We had a great response to our last blog and are really glad to have cleared up some concerns around feeding raw meaty bones.
We thought we'd continue with the theme for this week and let you in on our best kept secret....
You might be surprised that there is ONE cooking process we get fully behind. So much so, that this is one of Joe's favourite reasons to get into the kitchen (alongside food prepping!).
The one and only ‘dish’ we ever cook for our pups is.... BONE BROTH!
And here’s why:
Bone Broth is a Nutritional Powerhouse
Bone broth is the nutrient-dense liquid that’s produced from simmering raw bones over low heat for long periods of time. While pre-made supermarket 'stocks' are available, they are far inferior to the simple and inexpensive variety you can make at home yourself. That’s because they're made using much higher heat for a much shorter time and often contain high levels of sodium and preservative chemicals.
The stuff you can make yourself unlocks the full potential of this amazing powerhouse!
It’s protein-rich and contains a whole host of nutrients, including:
- Amino acids such as Arginine, Glycine, Glutamine and Proline
- Vitamins C, D & K
- Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Potassium & Silicon
Great for Joint Health
With degenerative joint disease among the top 5 health issues experienced by dogs of all breeds, it’s never too soon to incorporate preventative measures into your pup’s feeding routine.
Slow-cooking bones releases gelatin (collagen) into the broth and this is exactly what the body needs to build tissue and keep joints strong. Even better, homemade bone broth is loaded with Glucosamine and Chondroitin:
- Glucosamine assists in the construction and maintenance of cartilage. It helps prevent the onset and lessens the symptoms of osteoarthritis
- Chondroitin is another helpful substance for osteoarthritis and also osteoporosis. It works by combating enzymes that could cause damage to cartilage and fluid in the joints
Glucosamine and Chondroitin are commonly paired together in nutritional supplements due to the fact that they complement each other for positive joint health.
But why source them in store-bought capsule form when you can cook them up yourself with a little bit of time and love?
Bone broth is a far more natural (and tasty!) source than boring old capsules. And just wait to see their reaction to it!
Immune Boost & Recovery
While bone broth is suitable for dogs of all shapes, sizes and life stages, seniors and those recovering from illness or surgery may benefit most. When a dog is feeling under the weather, they often lose their appetite and show little interest in food - no matter how creative you get with it!
Unfortunately, it’s times like these that they need rejuvenating nutrients the most.
Cue: Bone broth to the rescue!
Vitamin C is widely known to kickstart the immune system and the Proline content of bone broth promotes the faster healing of wounds.
This was one of the main reasons we always had a stock of bone broth ready for Gizmo after his surgeries. Not only were the vets amazed with the speed at which his wounds healed, it also gave him that extra immune boost needed after anaesthetics and antibiotics (poor little guy!)
Plus, did we mention it’s DELICIOUS?!
Even if your pup is turning up their nose up at their regular meal, you can be sure they’ll be interested in a tasty bowl of broth.
We’ve yet to see one refuse!
Which brings us nicely to our next point….
For Fussy Eaters
We know there are some out there!
Those cheeky canines who wolf down a meal one day and then look at you quizzically the next.
That head tilt to the side that says, “come on, aren’t you supposed to be able to read my mind? I didn’t want that today”.
Well, in situations like these, we find it’s best to just nod and agree. Back slowly towards the fridge (or freezer)... and pop some of your wonderful home-made broth in on top of their meal (warmed slightly if they’d like).
Hand on heart, watch them completely forget their previous indifference!
A Simple Recipe:
Making your own bone broth is so so simple. You can use whatever bones you have to hand, but we like to use chicken as it’s higher in protein than beef or pork and to be honest, it makes the house smell amazing.
Leftover cooked bones are okay but raw is best.
Bones with lots of joints in them contain the most gelatin, so use these if you can. We tend to use a combination of chicken frames, necks and feet as these are the most inexpensive and normally pretty easy to source. However, it's really flexible. For example, if you only have access to duck feet - pop those in there instead!
So here's how to do it:
- Place all of your bones in a big stock pot or saucepan and cover with filtered water with an extra 2-3 cm of water above the bones
- Add 3-4 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar or Lemon Juice and leave to sit for 30 mins (this step helps ensure the gelatin and nutrients start to leech out, so you're going to get the most out of them and into your beautiful broth!)
- Add in any extras you'd like - we generally add in some garlic and any vegetable leftovers we have (e.g. parsley, kale, carrots, celery). Just make sure to stick away from any vegetables that dogs can't handle (e.g. onion)
- Bring your broth to the boil on high heat, and then reduce heat to simmer covered for 24 hours (if you're using beef bones, then extend cooking time to 48 hours)
- Every 30 minutes for the first 2-3 hours, skim any foam that rises to the surface
- Once complete, strain the liquid from the cooked bones and discard (do NOT feed these, as cooked bones can be extremely dangerous for dogs)
And you're done!
Once cooled, it's ready to serve as is or poured over the top of their next meal. :)
We tend to portion it up into containers or ice cube trays, freeze them and then defrost as need be.
Oh, and the best thing? All those health benefits listed above... They’ll work for you too! So next time you both need a tasty pick-me-up, reach for the bone broth and enjoy the shared experience!
CDK9 Raw. For happier, healthier dogs, cats. And humans!