Bone Broth for Dogs. Miracle Cure-All?

Bone Broth has been a staple of diets for centuries in cultures across the world. Bone broth has exploded in the human food industry and that has now translated to the pet industry. Whether it is feeding your dog or cat bone broth.  Bone Broth for dogs and cats can be found as freeze-dried or dehydrated powders in addition to its traditional form. It is included in a variety of treats for dogs and cats. We even sell bone broth, and bone broth treats. There are hundreds of articles about the benefits of bone broth for our dogs and cats, but is bone broth really as great as marketers would have us believe.

Many people argue that bone broth is the answer to all that ills are dogs and cats. The Benefits of bone broth include, but are not limited to helping to treat leaky gut and digestive issues, strengthening bones and joints, supporting healthy skin, boosting the immune system, promoting probiotic balance and growth.

Now, What is Bone Broth?

Bone broth is a nutrient-dense stock that is made from animal parts that are generally considered inedible today. It comes from a time where it was important to use every piece of the animal. Bone Broth is made from slow cooking bones, marrow, tendons, ligaments, with an acid. Sometimes various herbs or vegetables are added.

Nutrient Content of Bone Broth

Long bones are composed mainly of dense layers with a high mineral content while flat bones like rib bones have more loose, spongy layers , which contain bone marrow that forms red blood cells

Collagen is a group of amino acids. It’s found in our bones, skin, joints, tendons, and ligaments. Type I is found in bone, skin, ligaments, tendons. Type II is found in the cartilage. Type III is found in bone marrow and lymph, also known as reticulin fiber. When Collagen is broken down it becomes a gelatin.

Bone marrow, is found deep in the center of the bone. There are two types: red bone marrow and yellow bone marrow. Yellow bone marrow is higher in fat cells, whereas red bone marrow is higher in platelets. Red bone marrow contains reticulin fibers, or type III collagen.

Bone broth can be high in minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Recent research however showed that bones cooked for twelve hours were found to only contain 361 mg per kg of calcium for the long bone while the rib bone was 291 mg. 

Cooking bones longer should yield more of those minerals into the broth.

More and more people and companies are using instapots or pressure cookers to speed up the time it takes to actually make the bone broth. As of right now there are no published studies evaluating how it alters the actual nutrient make up of bone broth, but if/when those studies are published we will be sure to update this post.

Now which Bones, Cartilage, Tendons, and the amount of Skin all influence the actual nutrient content of bone broth. Cooking time and the amount of vinegar used also impacts the actual nutrient content of bone broth. It takes a long time for bones to break down. In the human food space, there are definitely bone broths that are just expensive stocks. 

How to tell if the Bone Broth your buying is actual Bone Broth, or just an expensive Stock.

Leave the bone broth in the fridge to thaw. If after it is completely thawed it has a Jello like consistency then it is bone broth. If it is more liquidly then it is a stock.

The sediment at the bottom of any bone broth is also extremely important, as that is where many of the nutrients are actually located. So while it doesn’t look appealing in the least that is where much of the nutritional value is located.

Nutrient Makeup

Now Bone Broth can be rich in a variety of nutrients. Bone Broth is rich in not just Collagen, but also calcium, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron, manganese, selenium. It also provides several amino acids namely glutamine, arginine, glycine, and proline. Bone Broth also provides a wide range of minerals. Bone Broth also contains other compounds such as Hyaluronic Acid, Glucosamine, and Chondroitin.

Joint Health

Bone broth can be a great source of glucosamine, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid. These all help support joints’ elasticity, strength and flexibility.  Hyaluronic acid is the main component in synovial fluid, which acts as a joint lubricant. While collagen helps form connective tissue. The research on glucosamine and chondroitin have been mixed. There are studies that demonstrated positive effects and there are studies that show little to no effect. This could be a post on its own. When it comes to arthritis in our pets, and humans it is possible that they work better as preventative, and not necessarily as treatment options.

Proline forms the structure of collagen. Proline is needed to build collagenStudies on Rats also suggest that proline helps with skin wound healing.

Gut Health

In a study conducted on rats, the amino acid glycine has been shown to protect the gastric mucosa against chemically and stress-induced ulcers. 

Glycine improves digestive health, through inhibiting cytokines, thus decreasing inflammation in the gut lining. Glycine helps with sealing the mucosal layer in the intestines. It aids in liver detoxification and helps with fructose malabsorption.

Our Bone Broth for Dogs

We Slow Cook our Bone Broth for dogs over the course of 48 Hours. We use Organic Apple Cider Vinegar to help break down and release the collagen of the bones. This allows for it to turn into a thick gelatin. It is then cooled, and the Fat is removed. The Bone Broth is then further concentrated.

Our Frozen Bone Broth for dogs (Only Available Locally) comes in 2 options besides the different proteins. The First Option is Just Bone Broth. The second option is Bone Broth+ includes Beetroot, Watercress, Bok Choy, Marshmallow Root, Ginger, Turmeric, and Black Pepper.

Our Freeze Dried Bone Broth which is coming soon, will be available as Beetroot, Watercress, Bok Choy, Marshmallow Root, Ginger, Turmeric, and Black Pepper.

We currently offer Beef, Lamb, Duck, Pork, and Chicken. With Buffalo, Elk, Venison, and Llama being available intermittently.

If you would like to see an ingredient added or subtracted please email us [email protected] and we are happy to accommodate your request.

All of the ingredients in our Bone Broths serve a purpose beyond just adding bulk ie Tapioca.

Conclusion

Ultimately bone broth may not be the miracle cure-all superfood that many marketers would have people believe. Just because it’s not a miracle superfood doesn’t mean it isn’t healthy or beneficial. There is some evidence that supports the claim of it being a beneficial inclusion to your dog or cat’s diet. Including Bone Broth is ultimately similar to Pascals Wager. In that, you don’t really lose anything by including it, but there are several potential benefits to including it into your pets diet.

The additional benefits of Bone Broth for dogs and cats is it can be used as a relatively low calorie food topper to entice your picky dog or cat to eat their food.

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