7 Surprising Benefits of Bone Broth for Dogs

Discover the 7 surprising benefits of bone broth for dogs, including improved hydration, joint health, digestion, and immune support. Learn how to make bone broth and incorporate it safely into your dog’s diet for enhanced overall wellness.

Jun 03, 2024·13 min read
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7 Surprising Benefits of Bone Broth for Dogs

Bone broth has long been a long-standing staple in many kitchens, with various cultures enjoying this flavorsome dish for thousands of years. Many of us take advantage of this soup-er food due to its ease and rich nutritional benefits. But, in more recent times, the trend of giving bone broth to dogs is picking up steam among pet owners.

You might be wondering: are there benefits of bone broth for dogs, and is it really good for our canine companions? 

Let’s dive into this savory topic and discover how this traditional human food can be a superfood for our furry friends, too!

What is Bone Broth?

Simply put, bone broth is made by simmering an animal’s bones and connective tissue for an extended period. During this process, vital nutrients such as collagen, glucosamine, chondroitin, and essential minerals like calcium and phosphorus are extracted from the bones and tissue. 

The result? A nutrient-packed liquid that can support so many aspects of your dog’s health – not to mention your dog will love the flavor of this beneficial snack.

7 Benefits of Bone Broth for Dogs

Adding bone broth to your dog’s food can help with taste, especially for fussy eaters, but it can offer so much more than simply adding mouthwatering meaty flavors to your dog’s meal. Take a look at these 7 incredible bone broth benefits for dogs.

1. Supports Hydration

Bone broth is primarily made up of water, which can be a game-changer to help provide extra hydration during the warmer summer months. It’s also particularly beneficial for dogs that may be reluctant to drink a sufficient amount of water.

Proper hydration is crucial for maintaining healthy kidney function and aiding the body’s metabolic processes. Not to mention, it can aid in the digestion and absorption of nutrients. So, this tasty broth is both delicious AND hydrating, making it perfect for keeping your dog healthy and happy. 

2. Promotes Joint Health

Along with its high moisture content, bone broth can also help maintain your dog’s joint health. Glucosamine, chondroitin, and other glycosaminoglycans found in bone broth are some of the vital ingredients recommended for supporting canine joint health. These compounds are natural parts of the cartilage and joints—i.e., the building blocks of your dog’s flexibility, mobility, and comfort.

Thanks to these joint-supporting nutrients, regular consumption of bone broth may help support occasional joint discomfort.

A pot of bone broth with large marrow bones simmering in clear, golden broth, showcasing the rich and nutritious content.

3. Improves Digestive Function

The gelatin extracted from bones during the cooking process is excellent for the digestive system and can act as a soothing agent in your dog’s gut. Gelatin can bind with water in the digestive tract, helping to maintain the mucosal lining of the digestive tract – which also makes it ideal for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

By consistently feeding bone broth, your dog’s stomach can more easily digest nutrients, and it may even help prevent gastrointestinal issues such as leaky gut, occasional diarrhea, and constipation.

4. Boosts the Immune System

With over 70% of your dog’s immune system found in the gut, minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium, alongside the amino acids found in bone broth, can significantly bolster your dog’s immune system. 

A supported and strong immune system means your dog may find it easier to fight off certain aggressors like seasonal allergies, common illnesses, and infections.

5. Promotes Healthy Skin and Coat

Who doesn’t love a glossy coat? The rich array of nutrients and high content of collagen in bone broth can promote a shiny coat and healthy skin. Collagen, commonly known for its skin rejuvenating benefits in the beauty industry, is a protein vital for maintaining the strength and elasticity of skin.

6. Aids in Detoxification

The liver is the main detoxifying organ in the body. It requires an abundance of glycine to produce glutathione, a major antioxidant. This is where bone broth becomes important, as it contains glycine, an amino acid that supports the liver in detoxifying the body. This helps keep your dog healthy by removing harmful toxins and contributing to their overall well-being.

7. Appetite Stimulation

If your dog turns up their nose at their food, the rich flavor and aroma of bone broth can make their regular food irresistible. Using bone broth as a topper or mixing it with regular meals can entice a dog to eat, ensuring they receive their necessary daily nutrient intake.

Incorporating bone broth into your dog’s diet can offer these benefits and contribute to their overall health and wellness. However, it’s important to introduce any new food into your dog’s diet gradually and under the guidance of a veterinarian, especially if your dog has specific health issues or dietary needs.

