The internet is filled with articles about the benefits of bone broth for people, dogs, and cats. These sensationalist pieces proclaim that bone broth, including beef broth, is a wonder drug or a superfood. But is that true? Can dogs eat beef broth? Is it safe for them? The answer to both of these questions is yes. Dogs can eat beef broth, and it is very safe. Beef broth has a lot of benefits for dogs, but the results might not be as potent as some articles make them sound. Here are the best ways to feed bone broth and the benefits you can expect to see, as well as the safety concerns.
Is Beef Broth Safe?
Yes. Beef broth is safe for dogs provided it has no additional additives or ingredients beyond beef bones and water. Furthermore, it is natural and potentially beneficial. In the wild, dogs eat small animals and scavenge from corpses. Dogs regularly chew on bones and eat leftover pieces of carrion. Bone broth, including beef broth, simply distills these benefits that dogs try to get in the wild into an easy-to-eat liquid. Pure beef broth is one of the safest and most natural things that your dog can eat on a regular basis.
However, you do need to be careful not to feed too much broth too quickly. Too much broth can still upset your dog’s stomach if you are not careful. Sensitive dogs will need to get used to the broth like they would any other food if you plan on feeding it regularly.
How to Best Feed Beef Broth
Like any new food, it is recommended to feed beef broth sparingly at first. Many dogs are very sensitive to new foods and overloading your dog on bone broth can cause them to get sick or have a stomachache. The same goes for new dry food. The best way to start feeding beef broth is to put 2 tablespoons of broth over your dog’s regular dog food. You do not need to have them drink the pure bone broth as a person would. You only need to feed purely liquid beef broth when your dog is not feeling well or will not eat or drink their usual food or water, under guidance from your vet.
You can also add 1 or 2 tablespoons of beef broth to your dog’s water to encourage more drinking, or add 1 tablespoon to the dog’s food and 1 tablespoon to their water. If your dog likes beef broth and is getting benefits, you can increase the amount slowly. Consult with your veterinarian about the ideal amount of broth for your particular dog for a more exact amount.
Uses for Beef Broth
Beef broth has some legitimate uses that can help dogs in numerous ways. First, beef broth is a great way to get dogs to drink when they are not feeling well. Adding some bone broth to water will give it a little bit of taste and flavor that can encourage drinking. Similarly, adding some bone broth to food that a dog is being picky about eating can help them eat. This can apply to dogs that are ill or dogs that are simply not impressed with the food on offer. This is a great way to get dogs to eat and drink after trauma, surgery, or when they are stressed.
Beef broth is very easy on the stomach, so it is a great thing to feed to dogs when they are having stomach or other GI issues. You can add beef broth to water, put it over rice, or add it to small quantities of their regular food. Beef broth can help dogs that are vomiting or experiencing diarrhea. This of course does not apply to dogs that have beef protein allergies.
Benefits of Feeding Beef Broth
Beef broth is reported to have many benefits for dogs but there are no studies into its health properties. Beef broth is said to be loaded with collagen but it is not shown that it can be assimilated and used by the body for joint health.
Bone broth does contain small amounts of glycine, an amino acid with effects on muscle mass.
The effects on immune system and coat health are also not clearly documented.
The clearest benefit is in increasing palatability of foods and helping with hydration status.
Despite the touted benefits, you can still accidentally overfeed your dog bone broth and cause some stomach irritation. It is best given as an occasional treat.
Can You Make Your Own Beef Broth?
Yes. You can make your own beef broth at home to feed your dog with all of the included benefits. All you need is some beef bones (typically obtained from a local butcher), a large pot, water, and some time. There are numerous recipes online that have different tips and tricks to create the best broth. The trick is to boil the bones for multiple hours and then strain the resulting broth out of the pot.
The only thing you have to be careful of is adding anything to the broth. If you are making homemade beef broth, do not add things like salt, pepper, onions, or garlic. Some recipes will tell you to add these things for taste, but they are toxic to your dog. Spices and additives only have the potential to harm your dog. Dogs find beef broth delicious without any additional flavors or spices being added.
Bone broth is not only safe for dogs, dogs generally love eating it. It is all natural, relatively healthy, and may offer benefits. Bone broth has many uses that could be useful for your dog. Is it a superfood, well the jury is still out. You can even make pure bone broth at home for very little money or effort. If you have specific concerns about beef broth and your dog, bring it up with your veterinarian.