Recently a friend mentioned she had noticed her dog showing difficulty getting up so she needed to find a supplement for his joints. As we talked, I realized she didn’t feed him any broths or stocks.
Bone broth and chicken stock are staples in my house so I tend to think everyone feeds it to their dogs.
These mineral rich infusions contain calcium, gelatin and glucosamine chondroitin which can serve as preventatives as well as healing. Kirby at eight years old runs, jumps, and plays as if he was a puppy and easily keeps up with his one year old sibling Kenzie. During illness, they are known to support the body, and since they are easy to digest, the body’s energy can focus on healing. They are also thought to improve leaky gut. Homemade broths and stocks are always richer and more flavorful than the store varieties which usually contain ingredients deemed dangerous for dogs such as onions. These watered down versions are known to lack quite a bit of gelatin.
Ways to Serve
These stocks and broths are the basis for many of the home cooked meals and a variety of treats I make for my dogs as well as several human recipes. Even if you don’t home cook you can pour some over dry kibble, serve as a cool or warm drink depending on the weather, or freezing in small molds or ice cube trays for a frozen treat.
How to Store
You can store the stock in wide mouth mason jars leaving an inch head room from the top of the stock to the top of the jar so as it freezes and expands, it doesn’t break the glass. Let the jars cool, then freeze or refrigerate. You can remove the congealed fat after refrigerating or even freezing. It will keep in the refrigerator for about a week and in the freezer for up to three months.
- 2 – 3 chicken carcasses
- 4 carrots, coarsely chopped
- 4 celery sticks, coarsely chopped
- sprigs of fresh parsley (optional)
- sprigs of fresh thyme (optional)
- 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped (optional)*
- 2 tablespoons sea salt
- cold filtered water
- 1 – 2 chicken feet (optional)
- Place the bones in the crock pot and cover with water.
- Add in the remaining ingredients. Start on highest setting and bring to a boil.
- Cook for at least five hours on high or overnight on low.
- Skim the scum/foam that rises to the top as needed.
- Strain through a small mesh colander.
The chicken feet will help add more gelatin to the final product. You can add 1 – 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar when you add the water to pull the calcium and nutrients from the bones. I don’t feel it’s necessary since the bones are pretty much cooked to mush.
Tip: Over time I throw chicken bones and veggies into bags in my freezer so I always have enough to make more when I find I’m getting low. I used to make it on the stove but now use a large crock pot which needs little attention and doesn’t take up room on my stove.
*Holistic veterinarians not only approve of garlic but feed it to their dogs. You can read more about it here. Kirby and Kenzie have never had any adverse reactions but please feel free to omit if it is still a concern.
Debby Martin is the dog nutrition blogger behind The Canine Chef Cookbook , a website filled with easy to make recipes and canine nutrition, who has published her cookbook of the same name. She is pawrent to Kirby the Dorkie who inspired her to begin researching the healthiest nutrition for his body to ensure a long, vibrant life. She considers herself a perpetual student of canine nutrition.
She graduated with a paralegal degree with a business administration minor and currently works as an office manager for a small business.
After fostering thirteen dogs, Debby decided her dog needed a permanent dog so they adopted Kenzie, also a Dorkie, from a rescue. When she isn’t in the kitchen, she enjoys bible journaling, spending time with her grandchildren, road trips, and snuggling with her dogs in front of a good movie while Kirby loves swimming and road trips.
Debby prefers to let Kirby run all their social media because he’s the extrovert with the happy attitude, his favorites being Facebook and Instagram.