Homemade Broth for Dogs, Cats - Bone, Chicken, Meat or Vegetable Broth

Homemade bone broth for dogs and cats
6.5 min read
In this Article:
1.0 Health Benefits of Bone Broth for your Dog and Cat
  1. Hydration
  2. Arthritis, Cancer and other Inflammatory Disease
  3. Nutrient Absorption, Detoxification, Oxygenation
  4. Digestive Tract Issues
  5. Recovery From Injury, Surgery and Poor Appetite
  6. Renal and Kidney Health
  7. Oral Health
2.0 How to Select the Best Bones for Making Bone Broth 
3.0 Bone Broth Recipe for Dogs and Cats 
4.0 Optional Boost for Oral and Digestive Health 
5.0 Bone Broth Serving Recommendations 
6.0 Bone Broth Green Smoothie Recipe 
7.0 Cautions

1.0 Health Benefits of Bone Broth for your Dog and Cat

1.1 Hydration
Dogs and Cats on a Dry Food Diet
During the digestive process, dry food draws moisture from the digestive system and can cause clinical dehydration. Dogs and cats that drink very little water or other fluids are at risk of dehydration and other health issues such as urinary tract crystals and stones.
Dry food (kibble, and other highly processed food products) is formulated in direct contradiction to a dog and cat’s species appropriate diet.
If your dog or cat is currently on a dry food diet I encourage you to transition them to a species appropriate diet (raw diet or gently cooked and fresh food diet).
1.2 Arthritis, Cancer and Other Inflammatory Disease

MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane)
Bone broth made from pastured grass fed animal bones is a good source of methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) a form of naturally occurring sulfur that is present in all vertebrates. Dogs with cancer are often deficient in sulfur. Sulfur performs multiple actions that make it difficult for cancer and inflammation to spread.

MSM is Anti-inflammatory
  • MSM protects against oxidative stress by supporting the bodies ability to produce glutathione.
  • Glutathione is one of the most important antioxidants produced naturally by the body.
  • Glutathione cannot be produced without sulfur.
  • MSM is used to help alleviate the symptoms of arthritis.
Sulfur strengthens collagen. Collagen is an amino acid that gives strength to many structures in the body (e.g. bone, connective tissue, skeletal muscles, etc.); Collagen:
  • Helps hamper the spread of cancer, and may turn malignant tumors into benign tumors.
  • Helps to repair the damage from chemotherapy.
  • Helps to re-balance the body's pH level from acidic to alkaline - cancer and other diseases thrive in an acidic environment.
  • Dogs, cats and people that are suffering from cancer have an acidified body pH level.
1.3 Nutrient Absorption, Detoxification, Oxygenation
Sulfur improves cell-wall permeability which supports the movement of:
  • Nutrients into cells.
  • The transfer of waste product and toxins out of cell.
  • Sulfur helps to oxygenate the blood.
1.4 Digestive Tract Issues

If your dog or cat has just experienced a bout of diarrhea and you have fasted him/her for a day  and you want to start re-introducing food to his/her diet - you can start by offering your dog or cat a bowl of  bone broth. Bone broth when made properly is rich in nutrients and easy on the digestive system.

Leaky-Gut Syndrome
If your dog or cat has leaky-gut syndrome bone broth can help with cell repair. Bone broth contains substances that are important for intestinal cell health - these substances include:
- Collagen
- Gelatin
- Glycine
- Proline

1.5 Recovery Aid For Injury, Post Operative Care, Poor Appetite

If your dog or cat has just had surgery or a oral injury, is older and has a suppressed appetite  bone broth can be added to the daily diet to help deliver needed nutrients.

1.6 Renal and Kidney Health 
kidneys and ureters, bladder and urethra health

Bone broth supports renal health. The kidneys, bladder and liver rely in the presence of moisture to flush unwanted substances from the body. When moisture is in short supply the organs cannot function efficiently. Eventually this can cause inflammatory issues. 
For example:
1.7 Oral Health

Dry food is often promoted as 'good' for oral health. However, dry food IS actually oral health damaging. Dry food is a leading cause of gingivitis and periodontal disease. In the absence of moisture particles of food remain on a dog or cat’s teeth. Without sufficient moisture to flush the particles away, bacteria forms, and then plaque. 

2.0 How to Select The Best Bones for Making Bone Broth

2.1 Pastured, Free Range v.s Factory Farm Sourced Bone
Animals (e.g. chicken, cows, ducks, pigs, turkeys) raised in *concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) animals spend their short life, living in miserable conditions. CAFO **animals are fed a toxic, species inappropriate diet. Many of these toxins (e.g. lead and other heavy metals, drug residue) remain in the animal's flesh and bones after slaughter.  I recommend broth and bone broth not be made with factory farm sourced animal flesh and bones.

