Chicken Broth for Dogs

Giving dogs chicken broth made from a bone base (also known as bone broth) is all-the-rage among dog lovers and nutritionists. Nevertheless, dog owners might not fully understand what chicken bone broth is, exactly why it is good to feed, the benefits of doing so, and where to buy it, or how to make it at home. Here's everything you should know.

Adding chicken broth to a dog’s diet can be beneficial for any dog, of any age, on any type of diet (as long as your dog is not allergic to chicken). The main concern with introducing broth into a dog’s diet is understanding the differences between the many different types of broths that can be found at your local grocery store, because many commercially produced and sold broths are not particularly healthy or beneficial. Even worse, some store-bough broths contain ingredients that can be toxic and harmful to dogs.

The best way to be certain that a broth is safe, healthy, and beneficial for your dog is to make it at home. Making homemade chicken broth for dogs is actually easy. Properly made, dog-safe broth has a multitude of positive effects and benefits when fed to dogs, and it can be given to dogs on a consistent basis.

Benefits of Chicken Broth for DogsBenefits of Chicken Broth for Dogs

Beneficial Minerals. A dog can never get too many minerals, and chicken broth, which is packed full of a plethora of beneficial minerals can help provide a dog with vital minerals that they may be missing out on in their day-to-day diet. Broth specifically contains calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, and many other health-promoting nutrients.

Better Joint Health. Because broth is made using bones and cartilage, there is an abundance of joint-health-promoting, and protecting gelatin and collagen in the broth. And because the collagen within a dog’s body is also boosted by eating broth, doing so is incredibly helpful to a dog’s overall joint health. Broth is also a great source of glucosamine and chondroitin, both of which have been demonstrated to support overall joint health. A dog’s joints can also be improved by regularly consuming broth, which effectively relieves and reduces joint pain. Adding broth to older dog’s meals is often recommended instead of giving them expensive supplements to help with their joint-pain, and other health issues that are caused by aging.

Body Detoxification. Broth is filled to the brim with detoxifying and health-promoting amino acids, including glycine. Glycine is an amino acid that helps to detox a dog’s kidneys and liver. Therefore, eating broth will cause the body’s detoxing organs (liver and kidneys) to function better by detoxing them, which will allow these vital organs to better detox the dog’s entire body.

Helps a Leaky Gut. The glycine found in broth also helps to protect a dog from being affected by leaky gut, which is a digestive disorder in which a dog has holes in their gut that are so big that they lead to problems with digestion. Glycine blocks these holes and reduces their size, helping to better this condition in a dog.

Relief from Upset Stomach. Chicken broth is a very soothing food that is effective at helping to prevent a dog’s stomach from becoming inflamed, in addition to having many detoxing ingredients that can assist a dog in getting over a short-term digestive problem, more quickly and comfortably.

Sensitive Tummy Solution. Broth rarely upsets a dog’s stomach and will not cause any negative side-effects when consumed, and is therefore a great option to feed to dogs that have sensitive digestive systems, and is perfect to give to dog’s that suffer from general food allergies and sensitivities.

ALSO READ: 15 Best Sensitive Stomach Dog Foods for Upset Stomachs

How to Make Homemade Chicken Bone Broth for Dogs

How to Make Homemade Chicken Bone Broth for Dogs

Step 1:
Select and Place Chicken or Bones in a Large Crockpot or Regular Pot

  • Fill a large crockpot or stovetop pot with a small whole chicken, and/or plenty of raw, uncooked animal bones, which can be found at local grocery stores or butcher’s shops for a very reasonable price.
  • You can use any type of food-grade and dog-safe bones in the broth, but using chicken feet, beef marrow bones, and any bones that have a lot of joints in them ensures that there is plenty of health-boosting and joint-protecting gelatin in the broth.
  • Note: If you cook the broth on the stovetop in a standard cooking pot, the broth mixture will have to be left to cook overnight, therefore it is quicker and safer to use a crockpot if you have one.
  • Note: A small, whole chicken that is fresh, organic, non-seasoned, and non-salted can be used in the recipe, with all of the organs left intact so that your dog can get the benefits that come from the organs, as well. Or you can use all bones to make your broth, the bones contain all of the minerals and health-promoting ingredients needed, so adding the whole chicken is not necessary, but is an option if it is easier for you. Both versions are equally as amazing and beneficial for your dog to eat.