Different Types of Bone Broth

Chicken, beef, turkey, or fish—pick your dog’s favorite! Each type offers unique flavors and benefits, so you might want to try a few to see which one your dog prefers the most.

Fish Bone Broth


Fish bone broth is typically rich in omega-3 fatty acids, iodine, and other minerals such as calcium. It’s made from the bones and connective tissues of fish, which can also provide smaller amounts of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A and D.


Joint Health: The high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in fish broth can help with inflammation, which is beneficial for dogs with joint issues or other inflammatory conditions.
Skin and Coat Health: Omega-3 fatty acids are known for promoting a shiny, healthy coat and supporting skin health.

Thyroid Support: Iodine is essential for proper thyroid function, and fish broth can be a good source of this mineral, especially if made from iodine-rich fish like seaweed-eating types.

Chicken Bone Broth


Chicken bones are a great source of collagen, glucosamine, chondroitin, and other minerals like magnesium and potassium. Chicken bone broth can also contain amino acids such as glycine and proline.


Digestive Health: The gelatin derived from chicken bones can help support the intestinal lining and aid in digestion, which is beneficial for dogs with sensitive or upset stomachs.

Immune System Boost: The rich mineral content, along with the presence of amino acids, supports the immune system, helping the body fight off aggressors and irritants.

Hydration: Chicken broth is highly palatable and can encourage dogs to consume more fluids, thus helping to keep them hydrated.

A stainless steel pot filled with bone broth, containing large chunks of roasted bones, carrots, and fresh parsley, simmering in a rich, dark broth.

Beef Bone Broth


Beef bone broth is packed with collagen, marrow, and minerals like zinc and iron. Compared to chicken broth, it also contains higher concentrations of glucosamine and chondroitin.


Joint Support: The high levels of glucosamine and chondroitin in beef broth help maintain strong, healthy joints and may reduce the symptoms of joint pain and arthritis.

Liver Detoxification: Beef broth contains glycine, which supports the liver in detoxification processes.

Appetite Stimulation: Beef broth’s robust flavor can be particularly enticing, making it useful for stimulating the appetite of picky eaters or dogs that are reluctant to eat due to illness.

How to Make Bone Broth for Dogs

Making bone broth for dogs is surprisingly easy! Take a look at our simple recipe for your furry friend:


  • 2-3 pounds of bones (beef, chicken, or other animal bones)
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (helps extract minerals from the bones)
  • 2-3 carrots, roughly chopped (optional)
  • 2-3 celery stalks, roughly chopped (optional)
  • Water to cover


  1. Prepare the Bones:
    • If using raw bones, you can roast them in the oven at 400°F (200°C) for about 30 minutes to enhance the flavor. This step is optional but recommended.
  2. Combine Ingredients:
    • Place the bones in a large pot or slow cooker. Add the apple cider vinegar and let it sit for 20-30 minutes. This helps extract minerals from the bones.
    • Add the chopped carrots and celery.
  3. Add Water:
    • Pour enough water to cover the bones and vegetables by about 1-2 inches.
  4. Simmer:
    • Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Skim off any foam or impurities that rise to the surface in the first hour of cooking.
    • For beef bones, simmer for 24-48 hours. For chicken bones, simmer for 12-24 hours. If using a slow cooker, set it on low.
  5. Strain and Store:
    • After simmering, let the broth cool slightly. Remove the larger bones and vegetables with a slotted spoon.
    • Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth into a large bowl or container.
    • Let the broth cool completely in the refrigerator. Once cooled, remove the layer of fat that solidifies on the top and discard. Avoid giving your dog the fat layer, as this can cause digestive upset.
    • Store the bone broth in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for longer storage.

When preparing bone broth for dogs, it’s essential to avoid adding any ingredients that could be harmful to them, such as onions, garlic, excessive salt, and spices. Additionally, while bone broth offers many benefits, it should be used as a supplement to a balanced diet, not as a primary source of nutrition. Always consult a veterinarian before significantly changing your dog’s diet, especially if they have underlying health conditions.

Incorporating Bone Broth into Your Dog’s Diet

Like with anything new in your dog’s diet, they may not take to it immediately – even something as delicious as bone broth. 

Start with small amounts to see how your dog likes it and gradually increase based on their size and dietary needs. Pour some bone broth over kibble as a topper, mix it with rice, or serve it as a tasty treat. 

If you notice any signs of stomach upset, such as vomiting or diarrhea, after eating bone broth, stop giving it to your dog. 