If you want to make health supporting bone broth use bones sourced from pastured, free-range or organic pasture, free range.  The second best choice is bones sourced from organic raised animals.
Learn more here, about intensively farmed animals, how animal protein, fat and bones sourced from these animals can adversely effect the health of your dog and cat. 
* also known as: factory farms, industrial farms 
** also known as: factory farm-raised,  intensively farmed

2.2 What Type of Animal Bones Are Best

You can use load bearing bones, raw meaty bones (examples here and here), whole carcass:
  1. Poultry and Fowl
    • Chicken, duck, pheasant, quail, etc.
  2. Small Pray
    • Cavie, rabbit, etc.
  3. Ruminants, Cloven Hoof
    • Cow, bison, deer, goat, lamb, llama, oxen, venison, wild boar, etc
  4. Wild-caught Fish
    • Whole or parts
    • To select the best options, go to this article.

3.0 Bone Broth Recipe for Dogs and Cats

You'll Need
  1. Stainless steel, non-coated stock pot, or;
  2. Slow cooker.
1. Place the bones in a pot or slow cooker.
2. Fill the pot with water. Leave a few inches unfilled at the top of the pot.
  • For every gallon of water you use, add:  
  • 1 to 1.5 tsp of organic unpasteurized, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (ACV), or; 
  • Fresh juice of one whole lemon. 
  • The natural acids in the ACV and lemon help to break down the bones which releases the healthful minerals from the bones into the broth as it cooks
3. Optional ingredients, if using add to the pot.
  1. Optional Herbs: 
    • ½ tbs of dry or fresh finely chopped sage.
    • ½ tbs of dry or fresh finely chopped basil.
    • ½ tbs of dry or fresh finely chopped marjoram.
    • ½ tbs of dry or fresh finely chopped rosemary (not for animals with seizure conditions)
    • 5 to 10 juniper berries
  2. Optional Veggies:
    • Carrots
    • Celery  
    • Celeriac 
    • Parsnips
  3. Optional Medicinal Mushrooms:
    • Medicinal Mushrooms should only be added to the broth 20 minutes prior to removing the bone broth from the heat. 
    •  For a list of appropriate medicinal mushrooms go to this article.
4. Cover the pot and turn the heat on, bring the broth to a boil, allow to boil for 60 minutes.

5. Then turn the heat down, simmer on a low heat.
6. Continue to simmer as follows:
  1. If you're using poultry, bird or fowl bones you'll need to simmer the broth for 24 hours.
  2. If you're using ruminant, cloven hoof animal bones you'll need to simmer the broth for 36 to 48 hours.
  3. If you're not able to leave your stove or slow cooker on overnight you can choose to make short cooked broth instead. 
    • For the short-cooked broth recipe, go here.
7. Turn off the heat.
8. Remove the meat and veggies (if any).
  1. Allow the meat or veggies to cool. 
  2. Serve as an extra treat.
  3. Or puree with a little broth and put in ice cube trays to freeze for treats.
9. Allow the bone broth to cool sufficiently (so it can be put into bottles or containers).

10. Bottle the broth as soon as it has cooled enough to handle.
  1. Just prior to bottling:
    1. Remove the cooked bones from the broth, discard the bones.
11. Don't remove the fat when bottling the broth.
  1. The fat will rise to the top of the bottle and form a plug which seals the bottle. The fat acts as a preservative.
  2. When you serve the broth, remove the fat.
12. Once you've bottled the broth discard the bone mush sediment left in the bottom of the pot.

13. Store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. 
  1. You can also freeze the broth for later use. 
  2. Thaw out in the refrigerator.

4.0 Optional Boost for Oral and Digestive Health

Add Ceylon Cinnamon
Sprinkle a little (i.e. 1/4 tsp) of Ceylon cinnamon into the glass bottle before you pour the bone broth in. 
Ceylon Cinnamon helps dissolve food particles and aids with the digestion of food. 
Learn more about the health benefits of Ceylon cinnamon:
Learn more about the use of cinnamon as a dental care aid:

5.0 Bone Broth Serving Recommendations

How Many Times Per Day
  • Broth can be served 1x to 3x per day.
Fasting Your Dog
  • If you are fasting your dog, serve broth during the fasting period. 
Daily Serving Recommendations
X-Small Dogs and Cats 
- 1 tbs to 1/8 cup
Small Dogs and Cats 
– 1/8 cup to 1/4 cup
Medium size dogs 
– ¼ cup to 1/2 cup

Large dogs 
– 1/2 to 1 cup
X-Large dogs 
- 1 cup to 2 cups 

6.0 Bone Broth Green Smoothie Recipe

bone broth green smoothie recipe for dogs

This smoothie can be served on its own or with meals. 
Perfect for use with licky mats or freezing in silicon molds.

For the recipe:

7.0 Cautions

7.1 Histamine Issues

Bone broth has many health benefits that make it a valuable addition to a dog or cat's diet.   
However bone broth has some health issue contradictions.
Bone broth is naturally high in histamines. While this is not an issue for most dogs and cats, it is a big problem for those with histamine intolerance issues, and mast cell issues including mast cell tumors. 
For dogs with histamine issues
  1. Short cooked bone broth can be included in the dietary protocol. 
  2. Short cooked broth is not high in histamines.
If you'd like to make short cooked broth for your dog or cat:

Holistic Diet, Nutrition, Wellness Services Tailored to Your Individual Dog and Cat
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For information about my holistic behavioral services visit my:
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My holistic behavioral services are available locally in-person and worldwide via video session.
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Article and graphics by Karen Rosenfeld

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