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Why I Feed Bone Broth to My Dogs
I have two dogs that developed joint issues when they were young. In the beginning of my education as a raw feeder, I learned that bone broth is great for joint health. Bone broth has so good for dogs that I find myself recommending it at least once a week.
- supports joint health
- supports digestive health and soothes a compromised gut
- provides nutrients for a sick dog
- helps to boost the immune system
- offers relief from food and environmental allergies
- great for an upset tummy
- tempts picky eaters
- helps to detox the liver
- it serves as an ingredient in my golden paste
Common Misconceptions About Bone Broth
As a blogger, I see a lot of questions about bone broth that made me realize that there are a few misconceptions.
1 – Bone Broth is a Replacement for Bone
Bone broth is not a replacement for bone in a raw meal for dogs. Bones provide calcium and phosphorus, help clean our dogs' teeth, and satisfy their chew drive. While bone broth is very nutritious, it should be fed as a whole food supplement and not as a replacement for the bone portion of a raw diet.
If you're looking for a replacement for bone, try these two…
– raw eggshells from farm-raised chickens (not from grocery store eggs); grind the shells into a fine powder with a coffee grinder or Nutribullet and add to raw meals that don't have a bone component. Keep in mind that eggshells are all calcium and no phosphorus; the phosphorus will come from the meat and may create an imbalance, so I don't suggest using eggshells as a permanent solution.
– green tripe offers the perfect balance of calcium and phosphorus and dogs love it; however, it's smelly, and it can be high in fat if it's from a grain-fed cow. So go for grass-fed sourcing if you can.
2 – If Bone Broth Doesn't Gel, It Isn't Effective
While a good gel is satisfying to see and makes for a pretty picture, in my opinion, it's not necessary. The collagen that supports joint health is still there, it's just liquid. Some of my batches gel, some of them stay liquid. All of them are fed to the dogs.
However, if a gel is important, I've found that adding more apple cider vinegar helps and I usually add 1/4 – 1/2 cup.
3 – You Need to Throw Away the Meat
Nope! Leave the meat in there for the dogs to enjoy. Why waste a good thing? I always add the meat, fat, and gristle to my dogs' meal (everything except the bones) and count it in their meal's total weight. No point tacking on extra calories unnecessarily, right?
4 – You Have to Use Joint Bones to Make Bone Broth
Nope, again! While joint bones (the legs) and duck feet are my preferred bones for making bone broth, I've also made bone broth with lamb necks and beef marrow bones.
5 – Adding Garlic to Bone Broth will Make it Toxic to Dogs
This myth has been disproved many times. Garlic is only toxic to dogs in very large doses. Garlic has many benefits for dogs, including supporting a strong immune system, boosting liver health, fighting off infection, helps the body naturally repel fleas and ticks, it lowers the cholesterol, and it may protect dogs from cancer.
How much garlic can we give to our dogs? According to The Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats, the serving recommendation for dogs by their size is as follows:
- 10 to 15 lbs – 1/2 a clove
- 20 to 40 lbs – 1 clove
- 45 to 70 lbs – 2 cloves
- 75 to 90 lbs – 2-1/2 cloves
- 100 lbs or more – 3 cloves
I add 5-7 cloves of garlic to every 8-quarts of bone broth. Keep in mind that this is bone broth shared by four dogs that weigh a total of 300 pounds.
I wouldn't recommend adding onions to your dog's bone broth; onions are toxic to dogs and based on what I've read and feedback from veterinarians, the amount is negligible. There will always be the outliers, dogs that can eat food with onions with no problem, but I'm a “better safe than sorry” kind of woman, so I won't take a chance.
6 – Bone Broth is Toxic to Dogs
This one is interesting because it may have merit and it's a reminder to take when sourcing food for our dogs. The theory is that some animals are raised on land that is higher in toxicity and eating grass and grains grown from that land. This impacts the health of their bones. Cooking bones for 20+ hours brings the toxicity out into the bone broth. The cooking time can also be a potential problem if the lining of your slow-cooker is made of a toxic material; the cooking time may cause the material to leach into the broth.
