If you follow trends in modern health and wellness based eating you’ve probably heard of some of hottest menu items on the market for humans. Berries are chock full of antioxidants and ancient grains are low in glycemic impact but big in digestible fiber. From kale to quinoa, the literature on what people should eat for the biggest nutritional impact is overflowing. Did you know, however, that one of the hottest items on the list of must-eat foods is also an amazing supplement for your canine companion?
Bone broth may seem like a trendy new dish but in reality, it’s a tried and true recipe, handed down from ancient times, touted to fix everything from aches and pains to upset stomachs. While this mystical broth won’t be giving Fido mystical superpowers, its nutritional benefits are well documented. As a bonus, bone broth is easy and inexpensive for pet owners to whip up at home, making this taste-good treat the perfect addition to your dog’s balanced diet.
Bone Broth Benefits for Your Pooch
Bone broth is made by slow cooking various bone and cartilage filled parts of beef, chicken, fowl, pork or just about any type of quality meat. Bone and cartilage contain a variety of incredibly dense nutrients, perfect for providing a boost to your dog’s normal diet. Cartilage, the connective tissue that holds bone structure together at various joints, is packed with glycosaminoglycans which help stimulate cartilage growth; perfect for older dogs, dogs with arthritis or working pets with sore and achy joints. The bone itself is a great source of nutrients such as vitamin D and calcium and the gelatin that forms from slow cooking quality bone broth is an excellent remedy for GI and digestion issues such as upset tummy, loose stools and more.
For older or sick dogs in need of extra nutrition and calories, bone broth is a tasty supplement that few of the canine persuasion will stick their noses up at. Dogs that are feeling too weak to drink can lap up moisture and vitamins, providing energy to help get them back to their perky selves. Bone broth can also be used over regular food to encourage eating which is critical in doggy patients after surgery where they may not be feeling their best.
While bone, meat and cartilage are essential parts of most commercially available dog food, the cooking process can destroy or degrade these important natural compounds, reducing their benefits to your dog. Even with homemade raw diets that feed meaty bones, it can be difficult for your dog’s digestive system to break down even well chewed bone and tough cartilage or other connective tissue. A quality bone broth aids in the ready absorption of nutrients without overly tasking your dog’s tummy.
Whip Up a Batch Yourself
Bone broth is simple and inexpensive to cook up at home for your precious pooch. Start out with one or more different protein sources. For beef, large knuckles or marrow bones are excellent choices, just be sure that some of the joint is intact as you’ll get lots of good collagen-making compounds from those bits. Turkey wings and necks, whole carcasses and pork necks and shoulders will also make excellent broth. Try asking your local butcher for these often “discard bits” and you’ll be amazed at the available selection he or she produces.
Throw the bones into a pot or slow cooker with a few cups of water to just about half way cover. Next comes the hard part; waiting. You’ll want to cook the bone broth on low for many hours, think around 24 hours. The longer the cook time the better as this will allow the tough connective tissue to break down without destroying delicate chemical compounds that make bone broth nutritious. While this is done easiest in a slow cooker, a well-monitored pot on the stove will also work. After about a day, cool the broth and strain off all the chunky bits. You can refrigerate or freeze your broth for future use or give to your waiting pup immediately. If the bone broth forms a gelatinous mass when cooled, you know you’ve done good!
Bone Broth Bottom Line
Bone broth is certainly a superfood that can be enjoyed by humans and dogs alike. Feel free to use your bone broth as a base for a delicious soup the next time you’re feeling down. An inexpensive supplement or meal on its own for your canine companion, bone broth is truly a jam-packed, nutritional powerhouse that also tastes great. Make up a batch today and your pup will be a healthy, happy camper.