Bone Broth to Nourish Sick, Finicky and Older Pets
Bone broth is a great first food for
animals recovering from GI irritation or illness. Also, if you have a pet
that’s finicky, you can also use it as a topper on food. If you have a pet that
doesn’t want to eat anything, feeding bone broth provides concentrated
nourishment and helps get the GI tract functioning again.
I use a whole organic chicken. You
can also use beef thigh bones (also called "soup bones"). As you
continue to simmer the bones, they release all of their minerals and marrow
into the water. The resulting broth is a very healthy, nourishing first food or
end food, depending on when you offer it to your pet.
It’s important to understand that
bone broth alone is not a balanced diet. Even if your pets absolutely love it,
they need more than bone broth to be healthy. But, it is a great way for you to
offer extra nourishment in a really palatable form.
to make Chicken Bone Broth:
Always start with filtered water for
cooking. Fill up your pot with water – a big stockpot or crock-pot works well.
How much water you’ll need depends on how much bone broth you want to make. I
prefer to make bone broth fresh and use it right away, but you can also make it
and freeze it.
I do recommend feeding organic meats
to your pets whenever possible, because of the pesticide residues. Also, happy
healthy food animals produce healthier meats for our pets.
Rinse off the chicken, put it into
the water, turn on the heat, cover your pot and cook at a nice, low simmer for
a two or three hours or until the meat falls off the bone. Stir it occasionally
while it cooks. Offer your pet some of the meat and skin to eat.
One important ingredient to add to
your stockpot is vinegar – you need to add a little bit of vinegar to the
water. Acetic acid (vinegar) helps leech the minerals from the bones into the
stockpot water, which is ultimately what you’ll feed to your pet.
The goal is to extract as many
minerals as possible out of the bones into the broth water. I use Bragg’s raw
apple cider vinegar. I like Bragg because it’s raw, unfiltered and
unpasteurized, but you can use whatever vinegar you have in the house. Use
about a teaspoon per gallon of water.
Once the meat has come off the
bones, remove the meat, bones and some of the broth from the stockpot. Separate
the meat from the bones. Put the bones back into the stockpot, then add more
water, another splash of vinegar and continue cooking the bones to make a
second round of broth. For the minerals to leach out of the bones, you’ll need
to simmer them for the next 24 hours.
I prefer to put this second round of
broth through a strainer, drain off the fluid, let it cool, and feed it to my
pets. Some people like to put their second round of broth in a blender to grind
down the remaining fine, soft bones, because cooked bones can be a choking
Important note: you should never feed your pet
cooked bones. After boiling the bones down to the
point where they disintegrate and dissolve, you should throw out any remaining bone fragments.
All my pets love bone broth. My
kitties love it. My dogs love it. It’s a great food to offer not only as a
natural mineral supplement, but also as a nutritious diet for pets who aren’t
feeling well, who don’t have much of an appetite or who are finicky.