If this is something that you're concerned about, I recommend making your bone broth with a pressure cooker or buying bone broth from a company uses responsibly sourced and sustainable ingredients. A company like Primalvore.
7 – Bone Broth is Overrated
This section (#7) was added March 2019.
And, finally, one of the beliefs out there is that bone broth is overrated. Some feel that the belief that a dog's diet needs bone broth is incorrect and they are sharing information that debunks the benefits of bone broth. And, to be honest, I don't disagree.
Earlier on my path as a raw feeder, I learned the benefits of bone broth and I began adding it to my dogs' diet because I believed that bone broth added nutrients, naturally detoxed our dogs, and supported their joint health. Today, I have a different belief.
- Added Nutrients: I believe that anything I add to my dogs' bowl has nutrients, but the question we must ask is “how much?” I don't think bone broth can balance a raw diet nor do I think that bone broth is adding significant vitamins and minerals to my dogs' diet.
- Natural Detox: On its own, I don't believe that bone broth is a natural detox. However, I do believe that when bone broth is combined with fasting, it does support a healthier gut and system. I fast my dogs once or twice a week and I do intermittent fasting 5-6 days a week. Bone broth is a part of this regimen. Bone broth keeps me (and my dogs) from feeling hungry, making our fast more tolerable. A little bit goes a long way.
- Supports Joint Health: I don't believe that bone broth supports joint health on its own. When I make bone broth using joint bones or duck feet, I believe that my dogs gain some benefits from the collagen in the broth, but not enough to support joint health. Rodrigo and Sydney, both of whom have had joint issues since a young age, need a joint supplement and I add the following to their diet for support: WINPRO Mobility and Canine System Saver.
Although I have changed my mind about the benefits of bone broth for dogs, I still add it to my dogs' diet because I do believe that it has a place. As I stated, it makes fasting easier, but the other reasons I add bone broth to my dogs' diet include:
- Warms the belly on cold days.
- Temps a picky eater.
- Soothes an upset tummy.
- A great addition to the diet for sick dogs; there was a time when Scout was sick and not eating, I was able to get him to eat again by feeding bone broth.
DIY vs. Primalvore Bone Broth
I can make 1-4 batches of bone broth on the weekend. The smell is strong, so I usually make the bone broth outside on the deck on nice days. You'll love my easy bone broth recipe, and I'm excited to get going on my batches again – the weather is slowly warming up. While making bone broth is easy, I do count on premade bone broth from a reputable source too. Primalvore bone broth helps me out when I've run out of the bone broth I make and don't have time to make a new batch.
Primalvore bone broth is also an excellent option if you live in an apartment or condo and can't cook a batch of bone broth in your space because of the strong smell.
My Dogs Love Primalvore
Primalvore is my preferred brand of premade bone broth because it is fortified with additional collagen and turmeric. The collagen supports joint health, and the turmeric acts as a natural anti-inflammatory, while offering pain relief and turmeric may offer a line of protection from cancer.
Other than a couple of fermented products, there hasn't been anything on the market that impressed me. So I was excited to look into this new option and knew immediately that it would be great for my dogs. The added turmeric is great, but what I love is the collagen peptides, which act as a source of protein, offers additional nutrients, supports skin and coat health, and supports strong bones, joints, and nails. The bone broth is in a BPA-Free package that is convenient serve to my dogs, and it travels well.
Primalvore offers three recipes: chicken, beef, duck, and turkey. So far, we've tried the beef, and the chicken and my dogs love it, and it's good for them. Rodrigo's protein intolerance wasn't an issue with either recipe. Everything is made with 100% human-grade, and the beef and chicken are certified organic.
We're big fans.
Save 20% on Primalvore Bone Broth
If you'd like your dogs to try Primalvore, visit their site today (click the logo below) and save 20% at check out when you use the code TAILWAGGING.
Disclosure: I received four bone broth packages (2 chicken and 2 beef) for my dogs to enjoy in exchange for my honest thoughts on this product. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own, and I was in no way influenced by the company.