purchase bone broth or dog foods with bone broth, you can also make it yourself if you’re a fan of doing things the homemade way. It’s a time-consuming process, but it’s fairly easy to do, and it’s something your pup will appreciate!
Featured Image Credit: Alp Aksoy, Shutterstock