Bone Broth for dogs

by | Apr 17, 2016 | 40 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.

Buy the book!

These dog treat recipes are now available to buy in book on Amazon.   An ideal gift!

dog treat recipe book

Share this recipe with friends

raw pig ears

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 entertaining my three dogs and attending to five hens and my vegetable garden. 


  1. I had read the 24 hr cooked bones can be put in the blender with some bone broth and IS nutricious . Why do you say NOT to feed them the cooked (chicken boned if they are ground to a paste? Thanks ahead very much for educating me on this question!

    • Bones when overcooked breakdown and become chalky and soft, but before that and once cooked, the composition changes from when it was raw so that it becomes brittle and shards into sharp pieces – when like this bones are very dangerous. Uually after being in a pressure cooker they will be breaking down and crumbling, blend that. I just stated not to feed them to be sure no one accidentally fed their dog brittle cooked bones.

  2. 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

    • It depends how much more you put in. If it’s just like a little more, even double it should be fine. But more than that, I’d chuck it.

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

    • Yip, else they’d take around 24 hours in a standard pot on the cooker.

  4. 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

  5. Do you put salt?

    • No salt, no. Dogs don’t do salt well.

  6. 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?

    • 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.

  7. 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!

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

  8. 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!

    • Hi Marilyn, it’s just to make sure no one feeds their dogs bones that are cooked, brittle and shard when broken.

    • 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?

  9. 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

    • Bone broth is good for any age. There are recipes on here for dogs that would suit your Charlie.

    • 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!!

  10. Hi, Thanks so much for the recipe I’ll definitely make this from now on. Once the broth is frozen is there a special way to defrost it? Do you need to fridge what you need the night before, or can you microwave it from frozen? Thanks very much

    • Just defrost naturally, put in fridge what you can use in a few days.

  11. How much broth should you give your dog at a time?

  12. Hi my dog has inflammatory bowel disease she is only two she cannot eat chicken beef or pork as she just throws them straight back up currently on vension dog food free of grains and wheat but is going straight through her and weights is just dropping off her we have tried other foods as well but i want to make her food myself would it be ok to use lamb hearts and bones etc instead also would rabbit be nutritional.

    • Yeah, rabbit, venison, lamb is all good. Duck is good too. Are you sure she is allergic to beef, chicken & pork rather than the preservatives used on those meats? I know some dogs who have allergies to beef but it’s actually the preservatives they are allergic too and not the meat.

    • Fridge for a few days or freezer for longer.

  13. Blossom is 32 days pregnant would this be good for she has gone off her food

  14. Where do you find organic grass fed bones? I can find hamburger from grass fed cows at the grocery store but I am not sure about organic bones.

  15. I am so pleased I have come across this site.

    I will definitely be making this for my Staffy who is 17 years old next month ( I adopted him last December)

    I am sure he will love it added to his food .

    I will also be making him a birthday cake made from liver, complete with 17 candles 🙂 🙂

  16. Hi if doing the bone broth in the pressure cooker do you put it on the stew function ? My collie has early kidney disease and need to soak his kibble so was going to try the broth. Thanks

  17. Hi Jamie,

    I have chicken bones on the go at the moment and there is a huge amount of fat. Do I need to skim this off?



    • No. Fat is good.

    • will this effect the jelly babies that I want to make?

    • if you making jelly babies you might want to skim some of the fat off as it will just sit on the surface and not mix. Try making one jelly baby and if the fat doesnt set on the surface it’s fine, else skim it.

  18. Hi Jamie,

    Great site, great recipes, thank you for that 🙂

    One question though. When I cook bones to make broth in the slow cooker (for 24 hours) the (smaller) bones come out in a chalk testure, you can break them in your hands. I assume these bones are OK to feed to the dogs, as long as they are soft?


    • That means it’s ready when the bones are chalky. Nah, I think it’s best to still throw the bones out, I would never feed cooked bones for any reason. Plus all the goodness has been cooked out them.

  19. Great article Jamie, Flo is so cute! My dog loves Au Bon Broth after every run. It made him more energetic and made his coat shine.

  20. Hi
    Was wondering if this can be done in a slow cooker

    • Hey Barbara, yeah you can. Around 8-24 hours. You know when the bones begin to soften that it’s ready.

  21. 5


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *