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8 Amazing Benefits of Bone Broth for Dogs & Why We Love It

Written by: Misty Layne

Last Updated on July 13, 2024 by Dogster Team

bone broth bouillon in stainless steel pot

8 Amazing Benefits of Bone Broth for Dogs & Why We Love It


Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo


Dr. Paola Cuevas

Veterinarian, MVZ

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

We want our pups to be as healthy as possible, so we make sure they eat nutritious dog food and exercise daily. But is there more we can do to ensure our dogs’ health and well-being? There is! One great way is to give your pet a health boost with bone broth.

Bone broth is a stock liquid made by simmering animal bones in water for a long period. This superfood has many nutritional benefits for your pup (and you too!).

Here, you’ll find eight benefits of bone broth for dogs. Take a look to see just how great this food is for your favorite canine!

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The 8 Amazing Benefits of Bone Broth for Dogs

1. Decreased Inflammation

Chronic inflammation doesn’t just affect humans; it can affect canines too. Just like with us, chronic inflammation in dogs can lead to illnesses like diabetes, cancer, arthritis, dementia, and heart disease. You can help reduce inflammation in your pup (and decrease the risk of serious disease) with the help of bone broth.

Bone broth is rich in gelatin, which has been shown to reduce inflammation, and it contains important amino acids, like arginine,1 that do the same. Simply adding a bit of bone broth to your dog’s meals can go a long way in fighting inflammation.

2. Enhanced Appetite and Hydration

sad golden retriever dog beside food bowl on the floor with no appetite
Image Credit: Phuttharak, Shutterstock

When you’re sick, there’s nothing better than a bowl of chicken soup, right? Think of bone broth as chicken soup for your dog when they’re not feeling well. If your pup has diarrhea or is throwing up, they can easily become dehydrated (and may not be in the mood to drink water). Giving your sick pet bone broth can help keep them hydrated and provide some nourishment if they’re having issues keeping food down.

Senior dogs may experience a loss of appetite as they age, but they still need to eat! Bone broth is a food that can help enhance their appetite and provide needed nutrients.

3. Good for Skin and Coat

Collagen is one of the most bountiful proteins found in the body, provides support to tissue, and aids in certain cellular processes. It isn’t just found in people, though; it’s also in our dogs’ coats and skin. Like with us, collagen production begins to slow as your pet ages.

However, bone broth contains collagen, so by giving it to your pup, you’ll be helping keep their coat and skin healthy (and more youthful looking)!

4. Immune System Boost

2 french bulldogs running on a yard
Image Credit: GH Studio, Shutterstock

Bone broth is an excellent food for boosting your dog’s immune system! This tasty broth contains a wealth of nutrients your pup requires, including ones that can improve how well the immune system is able to fight off disease. So, if your pet isn’t feeling well, give them some bone broth to help them get back to feeling better!

5. Improved Gut Health

The intestines have a lining of tightly closed cells that work as a wall with selective permeability, enabling only certain substances, such as nutrients, to reach the circulatory system. The space between healthy intestinal cells is very tight, preventing the leakage of non-nutritional substances, such as bacteria, allergens, or toxins.

However, when those cells are damaged, the space between them can become enlarged, losing its selective permeability function. This can happen for many reasons, such as an overgrowth of bad bacteria or a poor diet. When that happens, it’s known as leaky gut syndrome.

You might’ve heard of leaky gut in reference to humans, but dogs can experience this too. If your dog has this issue, things that shouldn’t pass the intestinal wall (yeast, toxins, food that’s not yet digested, etc.) manage to get through. When that happens, the body doesn’t recognize them and can begin to attack them, leading to food sensitivities, allergies, and other inflammatory conditions. 

The good news is that bone broth can help with a leaky gut, as it has been proven to help the recovery and healing of the gut’s lining. 

Leaky gut syndrome in dogs
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6. Joint Support

veterinarian examining a dog's hip joint
Image Credit: Antonio Gravante, Shutterstock

While bone broth won’t cure joint conditions, it can help joints stay healthier. It contains collagen, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid, and glucosamine, all of which are important in repairing and strengthening joints. In fact, your pup (especially if they’re a large breed) may already have food that contains chondroitin and glucosamine. While bone broth isn’t a substitute for proper medical care if your dog has joint issues, it can aid in keeping your canine’s joints working as they should.

7. Liver Detox

We love our dogs, but sometimes they’re downright gross, particularly when they’re eating anything and everything off the ground! Sometimes, the things they find on the ground to munch on aren’t good for them and introduce toxins to the body. That’s where the liver comes in, as it’s that organ’s job to detoxify your pet’s body to keep it in optimal health. You can help your pup’s liver do its job of getting rid of all those nasty toxins by giving bone broth to your dog. It has tons of amino acids, like glycine, that can aid the liver in detoxing.

8. Essential Minerals

clear broth
Image Credit: Lisa Redfern, Pixabay

Your pup needs lots of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to stay healthy. Bone broth has plenty of nutrients that they need. It also contains a host of needed minerals, such as phosphorus, calcium, silicon, magnesium, and sulfur. These are all vital to your dog’s health, as they aid in keeping the heart and nervous system working properly, ward off muscle contractions, and help your pet sleep better.

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How to Make Your Own Bone Broth

While you can buy bone broth at the grocery store, you’ll find that many of them contain ingredients you don’t want your dog to have, such as onion, garlic, extra sugar, excessive salt, or seasoning for flavoring. Fortunately, you can also find dog foods that contain bone broth or bone broth food toppers, so your pup can get those extra nutrients and health benefits. That said, you can easily make your own bone broth at home. It’s a bit time-consuming but it’s relatively simple to do.

raw beef bone with marrow for making broth
Image Credit: Adam J Chan,Shutterstock

First, you’ll need to gather your ingredients: animal bones, 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to draw out the nutrients from those bones, and water. Throw everything into a pot, boil, then reduce to a simmer for at least 24 hours. (If you don’t want something bubbling away on the stove for that long, you can go with a crockpot instead.)

When the broth is done, strain out the bones (don’t give them to your dog!), and you’re done! If done correctly, the bone broth should have the consistency of a soft Jello once cooled.

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If you want to give your favorite canine a nutritional boost with a wealth of benefits, you’ll want to add bone broth to their diet. It can help their liver detoxify, improve the health of their joints, aid in keeping their gut healthy, and so much more! Plus, it’s delicious, so your pet will love eating it.

While you can purchase bone broth or dog foods with bone broth, you can also make it yourself if you’re a fan of doing things the homemade way. It’s a time-consuming process, but it’s fairly easy to do, and it’s something your pup will appreciate!

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Featured Image Credit: Alp Aksoy, Shutterstock

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