5 reasons broth is so healthy for dogs
40 CommentsTuesday, 6 February 2018 | 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.
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.
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. 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.