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5 reasons broth is so healthy for dogs

22 CommentsWednesday, 27 May 2015  |  Kate

This is a rich, healthy broth you can make using chicken, lamb, beef or pork bones. The result is an unctuous, nutritious and incredibly cheap way of getting a lot of nutrition into your dog or cat in an easily digestible form.

I use chicken in this example but you can also use beef, lamb, game and pork bones.  Use this broth recipe as a way of:

Keeping joints supple and pain free

Meat carcasses are full of glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid and lots of collagen. Cooking bones for a long time means these nutrients are transferred into the broth for your dog to absorb and use in their own joints, cartilage and ligaments. A free, bioavailable joint supplement if you will, without additives. 

Detoxing your dog

Broth contains glycine, a simple amino acid that is great for detoxing the liver and kidneys. If you think how much pollution our dogs are exposed to: spot on treatments; antibiotics; steroids; long term medication; household cleaning products; car exhaust fumes; inferior food ingredients – the liver and kidneys have to mop up all these toxins. Glycine helps protect both organs by pitching in with the clean up.

Healing a leaky gut

Our guts are lined with miniscule holes, which allow the nutrients from the food you eat to pass from the gut into the body. A high carbohydrate diet and stress are just two of the ways these holes increase in size. Bigger holes means things that shouldn’t pass into the body now can. 

This causes an inflammatory response known as leaky gut. Symptoms of a leaky gut can be wind, diarrhoea, fatigue, aching joints and food allergies. The gelatine in the broth blocks or narrows these holes. The aforementioned glycine also soothes an inflamed gut. Just so you know.

Getting medicine and supplements into them

I guarantee this broth is irresistible to everyone. It’s deeply savoury and will entice picky eaters; those on long or short-term medication, or supplements.

I freeze broth in ice cube trays or small freezer bags. It’s easy to defrost quickly then just pour it over food or serve on the side; warm or cold but never hot. If I'm cooking up meat or veg for the dog and cat I will add some of the frozen cubes to the pot.

Warming up and cooling down

My lot get broth in the winter when it’s cold, added to food. Equally, on a hot day when they’re lounging in the garden and I can’t get them to be sensible by lying in the shade I put some of the frozen broth cubes in a dish for them to lick which in turn cools them down.

You can pour the broth into a Kong or other stuff-able treat toy. Or use a plastic food container to make a frozen broth block; add treats or a toy to it then leave them to work at releasing the prize from the broth’s clutches.

Cool and occupied.


I’m using chicken here but you can easily substitute chicken with pork, lamb, beef and game bones. You’ll never waste a roast bone again.


  • A whole medium chicken carcass
  • A chicken carcass or the bones left over from a tray of chicken pieces
  • Water to cover
  • The juice of one lemon or 2tbsp apple cider vinegar whatever you have to hand. (The citric acid encourages the bones, ligaments and tendons to ante up.)


If you’re using a whole chicken place it in a slow cooker, cover with water and the lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.

Simmer in the slow cooker for four hours then remove the chicken and turn the slow cooker down to low. Put the lid back on and let the juices continue cooking.

When the chicken is cool enough remove all the skin and meat. Reserve the meat for the dog or cat, especially if they’re not well because this will be very digestible meat by now.

If you’re using chicken bones left over from a roast this is your starting point. Make sure to discard any part of the carcass you’ve seasoned with salt and pepper first, especially the skin.

Return or add the carcass to the slow cooker and turn it down to low. Add the lemon juice or apple cider vinegar put the lid back on and leave it to cook for at least 24 hours. I do mine at the weekend where I can keep an eye on it.

When it’s done discard the large bones and strain the liquid to remove any tiny bones which may be lurking. You can also liquidise it just to be sure then allow to cool. Remove any fat from the surface and chuck it in the bin.

You should be left with a gloopy, gelatinous pot of gold which smells more like chicken than any chicken you’ve ever come across in your entire life before this moment. This broth is delicious and full of highly available and digestible nutrition. Syphon some off for your own chicken soup base, keep some in the fridge for the next few days and freeze the rest.

