The Magical Healer: Bone Broth
Updated: Jun 14
Bone broth is rich in minerals moisture, plus it is an easy DIY make! It is an excellent addition to any diet, whether kibble or raw.
What Is Bone Broth?
Bone broth is a liquid that contains brewed bones and connective tissue and has a gelatinous texture. Since the broth brews bones & connective tissue, it is rich in natural compounds from cartilage.
What Are These Magical Benefits?
It is packed full of essential and non-essential amino acids (protein) that help rebuild muscles and tissue. Collagen is the main protein found in bones, tendons, and ligaments. Using these collagen-rich bones, bone broth retains all the beneficial amino acids for joint health.
During the long and slow cooking process, collagen is dissolved into gelatin, which gives the bone broth its signature jello texture. In addition, proline and glycine are used to create connective tissues. These connective tissues include tendons, ligaments, and more, which all connect bones. Bone broth also contains chondroitin and glucosamine, naturally found in cartilage. Several studies have shown both of these compounds' positive effects on joint pain.
When the bones steep in the hot liquid, it pulls out all the bone's nutrients. Inside the bones lives bone marrow, an excellent source of quality fat (when raw) and vitamins & minerals.
Bone broth is anti-inflammatory. Bone broth does this by supplying the body with anti-inflammatory amino acids that help heal the intestinal barrier. For example, glutamine, an amino acid in gelatin, helps maintain the integrity of the intestinal wall, which plays a crucial role in preventing and managing Leaky Gut. Leaky Gut is when the intestinal barrier between the gut and bloodstream is impaired. This allows foreign and harmful substances to leak into the bloodstream, which leads to inflammation and other health problems. Leaky Gut is most common in kibble-fed dogs.
The amino acids glycerine and arginine have anti-inflammatory effects. For example, one study in mice revealed that oral dosing of arginine significantly reduced asthma-related inflammation and helped clear airways.
The jiggle test is the best way to test if a bone broth batch is high in collagen! When the bone broth has high amounts of gelatin, it will become a jello-like consistency once completely cooled. But even if it does not pass the jiggle test, it is acceptable to feed.
Where To Source
There are now several bone broth brands explicitly sold for pet consumption. But whether purchasing pet-specific or human bone broth, it is essential to read the ingredient label and ensure there are no harmful ingredients such as:
Onion is in many human foods, and bone broth sold for human consumption often has onion added for flavor. But all parts of the onion are toxic to dogs and should be avoided. Check the label to ensure there is no onion or onion powder added.
While sodium is needed for natural functions, an excess can cause problems. It is best to stay clear of added salt for bone broth.
Sugar is an unnecessary ingredient that should be avoided. Sweetener is not needed in bone broth as it is already appetizing to dogs.
Typically, herbs and spices will be added for flavor in human bone broths. A glimpse at the ingredients added ensures that all herbs and spices are pet friendly.
The most popular commercial bone broth brands include:
While there are many options for premade bone broth, the cheapest and easiest way to source bone broth is to make your own!
Crockpot or Instapot. Bone broth uses a low and slow method of cooking. Having one of these cooking tools makes bone broth easy and quick to put together. Below is listed how to make bone broth with both of these tools.
Acid. Raw Apple Cider Vinegar is most common, but lemon juice can be used. This helps draw the minerals and gelatin out of the bones. For a bigger batch, add around 1/4-1/2 c of raw organic ACV, and for a smaller batch, add about 2-4 TBSP of raw ACV. This step is not essential but can add a small boost.
Bones. Bones with lots of collagen are best to ensure a gelatinous broth. Feet are optimal! Every batch differs in what bones are used. Play with what proteins you add to discover what your dog likes best. Fill the crock-pot full of bones to get a nutrient and mineral-rich broth. The more bones you add with ligaments and gelatin (feet), the more jelly-like consistency.
Extra Goodies. To get even more out of your bone broth, you can add extra goodies such as:
Dog safe herbs
1. Fill a crockpot with an assortment of bones. Use mainly feet for the best wiggly bone broth!
2. Cover the bones with about 1-2 inches (~5 cm) of filtered water. Then, add all your other ingredients into the crockpot: ACV + goodies (optional).
3. Turn the crockpot to low and leave for 24 hours while stirring occasionally.
4. After 24 hours, strain cooked bones out. Do not feed the cooked bones. Cooked bones can splinter and are very dangerous to consume. However, if leftover meat is left on the bones, you can pull the meat off and feed it.
5. Store bone broth in containers and place it in the fridge to cool.
Pro Tip: flip your air-tight containers upside down while cooling to have instant access to the bone broth wiggle jiggle! If it is not cooled completely, it will not form the gelatinous texture that bone broth is known for.
6. Scrape the fat cap off if the container is upright. Then, feed and freeze! If you are freezing in a glass container, ensure enough room for the liquid to expand.
recipe & pictures provided by @kythegoldie
1. Add bones to InstaPot on top of the wire rack, plus optional goodies and apple cider vinegar.
2. Cover bones with filtered water. Do not fill to the top!
3. Cook on high pressure for 4 hours - let the air slowly release 35-45 minutes before opening the lid.
4. Use a mesh strainer to drain out the ingredients. Then store in containers and place in the fridge to cool.
Storage + Dosing
Once the broth is thoroughly cooled, it can be in the fridge for up to 5 days. After that, it should be frozen for storage. Mason jars or silicone molds can be easily frozen. If you freeze in glass jars, leave enough room for the liquid to expand; otherwise, it will break the glass. Although this cannot be given as a full meal, it is great for supplementation. There is no exact dosage for bone broth, but a general guideline for feeding is 1/4 cup per 20lbs/10kg.
Tips + Tricks
Use bones high in collagen (feet) to get the most nutrient-dense and wiggle jiggle bone broth.
Add a splash of apple cider vinegar/lemon juice to help break down collagen.
It is still okay to feed if your bone broth batch does not come out of a jello texture!
If freezing in mason jars, leave room on top to expand.
Bone broth makes a fantastic kibble booster!
Flip an air-tight container upside down while cooling to have instant wiggle jiggle access.
Now you’re armed with the information you need to make some nutrient-dense & magical healing bone broth. As always, I hope you learned something new today & Always Keep Exploring!