Step 2:
Add Water and Vinegar

  • Fill the pot with water so that the bones are all entirely covered, then add an additional two to three inches of water on top of the bones.
  • Next, add three to four tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, this is the special ingredient that works to extract all of the vital minerals and nutrients from the bones, leaving them in the broth to benefit your dog, guaranteeing that your dog gets plenty of joint-protecting gelatin.
  • Note: The apple cider vinegar cannot be tasted in the broth after the cooking process is complete, which is good because dogs can be turned off by its taste.

Step 3:
Wait Patiently

  • Once the bones, water, and apple cider vinegar have all been combined in the crockpot, turn the crockpot on high for one hour then turn it down to low and allow the mixture to cook for 24 hours.
  • You can leave the broth cooking for up to two or three days, but some individuals find that letting the broth cook for longer than 24 hours starts cooking the mixture too much, which can result in nutrient-loss, and experts have discovered that 24 hours of cooking gives the broth the best consistency and nutritional content.

Step 4:
Strain the Bones Out

  • Once the broth has cooked for at least 24 hours, it is time to remove all of the bones (and meat and organs if a whole chicken was used) by straining them out.
  • Note: The cooked bones should never be fed to dogs as they can crack and splinter in the dog’s mouth and intestines causing severe and even life-threatening problems, and all of the good stuff from the bones has already been fully deposited into the broth. The only thing that should be left with after straining is the liquid broth, full of all of the bone’s vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.

Step 5:
Add Extra, Nutritional and Dog-Friendly Foods if Desired

  • After the broth is fully cooked and the crock pot has been turned off, you can add any kind of beneficial and dog-safe vegetables and herbs that are available, such as green beans, broccoli, kale, kelp, celery, carrots, medicinal mushrooms, and much more.
  • Note: The cooked broth is 100% delicious and contains plenty of vitamins and minerals that your dog will benefit from, as it is. Adding extras is not necessary, but is a great way to add beneficial foods to your dog’s diet. Especially if it is something that a dog isn’t particularly fond of, the cooked broth is a great place to sneak it into their diet.

Step 6:
Cool and Store

  • Leave the broth in the pot and allow it to cool to room temperature.
  • Then place the mixture in a sealed container, and set in the refrigerator.
  • The broth needs to fully cool and separate before you feed it to your dog because it can contain a lot of fat, which is unhealthy to feed to your dog.
  • To separate the fat from the broth you simply let the broth cool down and a solid layer of fat will be left on the top, which you then scoop out and dispose of.
  • Now, the broth is ready to be fed to your dog! It can be safely kept in the refrigerator for up to three days, and stored in the freezer for a full year.

Where to Buy the Best Chicken Broth for Dogs
(and How to Know What to Buy)

Chicken broth for dogs that will healthy, nutritious, and safe can sometime be found wherever healthy broths and bone broths are sold (such as a health food store or homeopathic nutrition store). Here are some guidelines to follow when selecting a store-bought broth for your dog:

  • Select a broth that has little to no sodium; definitely do not feed a dog a broth that has high amounts of salt, or any added sodium.
  • Select a broth that is organic and non-GMO.
  • Do not feed a dog broth that has a lot of (or any) preservatives
  • Do not feed a dog broth that has any form of onions or garlic in it.
  • Do not feed a dog broth that has MSG in it.

You can also find some good options online, such as on Amazon. For example:

Note: In general, broths that are meant to be eaten by humans are likely to not be healthy for dogs to eat due to all of the additional salt, herbs, and other ingredients that are added. Even low-sodium options can be not so great for a dog, because they still contain more than the maximum amount of salt that a dog should have. Most experts recommend only feeding dogs broth that is made by boiling chicken and/or bones in water and a splash of vinegar, for the healthiest, most nutrient-dense, beneficial, and dog-safe version of broth.

READ NEXT: The Best Dog Food for Dogs with Sensitive Stomachs

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Chicken Broth for Dogs - Its Benefits and How to Make It

Rachael is a writer living in Los Angeles and an alum of UNC Chapel Hill. She has been a pet owner since the age of three and began dog-walking in 2015. Her nine-year-old Pug and best pal, Ellie, is the queen of sassy faces, marathon naps, and begging.