Can dogs drink bone broth?
Bone broth has gained the reputation of being good for dogs with digestive issues, unhealthy hair coats, or sore joints. Nutrients from bone broth can also help with digestion and gut health, and immune system function. Bone broth is a nutritious addition to a complete and balanced diet for pets. It may have a plethora of proven benefits, but it is still highly recommended you consult with your vet before making bone broth a regular part of your pet’s diet. Continue reading to learn more.
What is bone broth?
You can make homemade bone broth, but there are liquid or powder bone products in stores that are great for your pet. Just make sure to check the ingredients.
Bone broth is simply cooked soup or stew that uses the leftover bones from beef, pork, or poultry. If your dog is prone to food allergies, you can use lamb, duck, fish, or bison bones to make the broth. For people's food, bone broth is the stock liquid or soup base that is a vital ingredient of many tasty dishes.
The broth is made by simmering any of these bones on low heat for up to 24 hours to extract the nutrients. Adding a variety of vegetables can enhance the flavor and add to its nutritional makeup.
Bone broth contains substantial quantities of collagen, glucosamine, glycine, potassium, magnesium, and other essential nutrients.
But can dogs drink bone broth? Absolutely!
A thick gelatinous bone broth is a delicious and nutritious topper to your canine buddy’s regular meals. It should not be used as a replacement for a dog’s meal. It can, however, be a nutritious complement to your dog’s diet.
Benefits of Bone Broth for Dogs
The glucosamine, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid in bone broth are nutrients that support joint health and integrity. This is an important concern particularly for senior dogs or those that are suffering from joint problems as a result of injuries, as well as breeds that are prone to certain bone and joint problems. Diseases of the joint cartilage normally develop as an age-related issue.
Glucosamine regulates the synthesis of collagen in cartilage and may provide mild anti-inflammatory effects, while chondroitin sulfate inhibits destructive enzymes in joint fluid and cartilage. The two nutraceuticals also contribute to the synthesis of glycosaminoglycans and proteoglycans, which are building blocks for the formation of cartilage.
Glycine, a type of amino acid in bone broth, possesses anti-inflammatory properties and helps build new tissues in the digestive tract of dogs. Bone broth can help promote healthy gut integrity while reducing inflammation and intestinal permeability (also known as leaky gut syndrome). It does this by repairing damage to the tissues that line the colon and entire gastrointestinal tract.
Bone broth is a rich source of essential minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. Results of a 2017 study showed that the concentration of calcium and magnesium in bone broth was higher the longer the broth is cooked.
Aside from calcium and magnesium, bone broth is also rich in phosphorus, sulfur, silicon, and other essential minerals that can help with important functions of the body such as nerve conduction, heart health, sleep, muscle contractions, and a host of other physiological processes.
Bone broth contains collagen which is an essential component of connective tissues. Collagen can help support the health and integrity of connective tissues.
Bone broth can help boost immune function. This can be attributed to the amino acids that are released during cooking. These essential nutrients can help improve the ability of the immune system to defend the body against pathogens and hypersensitivity reactions. Bone broth can also support detoxification and help your pet better deal with exposure to environmental or household pollutants that can be irritating.
When properly made, bone broth is low in allergens that might trigger hypersensitivity reactions in allergy-prone dogs. If your dog is on grain-free dog food, bone broth can be a healthy addition to your pet’s diet. It’s easy to digest and there is a lower risk of triggering allergies. Traditionally, bone broth is made without any grains, dairy, or gluten-rich ingredients. If your dog is hypersensitive to fish or shellfish, chicken or beef, bone broth can be given instead.
If your dog is a picky eater, adding some delicious smelling and tasty bone broth can help stimulate your pet’s appetite.
Precautions and Possible Side Effects of Bone Broth for Dogs
While bone broth is generally safe for dogs, there is still a chance that your pet might develop adverse reactions to certain ingredients in some bone broth recipes.
Keep in mind that bone broth should never be used as a substitute for a complete and balanced diet. It’s an excellent addition to supplement your pet’s diet. Moderation is very important. If your dog has been diagnosed with a particular health issue, it’s best to talk to your vet before offering your pet some broth.
When introducing bone broth to your dog, offer a very small amount and observe your pet closely for any reaction. If there’s none and he seems to like the taste, you can slowly increase the amount and frequency. But if your dog develops diarrhea or other reactions, you should stop giving bone broth.
When buying bone broth products, make sure to check that they don’t contain ingredients that can be toxic or harmful to dogs. Some of the ingredients that you should watch out for include onions, garlic, added seasonings, etc.
Common Myths About Bone Broth
Bone broth is assumed by many to contain trace amounts of cadmium and other toxic metals. This assumption has stemmed from findings that calcium supplements that are made from bone meal (finely crushed bone) have a lead level in the range of a few to 10 μg/g, and some even contain cadmium.
However, the results of a 2017 study showed that the heavy metals such as Pb (lead) and Cd (cadmium) that are present in commercial broth/soup were found to have concentrations in the range of a few micrograms per serving. This means that the risks associated with ingestion of heavy metals from bone broth are considered to be minimal.
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