Bone Broth for dogs

by | Apr 17, 2016 | 38 comments

“Good broth will resurrect the dead

– Old South American proverb

Bone broth is a immune boosting super food and ideal for getting sick pets back on their feet and for maintaining the health of an active dog.  Even sick dogs that are not eating will enjoy a bowl of broth and you can add it to their food to help them eat.

Bone broth for dogs is great as it’s packed with minerals like like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium in forms that are easily absorbed by your dog .  Rich in amino acids like glycine and proline they help maintain a healthy digestion and keeping your dog calm.  The collagen in the bones protects and heals the mucosal lining of the digestive tract aiding in the digestion of nutrients and the gelatin supports fur, skin and nail growth while helping joint pain and inflammation.  Marrow helps provide the body with materials needed for healthy blood cells and immune development. It’s perfect for flu season for dogs AND people.

It’s very cheap to make since all you need is some good marrow bones but you can also buy it, pet-ready here.

Apple Cider Vinegar

You need apple cider vinegar to help break the bones down and leach all the goodness out.  Apple cider vinegar is also great for deterring parasites, is antibacterial and antifungal, improves and conditions the coat, relieves arthritis and improves digestion.

Organic bones

You can use chicken, pork or beef bones but if possible get organic bones and with beef bones try to get grass fed.  Grass fed is higher in Omega 3’s.  It’s also higher in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which is anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic.  Grass fed is also higher in vitamin E, vitamin A, glutathione and antioxidants.  Pigs raised outdoors have a better Omega 3/Omega 6 ratio and more mono-unsaturated fat which is more resistant to high heat.


Cooking methods

You can really improve the health of your dog by learning how to make dog food that’s delicious, simple and healthy and bone broth is as easy as it gets.  You’ll know when the broth is ready when the bones start to soften and get crumbly/chalky.  In a pressure cooker it takes about 4 hours but you can also do it in a pot or slow cooker which will require between 8-24 hours of simmering.  Once cooked discard the bones, it’s just the broth you want. Dogs should never be fed cooked bones.

Shelf life

Broth just lasts a few days even in the fridge regardless if it’s for humans or dogs… the general rule is freeze it until it’s needed.


1kg of bones, 1 cup of apple cider vinegar, 1-2 cloves of garlic (optional) But isn’t garlic bad for dogs?


frozen beef bones

I have a kilo bag of frozen organic grass fed beef bones

organic beeg bones

I don't need to thaw, I'm just gonna chuck 'em in the pot.

bones in pot

So add the bones to your pot or pressure cooker

cup of apple cider vinegar

Add 1 cup of apple cider vinegar to pot

bones in pot with water

Then fill pot to just cover the bones, I used about 3 litres

pressure cooker

I'm using my pressure cooker. It doesnt set to 4 hours so I will do it for 2 hours twice over. If using the stove or slow cooker then simmer between 8-24 hours - topping up with water when needed.

cooked bone broth

4 hours later and it's done. Smells amazing! My dogs know something smells good!

sitting dog

"oh jeez... that smells so good, can I get some? I'm sitting ever so nice, I am"

bowl of fresh bone broth

Yummy, I add the fresh broth to a bowl and leave to cool. You can fridge it for a few days or just chuck in a freezer for whenever!

dog drinking bone broth

OK Flo you can have some since you're such a good girl, yes you are!


How to store

As a general guide if meat protein is present in recipe then it will last around 3 to 5 days stored in a cool place.  If it has second class protein in it eg. cheese, lentils, eggs, etc, then they will store for about 10 days in a cool place. You can use cake tins lined with baking paper – greaseproof. If there is no meat or second class proteins present then it will last around 3 weeks before they go soft like human biscuits.

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jamie the dog walker

By Jamie Shanks

BDWS is owned and run by me, Jamie Shanks. I’ve been a professional dog walker since 2010. When I’m not walking dogs, I’m usually at home (like everyone else) entertaining my two dogs and attending to five hens and my vegetable garden.

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Lynda Cully
11 months ago

I think I have added too much apple cider vinegar it has been in the slow cooker for 24 hours so far should I chuck it and start again or does the acv content not make a difference? It’s for my dog & I’m a vegetarian so I can’t taste it myself

1 year ago

Do you use high pressure for the full four hours? Thanks.

1 year ago

Mine smells very much like vinegar could only get beef bones from butchers also been on for at least 15hrs and it’s very watery if I add gelatin to thicken it how much do you add .
Do my beef bones start to crumble when it’s done

1 year ago

Do you put salt?

Rona Gregory
1 year ago

Hi there! I have made bone broth twice now (before I found your recipe). I read somewhere that when cooled it goes like jelly, but mine never has … just liquid! Is this correct and if not what am I doing wrong please? I have been putting beef marrow bones, plus turkey necks, cider vinegar and just cover the bones plus about an inch of water. slow cooker for 24 hours. If I can get bones at the store this week I will try again using your recipe but just wondered is it supposed to be jelly like?

Jamie Shanks
1 year ago
Reply to  Rona Gregory

Depends but not usually. It’s the gelatine that makes it set. Marrow bones wont set, but you could try using whole pig trotters they have tons of gelatine. Check out my pig trotter brawn. But broth is generally liquid. It you want it to set you could add some gelatine from the supermarket.

1 year ago

made it but it smelled kind like rear end… i think that was too much applecider vinegar. Will put less next time. The whole family thinks it smells awful in the house!

Jamie Shanks
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrea

lol, just a little vinegar to extract the goodness from the bones. Also makes amazing stock for soup

Marilyn Eden
2 years ago

Why do you say do not feed crumbled bones? In the case of chicken bones after 15 hours in the slow cooker they disintegrate in your hands and mashed up they resemble mushroom pate with a very chicken-y smell and taste. Thank you for your advice!

1 year ago
Reply to  Jamie Shanks

hi, would I be able to grind the bones and feed to my dog as a calcium supplement? Or is it useless after it’s been instapotted (I made that a verb, ha!) for 12 hours?

2 years ago

Hi What age can I start giving my puppy this broth? He is currently 12 weeks and I think this recipe sounds ideal for a growing dog, but, I don’t want to give it too soon.
Can you recommend best recipes for my Charlie G (a Yorkiepoo) that are home cooked, I hate the thought of only giving him tinned food and kibble.

Thank you

Sally Russell
1 year ago
Reply to  Michelle

Absolutely agree with your post about hating the thought of feeding your canine baby only store bought food.I have a jack-shitz (Jack Russell/shitzu mix) and I’ve already made most of the recipes on here..Jelly babies today as my silicone emoji face moulds have finally arrived.Have to see how Coco & her bff Daisy like these!!