I think that there are lots of different people who might be interested in making a bone barrow broth for their dogs.
Perhaps you are the type of person who has a very holistic and natural approach to life and you are fascinated by how something as simple and natural as a broth can be so wholesome.
Or perhaps you are a person with a very sick dog at the moment who cannot for the life of them get their dog to eat any solid food and so in desperation you have stumbled across bone marrow broths.
No matter what your reasons are for wanting to find out more, welcome along.
And lets get stuck in and start with a very simple definition.
What is a broth?
A broth is a savoury liquid which is made of water and in which bones, meat or vegetables are simmered.
But be careful because there is very little difference between broths, stocks and soups!
What is bone marrow broth for dogs?
A bone marrow broth is made by simmering marrow bones in water for hours.
Bone marrow is soft tissue that is in the centre of all bones.
But the bigger the bone, the more marrow it has in it.
And so it tends to be the larger bones of any animal that are used for bone marrow for dogs.
And so in the case of beef marrow bones, it tends to be the bones in a cow’s leg that are used, such as the femur.
How do you make bone marrow broth?
Not surprisingly there are several different recipes (such as here and here), but there are several base ingredients which are the same.
And they are:
Beef marrow bones
Chicken or pig feet
Apple Cider Vinegar
Before I walk you through the simple method for cooking it, I want to quickly take a look at some of the not so obvious ingredients and what they do.
Chicken feet or pig’s feet are used in order to add more gelatin to the broth. There are lots of small bones in a chicken or pig’s feet and because of this they dissolve more quickly than the marrow bones.
The gelatin gives the broth a heavier and creamier texture as well as adding even more minerals into the mix!
Apple Cider Vinegar is added as an acid to “dissolve” the collagen in the bones to gelatin.
And the most important piece of equipment is a slow cooker or crock pot
The method is simple. Just put all the ingredients into the pot and add enough water to cover all of the ingredients by about two inches.
Then just switch your slow cooker on and leave it for 24 hours or more.
Just check it a couple of times a day to make sure that there is enough water in it.
Once it has finished simmering, strain it to separate the liquids from the solids.
You are now ready to store it.
What are the 7 types of marrow bone that I could buy?
How can you store bone marrow broth?
There are two main ways to store bone marrow broth- in the refrigerator or freezer.
Obviously the first thing to do is to wait for it to cool.
If you put it into airtight containers such as a mason jar then it will keep for up to five days.
In the freezer, placing into sealed containers should allow you to use it up to six months.
Another great idea that I have seen is to store bone marrow broth in the freezer in the form of ice cubes.
How should you serve bone marrow broth?
There are three ways that you can use bone marrow broth with your dog.
- A small serving is added to a dog’s dry food diet to make it more palatable
- A serving is placed in a bowl on its own
- The broth is frozen as ice cubes and given out on hot days
How much bone broth per day for dogs?
This all depends on how big your dog is, of course.
Thebonesandco makes these recommendations:
|Size of dog||Serving suggestions|
|Less than 20 pounds||1 oz|
|20- 40 pounds||2 oz|
|50- 80 pounds||4 oz|
|80+ pounds||6 oz|
What are the benefits of bone marrow broth?
As you can imagine, bone broths have been made for thousands of years.
In fact it’s origins seem to lie in ancient China over 2500 years ago, when it was first used for medicinal purposes- one of its original purposes was to aid digestion and cure tummy troubles.
In my next paragraph I will outline the main health benefits of bone marrow broth, but before then I want to list its many other benefits.
It requires very few ingredients that are easy to get hold of
It is easy to make
It is cheap to make
It isn’t wasteful because you are using as much of an animal as possible
But what are the health benefits to a dog?
Although this could be quite a long list, I just want to concentrate on three.
- Aid digestion- the glycine in it helps to detoxify a dog’s liver and the gelatin binds itself to water which helps move food through your gut.
- It is packed with essential minerals and vitamins that are great for your joints
- It contains lots of amino acids which are perfect for fighting amino acid.
Having looked at some general health benefits of bone marrow broth, I want to look at some of the claims made about bone broth’s ability to ease or cure specific conditions.
First up is upset stomachs
We know already that bone broth can help our dog’s digestive system in many ways, but can it help to ease an upset stomach?
Beef broth for dogs with an upset stomach?
Well, it seems that it can.
Beef broth is very gentle and easy to digest for a dog because it is in liquid form.
It takes less effort for a dog to drink something when it is feeling poorly than to eat something.
As well as being easy to eat, it will smell and taste very attractively to a dog who is under the weather.
To state the obvious, bone broth is mainly water and dehydration can be a real issue for dogs who have diarrhea. Obviously it has a lot of water content and dehydration.
To add a couple of notes of caution.
Firstly, if your dog continues to have an upset stomach and is lethargic a day after you have given them bone broth, get them to the vet as soon as you can.
Secondly, bone broth takes too long to make if your dog already has an upset stomach and so in that sense it is not a practical cure – hopefully you will have some in the freezer..
Bone broth for dogs with cancer
Let’s get serious very fast here.
Bone broth can help dogs with cancer but it must run alongside a course of treatment that has been OK’d by your vet.
Bone broth will not on its own cure cancer- even bone marrow cancer.
It would be nonsense to tout bone broth as some miracle cure.
It can help dogs who have cancer in similar ways to how it helps dogs with upset stomachs.
It can be used as a “protein shake” for dogs who have lost their appetite and are very reluctant to touch any solid foods.
And it can help to rehydrate a dehydrated dog because it is far more tasty and appealing than plain water.
What are the other main types of bone broths used for dogs?
As I said earlier, all bones have marrow in them.
Looking around it seems that the most popular bone broths for dogs seem to reflect the most popular meats consumed by humans and so there are recipes and questions relating to chicken bone broth, pork bone broth and lamb bone broth.
There you have it. If you have some very basic ingredients to hand and a little patience, then you can easily create some bone marrow broth for your dog- think of it not so much as a super food but as a super soup!
¹ Photo by Kim Knoch on Flickr