Some people believe that a bowl of chicken soup can cure a cold. Others dismiss this idea as an old wives' tale. The truth? Scientists have discovered that many soups, especially broths, are rich in nutrients that are good not just for humans, but also for our beloved canines.
What is bone broth?
Bone broth is made by cooking bones and connective tissue — preferably chicken or beef — very slowly in a pot of water. The longer you cook the bones, the more nutrients will infuse the broth. That is why most recipes recommend simmering the liquid in a crockpot for approximately 24 hours.
Prior to cooking, it's important that the bones sit in water with some apple cider vinegar or lemon juice for approximately 30 minutes. These acidic liquids could help coax the collagen, gelatin and nutrients out of the bones. For added flavor, you can also throw in some dog-friendly vegetables such as kale, carrots or celery.
One word of warning: Do not feed your canine the cooked bones, as they can splinter into sharp shards, which could pose a choking hazard or cause damage your dog's digestive tract.
The health benefits of bone broth for dogs
So, why is broth good for dogs? Whether you decide to feed the dog beef broth or chicken broth, liquids can provide your canine with a treasure trove of health benefits, including:
Collagen: Your dog's joints are lined with a thin layer of cartilage, which can wear away over time. Providing food that is high in collagen could boost joint health in older canines and strengthen the joints of young dogs. Collagen can also improve your dog's coat and nails.
Gelatin: This substance is believed to help restore and protect your dog's intestines and aid in digestion. It is also said to help combat leaky gut syndrome. In a healthy dog, the lining of the intestinal wall works to keep harmful materials — such as allergens and bacteria — from entering your pet's bloodstream. If a dog has a leaky gut, this safety net fails to function properly. Signs that your dog may have leaky gut syndrome include vomiting, soft stools and skin diseases. The good news? The gelatin found in meat broth can help repair your pup's intestinal lining.
Glycine: From fertilizers to household cleaners, your canine is exposed to many toxic items throughout the day. Fortunately, bone broth contains glycine, which is an amino acid that can help detoxify your dog's hard-working kidneys and liver.
Bone broth can also help you with picky eaters. If your dog is notorious for turning up its nose at kibble, try mixing some delicious broth to give the food a flavor boost. Another reason to feed a dog chicken broth or beef broth? If they’re sick and not able to consume solid foods, the benefits of bone broth for dogs include the nutrients their bodies need.
Bone broth for the win
Is bone broth a superfood? We think so. It's simple and inexpensive to make at home, packs a powerful punch of nutrients and is delicious. However, before adding broth or any new item to your canine’s diet, make sure to consult with your veterinarian first. Many dogs can be sensitive to new foods, so a vet can suggest the best way to add bone broth to your pet's meals.