Bone broth has been used for centuries in human medicine for those who were sick or needed to recover from sickness. In many Chinese prescriptions soup or broth are used with or without additional herbs for many conditions.
Bones are cooked until they basically are soft and disintegrate. They are rich in protein, and mineral. Glycine, proline and the gelatine, released in this process, can be used by the body for a variety of its functions. It helps the liver in its detoxification process through the formation of bile salts, it helps the repair of damaged gut and skin (glue came originally from the skin of donkeys; the gelatine has the building blocks to repair skin and gut injuries).
In Chinese medicine the bones are formed by the kidneys and the use of soups or broth was said to support the Kidneys and their Essence. It also builds Blood and Wei Qi (immune system). Since the adrenals are identified as the Right Kidney, it also supports the adrenals which often get exhausted in chronic disease (see studies done by Dr. Plechner).
Bone broth differs from soups, stock or stews in their prolonged slow cooker process. The bones and water have to be cooked for 24 hours in a slow cooker, until the bones become so brittle and soft that you can crumble them with your fingers! It is that slow cooking process that leaches all those building blocks out of the bones so the body can re-use them again.
Our dogs (and cats) are carnivores, so most certainly they will use those same building blocks for their own bodies! Yes we have known this for years; I remember my own mother feeding me soups when I had the measles or during serious cold and flu outbreaks! Thanks to Kathy Wootton, one of the clients from Phoenix Rising Veterinary Care, the use of bone broth for the animals was brought back to our attention.
Who can benefit from bone broth?
Animals who have suffered for shorter or longer periods of time from Irritable Bowel Disease or chronic food allergies, chronic skin allergies, chronic vomiting or diarrhea or any long standing chronic illness. Bone broth is an easy way to feed the body, it enables the gut wall to restore itself taking 3 weeks or longer, so it can regain its integrity and function in a normal way.
Please discuss details with your veterinarian so as to tailor the broth for your animal with its specific condition.
Bone Broth Recipe
Degree of difficulty: Easy
- 1 whole chicken or turkey carcass with plenty of meat left on it (you can also use beef or bison bones)
- 1 cup chopped vegetables (carrots, squash, zucchini, etc.)
- 1 – 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 – 2 cups of extra meat
- 1 tablespoon Slippery Elm and/or Marshmallow Root
- 1 tablespoon Astragalus root to boost immunity ( in a teabag)
Take a whole chicken or turkey carcass with plenty of meat left on it. You can also use beef or bison bones if your pet is allergic or sensitive to poultry. Cover the carcass or bones with water and add 1 cup of chopped vegetables to it. You can use carrots, squash, and zucchini. 1 Or 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar will help to release those minerals from the bones.
Cook in a slow cooker for at least 24 hours until the bones are soft enough to crumble with your fingers.
After cooking add 1 or 2 cups of extra meat and 1 cup of extra squash and carrots to the broth. For IBD you can add slippery Elm and/ or Marshmallow Root. If the immune system needs a boost, add Astragalus root (1 tablespoon in a teabag). Simmer for an additional ½ hour, turn of and cool.
If needed puree the broth into a soup. Other herbs can be added that are more specific for your pets condition. Make sure you don’t leave hard and splintering bones in the broth! If used longer than 2 weeks make sure you add a little raw heart for taurine supplementation.
Always talk to your integrated veterinarian for specific details.
The broth can be kept in the fridge for 1 week or frozen to be used later.
The average amount to feed would be about 1 cup per 25 pounds twice daily for up to three weeks or longer.