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When you were a child and you caught a cold or had a stomachache, did someone who cared for you serve you a bowl of soothing and nourishing chicken soup? Bone broth is the dog-safe substitute for chicken soup you can safely serve your dog when they are sick and even as a preventative measure when they are well.

Is Bone Broth Safe for Dogs?

Bone broth is a stock liquid made from slowly cooking animal bones at low heat for an extended period. Bones contain an abundance of minerals and vitamins, so bone broth is a safe way to get the nutrients to your dog—unlike giving your dog cooked bones, which can be dangerous and can get lodged in their throats.

When choosing a bone broth for your dog, you need to look for ones with natural, dog-safe ingredients. Some may contain additives for preservation and taste, such as onions, garlic, or salt.

The safest, simplest, and most economical solution is to buy a quality dog food specifically formulated with fresh bone broth, like what you will find in A Pup Above’s four new fresh frozen recipes. Top pet food scientists and vet nutritionists developed A Pup Above’s recipes to make the healthiest dog food possible. All you have to do is defrost the food and serve it to your pup.

“The inspiration to upgrade A Pup Above’s food to include bone broth came from our own pup, Lola, a 16-pound Pomeranian-Husky mix,” says Ruth Marriott, co-founder of A Pup Above. “She loves when we add bone broth to her bowl, but it was a pain to buy it separately. Our bone broth was always spoiling before she could get through it all.”

Marriot notes that even the “shelf-stable” broths needed to be consumed within seven days, which was far too short for the small dog. “By adding bone broth to the A Pup Above recipes, it made it so much easier for us to incorporate this superfood into pup’s diets on a daily basis,” she says.

French Bulldog eating from a bowl at home.
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Benefits of Bone Broth

Responsible dog owners are always in search of ways to add extra nutrition to their dogs’ diets and keep them healthy. Bone broth for dogs is a nutrient-packed supplement that has a variety of benefits when included in a complete and balanced diet.

1. Liver Detoxification

Many dogs act like living garbage compactors. They’ll gobble up any smelly treat they can find, including some toxic substances. It’s up to their liver to break down these toxins and keep them healthy. Bone broth supports liver health by providing high amounts of amino acids, such as glycine, that can help remove toxins that build up in the dog’s body.

2. Immune System Boost

Bone broth contains a wide range of essential nutrients that enhance your dog’s immune system’s ability to fight diseases and hypersensitive reactions. If your pet is sick, bone broth helps them bounce back to good health. It’s also an excellent meal for dogs who require a break from solid food when they have stomach upset or diarrhea.

3. Maintain Healthy Skin and Coat

Collagen is a protein found in your dog’s skin and coat. Your dog’s body will produce collagen, but this production may drop off as they get older. Bones naturally contain plenty of collagen, so including bone broth in your dog’s diet will help him maintain youthful, healthy skin and coat to protect your dog from harsh elements in the environment.

4. Support Strong Joints

Glucosamine, hyaluronic acid, and chondroitin occur naturally in bone broth and are vital in strengthening and repairing joints. The collagen in bone broth also contributes to the health and stability of your dog’s joints. Bone broth won’t cure joint problems without other treatments, however, so you should also contact your vet for additional solutions.

5. Improve Digestive Health

If your dog has a condition called leaky gut syndrome, where small fissures develop in the gut lining, it may result in nutritional deficiencies, as well as allow substances such as yeast, toxins, and undigested food particles to leak out of the gastrointestinal system. A leaky gut can also cause food sensitivities and allergies. Adding bone broth to a dog’s diet can satisfy those needed nutrients and help improve digestive health.

6. A Source of Essential Minerals

Bone broth is packed with much-needed minerals for canine nutrition. These minerals, including magnesium, calcium, sulfur, silicon, and phosphorus, play a crucial role in the nervous system, heart health, muscle contractions, sleep, and hydration of your dog.

German Shorthaired Pointer head portrait outdoors.
Studio Porto Sabbia

7. Fight Inflammation

Chronic inflammation can cause severe diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, some types of cancer, and canine dementia. Bone broth contains amino acids, including glycine and arginine, which have anti-inflammatory properties. Adding bone broth to your dog’s diet can help lower inflammation and prevent these chronic diseases.

8. Enhances Hydration and Appetite

If your dog has an upset stomach or diarrhea, he may become dehydrated. Bone broth is a flavorful liquid that can hydrate and nourish him. Senior dogs sometimes lose interest in eating, and bone broth-enhanced food like those from A Pup Above may stimulate their appetite. Dogs that are sensitive to certain foods may be able to tolerate bone broth since it is low in allergens.

Let the Experts Do It

Dr. Jerry Klein, the chief veterinary officer at the American Kennel Club, reminds pet owners that while bone broth is full of healthy bone marrow, cooked bones themselves are incredibly dangerous for dogs. Save yourself a trip to the emergency room and make sure no small bones escaped your notice.

Or better yet, stick with a quality, balanced dog food that already incorporates bone broth from A Pup Above—a company determined to make it easy to know what’s in your dog’s bowl.

“The bone broth in our recipes is gently simmered for 10-plus hours, providing a nice flavor boost in addition to numerous health benefits,” Marriott explains. “We use the bones leftover from the meat that is used to make our fresh food to produce our bone broth, resulting in less waste and more of a ‘nose-to-tail’ approach to making the food.”

Exclusive for AKC readers: Get $50 Off your 1st order with code AKC50.

A Pup Above was founded by pet parents Ruth and Javier Marriott and their pup, Lola Marie Marriott. Ruth and Javier were tired of not knowing what was in Lola’s bowl and Lola was tired of not liking anything they put in her bowl! Together, they created A Pup Above, a food that’s delicious, nutritious, and fully transparent, from farm to bowl. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, A Pup Above specializes in its unique sous-vide cooking method, which gives the food more flavor, more nutrients, more healthy protein, and higher moisture. A Pup Above can be found nationwide at independent pet retailers.

Related article: Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon?
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