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Bone Broth for Dogs: Why and How

What is Bone Broth and What are the Benefits of Bone Broth?:

Bone broth is a healthy supplemental food topper or treat for dogs.  It contains many nutrients and minerals that dogs love and is very easy to make. It also goes a long way since the serving size is just two tablespoons of broth per every 20 pounds of body weight.

For dogs with digestive problems, it helps to maintain a healthy gut. Large holes in the lining of the intestine wall is called a leaking gut.  Bone broth is a gelatin that helps plug those holes, meaning, toxins won’t enter the body through those holes.

This power food supports a healthy immune system and contains glycine which detoxes the liver.

Bone broth also contains joint protecting compounds which include high levels of glucosamine, chondroitin and hyaluronic acid. It is also packed with good stuff like phosphorus, sulfur, magnesium, calcium, silicone.

How do you make bone broth?

Sure, you can buy bone broth premade but it is super easy to make in bulk and much more cost effective.

Here is what you will need.

Grocery List:

bones (jointy bones like chicken or pig feet and meaty bones like ribs or marrow bones)

4 garlic cloves, sliced (if you are not comfortable feeding your dog garlic then just leave it out)

4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, raw and unfiltered

gelatin (if cubing)

Equipment List:

Crock Pot

Slotted Spoon

Strainer

flat spoon

If storing in refrigerator:

large bowl with lid

If freezing in molds: (this is what I mostly do)

silicone molds

If cubing:

large pot

large pan

knife

flexible spatula

gelatin

whisk

If Freezing cubes:

cookie sheet (optional)

wax paper

gallon freezer ziploc bags

I usually collect bones and store them in freezer bags in the freezer of course, until I have enough to make a large pot. Chicken feet help produce a great amount of gelatin so they are a good choice when making bone broth.  Also, bone marrow bones work well to draw out all the goodness from the marrow.

Fair warning…at first the smell of bone broth is delightful.  It reminds me of chicken soup.  However, in order to get all of the nutrients we want from the bones and marrow, bone broth should be cooked in the crock pot for a minimum of 24 hours.  The more hours tick by the more offensive the smells gets.  As a matter of fact my husband and children have forbidden me to make bone broth in the house so I simply sit my crock pot on my outdoor patio table and plug it in to the exterior of the house.  Don’t have any plugs outside?  Crack a window and use an extension cord to get power.

First you will want to wait and defrost your bones at least enough so that they are not stuck to each other.

20180202_212305[1]Place them in a large crock pot.  You don’t need anything fancy.  The one I use is the one we got as a wedding gift 16 years ago.  It is very large and has a dial with an off, low and high option.  That is it.  I also own a fancy crock pot that is programmable and has a warm setting but that just isn’t necessary in this case.  Simple and cheap does the trick, as long as it is large.

 

So just drop your bones in the crock pot and add water until all the bones are covered.

Pour apple cider vinegar.  The ACV helps pull the nutritious minerals out of the bone and makes the broth congeal better.

Throw your garlic in the pot as well.

Turn your crock pot on low.

20180203_180737[1]Now you will, like I said, cook this for at least 24 hours.  Some people cook theirs for 2 – 3 days.  The longer you let is sit, the more it will congeal. Whatever floats your boat.  I let this batch sit for about 36 hours.   Every 6 hours or so you will want to check your water level and add more as needed.  Make sure your bones always stay covered.  Also, when you check on it, just give everything a nice stir.

Once the time is up don’t forget to turn off and unplug your crock pot.

Grab a pan and your slotted spoon.  Pick out the large pieces of bone from the crock pot and place them in the pan. I discard these parts.

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I have seen people keep cooking the bones until they break down more and they make bone pate but I do not do this. In my opinion, the majority, if not all of the nutrition from the bone, has already been extracted from the cooking of the bones in the crock pot for the length of time, so there isn’t much nutritional value in bone pate. But if you want to let it cook longer and make bone pate then more power to you.

Now, if you are outside, tell the fam you are sorry but you need to bring it inside now.

20180204_165251[1]Place your bowl in an empty kitchen sink and place the strainer over, or inside of it.

Slowly pour the contents of the crock pot in through the strainer and into the bowl.

Discard what remains in the strainer.

Let cool at room temperature, then put  the bowl in the fridge and refrigerate over night.

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Once it is refrigerator cold the remaining fat will have risen to the top of the broth and formed an oily layer.

Remove bowl from the fridge and use your flat spoon to scrape off the fat layer and discard it.

Once you clean off this top layer, what you are left with is the bone broth you can feed.

 

 

 

You will see that it is a jelly like substance like this…

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Now, it’s decision time.

Bone broth can be served in different ways to your pup.  I will now talk about the different ways and how you will prepare it.  (Psst…don’t panic…it’s super easy too).

Option 1: Serve as is straight from the fridge.

Option 2: Freeze in silicone molds.

Option 3: Add gelatin to give it more shape.

Option 1: Depending on how many dogs you have, the size of the dogs and how often you will feed them, you may want to just leave the broth in the fridge and serve it over their food.  My pups love it as a topper over their dinner. 20180207_175752[1]

If you decide to go with this method you will want to make sure that you only save as much in the fridge as you will feed in one week.  If you have made enough bone broth to last more than one week you will want to freeze it.

 

Option 2: It’s no secret that I feed my dogs a raw diet.  I make them liver and organ cubes with these awesome silicone molds.  I have tons of these molds and I absolutely love them.  I have tried many other molds and always come back to these as my favorite.  They are actually for homemade baby food.  Well, in my house, our babies have fur and four legs, so the molds are used for fur baby food.

20180207_180204[1]You can get them from Amazon by clicking here.  I love these because they take up little space in my freezer, they come with a lid and they stack nicely. They hold their shape very well. When they are full I can hold the mold up in the air with one hand and it does not droop like many other silicone molds.  Also, when I pop the food out of it, the mold usually bounces right back into shape.  There is also a cool indention on the bottom of the mold so that you can use your thumb to pop the frozen food out.  They work really well.

20180207_180227[1]If you decide to freeze them, simply pour the broth in the mold and freeze.  Be sure to leave a tad bit of expansion room in the mold so do not fill it all the way to the top.

Once frozen, you can feed as a frozen treat, or you can defrost it and pour it over their food.

Don’t want to get these molds? Shame on you…no problem.  Here’s another option…

Option 3: Another way my pups love their bone broth is in jello cubes.  For this method you will need the stove top.

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Pour your bone broth into a large pot.  Pour contents of 4 packs of unflavored gelatin into pot.  Stir constantly with a whisk until broth starts to boil.  Once it is boiling.  Turn the pot off.

Pour broth in a large pan and refrigerate overnight.

Now your broth looks like jello for dogs.  Cut it into cubes. Use your flat spoon to scrape the jello out of the pan and feed as is.

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If you need to freeze, then grab a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and place the cubes on the sheet and freeze overnight.

Once frozen, grab them up and toss them into freezer bags.  My pups love frozen treats.

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So go on, make your pups happy and healthy by giving them some delicious bone broth today!

 

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