Whether you’re just looking for a way to make use of that Thanksgiving turkey carcass, or you want to find a way to boost the nutritional value of your animal’s food, we’ve got the perfect solution. Bone broth for pets is a superfood that’s really easy – and inexpensive – to make!
Why add it to the menu? For one, it’s full of vitamins and minerals like iron, vitamins A and K, fatty acids, selenium, zinc, and manganese. But that’s not all. Bone broth:
- Is ideal for animals feeling a little under the weather – it’s gentle, yet super nutritious. It increases fluid consumption and offers much-needed nutrients at a time when your pet needs a boost
- Helps maintain gut health, especially for pets with digestive issues – some amino acids in bone broth, particularly one called glutamine, have serious potential for improving digestion
- Is great for supporting joint health. The collagen from the bones is incredible and bone broth is a natural source of glucosamine-chondroitin that’s proven to help keep cartilage healthy and relieve joint pain
Another nice thing about bone broth is that you can choose what else to add to it. Want to boost the flavour for picky eaters? Add a little liver. Want some extra inflammation fighting power? A little turmeric will do the trick. You can even add veggies or pet-friendly herbs for added nutrition. The sky’s the limit, seriously.
How to Make Bone Broth for Pets
What You’ll Need
A few simple ingredients = major nutrition!
- Bones – your turkey carcass works well, as do marrow bones (they add the most jelly) and joints (like chicken feet). That said, any bones will do – raw or cooked (you’re not feeding the bones)
- Apple cider vinegar – the magic ingredient! 3-4 tablespoons for a large pot/crockpot
- Any add-ons you’d like (except onions – many people add onions to their bone broth, but if you’re making it for your animals, leave the onions out)
How to Make it
Start by putting all of your bones into your pot. We like a crockpot because you don’t have to leave the stove running for hours and hours – but that works too!
Fill the pot until the bones are completely covered, then add a little more, like 2-3 inches. Then add your apple cider vinegar. The vinegar unlocks all that nutritious power from the bones, and it’s what’s going to give you that lovely gelatinous consistency.
Then it’s time to turn it on! We start with medium-high heat for about an hour, then low for 12-24 hours (or more).
At the end, add any additional ingredients you like, and simmer for about 30 minutes more.
Once you’re finished cooking it, turn off the crockpot or remove the pot from the heat, and skim off any fat from the top. Strain the bones – we don’t want to feed these to the critters.
Now, put it in the fridge to cool. Any fat you didn’t get in the first round will have solidified on the top. Remove that and compost it. What remains should be a nice, thick, jelly-like substance. Now, sometimes, if the ratio of bone to vinegar to water is off, you may not get that jelly. And that’s ok!! Even if it’s thin, you’ll still get all the benefits, and your pets will still enjoy it. Just add a little more vinegar and more marrow-rich bones next time!
How to Feed it to Your Pets
Ready to feed it? Just spoon a tablespoon or two on top of your pet’s regular food.
To store it, keep what you’ll use over the next few days in an airtight container in the fridge, and freeze the rest. It will keep in the freezer for several months. We like to make a big batch and freeze it in smaller portions.