A Golden Retriever eating from a stainless steel bowl on a wooden floor, with a person kneeling nearby and holding the bowl steady.

Potential Concerns and Considerations

While bone broth is generally safe, every dog is different. Watch for any allergic reactions or digestive issues, and always consult your veterinarian before introducing new foods into your dog’s diet.

High Sodium Content

Some commercially prepared bone broths may contain high levels of sodium, which isn’t suitable for dogs, particularly those with heart or kidney issues.

Onion and Garlic Toxicity

Some bone broths prepared for human consumption may contain onions or garlic, which are toxic to dogs even in small quantities.

Excess Fat 

If not skimmed properly, bone broth can have a high-fat content, which can be difficult for dogs to digest and may lead to pancreatitis.

Choking Hazards and Digestive Blockages 

If the broth contains small bone fragments, they can pose a choking hazard or cause blockages in the digestive tract.


Some dogs have allergies and sensitivities to certain foods, including chicken and beef. If you’re giving your dog store-bought bone broth, make sure it doesn’t contain any ingredients that your dog is allergic to.

Final Thoughts on Bone Broth for Dogs

Bone broth is more than just a flavorful addition to your dog’s diet—it’s a nutritional powerhouse that offers a multitude of health benefits. From promoting hydration and joint health to boosting the immune system and enhancing digestive function, this traditional superfood can significantly contribute to your dog’s overall wellness. 

The rich nutrients found in bone broth, such as collagen, glucosamine, and essential minerals, support various aspects of your dog’s health, ensuring they stay happy and active.

Whether you choose chicken, beef, or fish bone broth, each type offers unique benefits that can be tailored to your dog’s preferences and health requirements. Homemade bone broth is an excellent way to ensure your dog receives a nutritious and safe supplement free from harmful additives. As always, monitor your dog for any adverse reactions and adjust their diet accordingly.

In summary, bone broth is a versatile and beneficial addition to your dog’s diet that can support their health in numerous ways. By providing this nourishing supplement, you’re not only enhancing their daily meals but also contributing to their long-term health and vitality.

Bone Broth for Dogs FAQs

Is bone broth good for dogs?

Yes, bone broth is good for dogs. It offers numerous benefits, including:

  • Supporting hydration
  • Joint health support
  • Improving digestive function
  • Boosting the immune system
  • Promoting healthy skin and coat
  • Aiding in detoxification
  • Stimulating appetite
  • Providing easily digestible nutrients

Can dogs have chicken broth?

Yes, dogs can have chicken broth, provided it is prepared safely for them. However, when preparing or purchasing chicken broth for dogs, ensure that it does not contain harmful ingredients like onions, garlic, or high levels of salt. Homemade chicken broth is often the best option, as you can control the ingredients and ensure it is safe for your dog.

Can dogs have beef broth?

Yes, dogs can have beef broth, and it can be highly beneficial for them. Beef broth is rich in nutrients such as collagen, marrow, and minerals like zinc and iron. Similar to other broths, it is crucial to ensure that the beef broth does not contain harmful additives like onions, garlic, or excessive salt. Preparing beef broth at home is a good way to ensure it is safe and nutritious for your dog. Always introduce it gradually into your dog’s diet and consult with your veterinarian if you have any concerns.

Can I use store-bought bone broth for my dog?

Yes, but ensure it doesn’t contain harmful ingredients like onions, garlic, or excessive salt. Always choose a bone broth specifically formulated for dogs or one with no added seasonings or preservatives.

How much bone broth should I give my dog?

Start with small amounts to see how your dog reacts, then gradually increase based on their size and dietary needs. Consult your veterinarian for specific serving recommendations tailored to your dog’s health.

How should I store bone broth?

Store homemade bone broth for dogs in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze it for longer storage. Ensure it’s cooled completely before refrigerating or freezing.



https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8618064/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33803407/

Becca TriggB

Becca Trigg

An all round animal lover, who absolutely adores writing and researching anything puppy! Over the past few years, I have been able to gain ample pet knowledge; specifically joint health and dental hygiene. When I'm not typing away in the office, I can be found sitting in a country pub or growing chillies

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The information contained within this site is not intended as a substitute for professional medical or veterinary advice. PetLab Co. is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If your pet has, or you suspect your pet has any medical condition, you are urged to consult your veterinarian. Medical conditions can only be diagnosed by a licensed veterinarian. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Results May Vary. Not intended for human consumption. Please consult your veterinarian regarding any change in treatment or supplementation.
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