How to Make Bone Broth for Dogs and Why You’d Want To

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Why would you want to make bone broth for dogs? Because it’s full of invaluable nutrients and offers an extensive range of health benefits. Because broth is intensely meaty, dogs adore it, too, so it’s not a struggle to get them to eat it. This bone broth recipe is for dogs, cats, and humans, and it’s really easy to make. It just requires a few cheap, readily available ingredients, and a slow cooker. Bone broth is brilliant for all dogs, but particularly for the young, the elderly, and the unwell.

Here are a few of the potential health benefits of bone broth for dogs:

  • Bone broth supports bone and joint health thanks to the high levels of glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Acts as a general immune booster
  • Supports your dog’s digestive system and, because it’s easily digestible, helps to soothe tummy troubles
  • Packed full of minerals and nutrients that are made easily absorbable and usable because of the cooking method
  • Bone broth can help to relieve common food and environmental allergies
  • Boosts overall health and condition
  • Can help to relieve dry, itchy skin and can aid in conditioning the coat

Aside from those health benefits, bone broth has a number of other positives:

  • Is highly palatable, so is tempting even to the fussiest dog
  • Bone broth is ridiculously easy to make
  • It costs very little to make a large batch of bone broth
  • Humans can eat it, too, and enjoy many of the same benefits
  • It can be used as stock to flavor dishes
  • Bone broth can be used in other health-boosting recipes, such as golden paste

Here are a few things to remember about bone broth:

  • Bone broth is not a replacement for bone or bone meal in a raw diet
  • You absolutely do not need to throw away the meat, fat, and little bits of vegetables – your dog will love it all the more if you leave this in. Just make sure you get all the bone out
  • Bone broth is absolutely fine if it doesn’t gel. Don’t throw away the broth just because it hasn’t gelled
  • Using a variety of bones makes the best broth, rich in collagen, protein, marrow, gelatin, glucosamine, and chondroitin

Now here’s my easy bone broth recipe…

Garlic is NOT bad for dogs!

Yes, this recipe does contain garlic, and NO, garlic is NOT bad for dogs – it’s actually very good in the right quantities. Jump straight to more info on garlic for dogs and appropriate serving sizes.


Bone Broth for Dogs, Cats, and Humans
Prep Time
15 mins

Cook Time
1 d

Total Time
1 d 15 mins


This bone broth recipe is easy to make and requires minimal preparation and little attention during cooking. I will warn you though – it smells! Once it starts to cook, it has an intensely “meaty” smell – it’s not bad, but it is intense.


Side Dish, Snack, Soup

beef broth, bone broth, broth
Author: Katy Willis

  • 2
    olive oil
  • 1
    beef marrow bones
  • 2
    raw pigs feet
  • 4
  • 4
  • 2
  • 1/2
  • 1/3
    apple cider vinegar
    preferably organic, with the mother
  • Water
    enough to cover the bones by up to two inches

  1. There’s very little preparation involved for bone broth. Just chop all the vegetables and herbs and throw them in the slow cooker. Next add your bones. 

  2. Boil the kettle and, once boiled, pour the water into the slow cooker, preferably covering the bones by about two inches. Then add the apple cider vinegar.

  3. Simmer on the low setting in your slow cooker for at least 12 hours, preferably 24, and up to 72 hours. Just remember to top up the water and don’t let the pot get too dry.

  4. Once finished, remove all the bones from the broth – remember that all the connective tissue from the pig’s feet will have broken down, and so you’ll need to be extra dilligent to remove all the small bones. 

  5. Once cooled, your bone broth can stay in the fridge for up to three days. You can portion it in ice cube trays and store in the freezer for up to a year. 

 Tips for Bone Broth

1. Pupsicles

Bone broth is a great year-round dietary supplement for your dog. But as an extra summer treat, give bone broth pupsicles. Your pup will love a bone broth pupsicle, and it helps cool them a little.

2. General feeding

If your dog has been unwell, is recovering from surgery, or is elderly or weak, feeding a spoonful, or a defrosted ice cube of broth along with their evening meal every day or every other day for at least a week or for the duration of their illness is a smart option. For general support, I feed broth three times a week.

3. Getting Appropriate Bones

Ask your butcher to chop your marrow bones into smaller, manageable chunks. Unless you have an industrial-sized crockpot or you have a good bone saw, your butcher is your best option.

4. Mixing Up the Bones

Experiment. You don’t have to always use beef and pig’s feet. You can use lamb, goose, duck, turkey, venison, chicken, or whatever your preference. And you aren’t limited to joint bones and feet, either. You can also use necks, shoulder, bird carcasses, or anything else with lots of connective tissue or marrow.

5. Is It Really Safe to Use Garlic?

Yes it is. In spite of all the fearmongering you see online, garlic is actually very good for dogs in small quantities. For garlic to be toxic, your dog has to consume a huge amount. According to The Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Catsthe recommended serving sizes are:

  • 10 to 15 pounds — 1/2 clove
  • 20 to 40 pounds — 1 clove
  • 45 to 70 pounds — 2 cloves
  • 75 to 90 pounds — 2.5 cloves
  • 100+ pounds — 3 cloves

Remember, garlic has a number of health benefits for dogs, and is a great form of natural parasite control.

6. Use Bone Broth As Stock

By the time you’ve simmered it for 24 hours or more, your bone broth is intensely flavorsome, rich, and concentrated. So use it in place of stock or stock cubes to add depth of flavor as well as nutrition to your meals. Use it wherever you need to layer flavors or require a richly tasty base, like gravy, chilli, soup, or anything else that takes your fancy.

Summing It All Up

Bone broth is brilliant for dogs, cats, and humans, and it’s really easy to make. It doesn’t cost much, either, but it’s exceptionally healthful. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of animal bones – mix it up with game, domestic livestock, and poultry.

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Written by Katy Willis

Katy is a life-long homesteader and home herbalist. She is passionate about living naturally, growing food, keeping livestock, foraging, and making and using herbal remedies. She's been writing and editing professionally for over a decade, and she's been living green her entire life. She firmly believes that every small green change we make has a huge impact. Making greener choices is better for your bank balance, your health, and the planet.

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  1. Mieke

    I forgot, sorry. One more question. Why the Olive oil and would you rub it on the bones or just add to water? Thanks

    • Katy Willis

      Hi! Yes, boiled water is perfectly fine. And olive oil helps stop anything sticking to the bottom of the pan and acts as a carrier oil, drawing and holding nutrients from the herbs, veg, and bones. It’s also great for your dog’s skin, coat, and joints! Just add it with the herbs and veggies. 🙂

  2. Mieke

    Instead of using filtered water, is boiled tap water and then pouring that in the pot, as in your recipe, good to do? Thank you!

  3. J. R.

    Hey, there is garlic in this recipe. Garlic is very toxic to dogs. Was that just an oversight?

    • Katy Willis

      As noted in the recipe, garlic is NOT toxic to dogs in these quantities. In fact, in the right quantities, garlic is incredibly beneficial to dogs – it prevents intestinal parasites, repels fleas, tics, and mites, and is beneficial for the digestive system and immune system. The misconception of garlic toxicity comes from a poorly conducted, biased “study” conducted over 30 years ago which has since been repeatedly discredited.


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