Ann Altermann
Thursday, 28 May 2015  |  12:40

Thank you for this. I had no idea how good chicken broth really is. I plan to make this over the weekend.

Christine Eldridge
Thursday, 28 May 2015  |  13:03

Great Kate,thanks. Love the picture Chris

Thursday, 28 May 2015  |  13:38

When you speak of broth I would call that stock, broth in Scotland is a soup made out of Barley, peas, rice, it also has the stock and meat/chicken put through it,so all I do is boil a chicken add lemon no salt, strain it and freeze it.😉

Thursday, 28 May 2015  |  14:27

Thanks, Christine. I stand corrected. Still tastes great though.

Carol Cheshire
Friday, 29 May 2015  |  0:44

How can you make this if you haven't got a slow cooker?

Friday, 29 May 2015  |  6:32

I would use a heavy bottomed pan and do it on the hob on very low, or put it in the oven on the lowest heat. It's so cheap to make though and a slow cooker can be bought for a tenner on Ebay, or requested on Freecycle I'd try that too.

Sheila Allsop
Friday, 29 May 2015  |  19:41

Going to try this on the weekend as I have a west Highland terrier with an iffy tummy watch this space

Friday, 4 December 2015  |  12:08

Hi Sheila

How did it go?

Marianne Mennel
Tuesday, 16 June 2015  |  10:34

got a slow cooker from my sister for my birthday in May but haven't used it yet. This sounds like an ideal first attempt and I'm sure my 5 Shiddies will love the result!

Tuesday, 28 July 2015  |  20:40


Eileen Brownwright
Friday, 27 November 2015  |  16:04

Sounds lovely, I already cook from scratch for my two so will definitely be trying this, thanks.

Louise Collins
Wednesday, 30 December 2015  |  19:40

Kate - mine is bubbling away - day 2 now - as you suggested. I used two big chicken legs as that is what I had, I took the meat off last night - it just fell off - and he loved it. Will leave it on low till tomorrow. On another blog (which I have lost the link for) it gives a very similar recipe but recommends blending in the bones at the end of it! What do you recommend I do?

Monday, 4 January 2016  |  9:37

Louise, how did it turn out?

I only say to blend the end result after you've sieved it if you think there may be tiny bones let behind. Otherwise don't bother.


Doreen Shaddick
Friday, 8 January 2016  |  23:52

Just made this for Harvey,it's been on for about 10 hours and his running about the house sniffing the air,he had some of the chicken today for dinner and one in the fridge for tomorrow and one pot in the freezer, so not bad from one chicken . Let you know now the broth comes out tomorrow. Thank you Kate love Harvey and Mummy 🐶👵

Monday, 11 January 2016  |  8:49

Hello Doreen and Harvey

So glad you liked it and it's working out. I find Lidl and Morrisons good for British chicken at reasonable prices. Try them.


Ted...A Worried Pet Parent
Wednesday, 27 April 2016  |  7:09

Is a broth/water mix good for a permanent term for your dog? My 7 year old weimeriner isn't touching regular water much anymore. Is it ok to have him drink this instead? Thanks!!

Wednesday, 27 April 2016  |  8:33

Hi Ted

Well you won't have any salt in there so you could give it watered down I suppose and see how it goes. I'd find out why they're not drinking at the vets though too.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017  |  19:36

I recently purchased bone broth tea from and my dogs really love it. I have to take it away from them or they'll keep drinking it. I used to make the broth myself, but it was way too much work.

Sharon a Reid
Wednesday, 25 October 2017  |  19:43

Thanks for sharing. I have a beautiful little cooker named Molly. Have been giving her bone broth made from organic chicken,I add carrot and celery to my pot. Actually I used my pressure cooker this last time and cooked it for about 1hr 30min. Under pressure. Came out great!

Monday, 30 October 2017  |  9:38

Brilliant, Sharon.

Save some for yourself too.


Monday, 15 January 2018  |  13:43

Can you put veg in aswell?

Wednesday, 17 January 2018  |  10:48

Hi Jeni

Yes you can. Avoid onions, leeks and mushrooms as they can be poisonous to dogs but carrots, broccoli stalks, celery, they're all good. Avoid salt and pepper too.