Follow our easy recipe to make nutritious bone broth for dogs, cats and pets – or go straight to the source and check out our pre-made Karnlea Beef Bone Broth!
Bone Broth – the All-Round Wonder Food
Bone broth – in a homemade form – has been around for hundreds, maybe thousands of years.
But why has this staple endured through the eras?
In the past, people would want to make use of every precious part of an animal and get as much out of it as they could when food was scarce. This nutrient-dense food was found to help healing.
Bone broth is more than a stock or a soup, it’s considered a healing elixir. Packed with amino acids, minerals and collagen, it nourishes and helps heal the body. It’s slowly simmered for hours on end to extract every drop of goodness from the bones. It even tastes different.
Karnlea Bone Broth for Dogs, Cats & Pets
Bone broth isn’t a complicated recipe; however, not all are equal.
The amount of collagen and minerals depends on the bones used, the time cooked, and what additions are included. The best bone broths are made from select bones, which have been cooked low and slow (up to 36 hours) and with an acidic ingredient, preferably apple cider vinegar.
This is why at Karnlea, we’ve taken out all of the inconvenience and guesswork. Our bone broth is expertly made from human-grade ingredients to the very highest standards, with a long, slow cook which is immediately packed from the kettle.
What are the Benefits?
- Packed with Collagen. Collagen is a structural protein found in skin, cartilage and bone. It breaks down into gelatine and various other health-promoting amino acids such as glycine and glutamine. Gelatine supports the healthy movement of food through the intestines, meaning that bone broth is very gut healthy and gut healing. It can also help with Leaky Gut Syndrome, which is a condition that many dogs are diagnosed with. We’ll look further into this condition in a future post.
- Gut Healthy and Gentle on Digestion. Bone broth is a very positive way to get nutrition into sick, recovering or elderly pets. They instinctively seem to know that it’s good for them and is an easy form of sustenance and nutrition when their tummies aren’t ready to handle their everyday food. It also promotes hydration which is crucial at these times.
- Promotes Bone and Joint Health. Collagen naturally contains glucosamine, chondroitin and hyaluronic acid, which most people have heard of and are the main ingredients in many leading joint supplements for dogs. The beauty of bone broth is that they are there in a non-processed, non-compromised form. They are absorbed intact and of greater benefit for your pet.
- Improves Skin and Coat. Bone broth contains protein, B vitamins and collagen which provide building blocks for hydration and regrowth – in the same way that it benefits us with hair growth, nail growth and wrinkle reduction. What’s not to like about that?
The Home Cook Challenge – How to Make Bone Broth for Dogs, Cats & Pets
If your pet has tried and enjoyed Karnlea Bone Broth, you may be tempted to try and make your own. It’s not complicated but takes a while and the smell can be pervasive…you may want to open some windows!
Karnlea provides all the benefits of fresh but with the convenience of being ready from the shelf. However, it’s good to understand what’s involved – so we are happy to give away our ‘trade secrets’ so you can have a go at home.
Meaty bones – you’ll need enough to come approximately half to two-thirds way up the cooking vessel you’re going to use. Beef or lamb bones are the best for collagen, but of course, you can use a combination, or even some chicken bones, feet, or wings. Try to include joint bones with cartilage when you’re choosing. Your friendly local butcher may be able to help you out with this! You can of course use collected bones from your own cooking but always make sure to rinse off any sauces/gravies which may be salty or contain ingredients that could irritate your pet’s stomach.
Apple Cider Vinegar (with the Mother) – this is used as the acidic ingredient to draw the minerals and goodness out of the bones. Apple cider vinegar is preferred as it’s commonly used by herbalists as the best for drawing the minerals out of plants, so it’s going to do a good job on those bones.
Slow Cooker – (you can use a normal pot of course, but it’s a lot of long slow cooking, and you’ll need to keep an eye on it to make sure that it’s not on too high or doesn’t boil dry).
Additional utensils – chopping board, sharp chopping knife, airtight storage containers.
Bone Broth Recipe – 3 Easy Steps!
Step 1: Place your bones in your slow cooker or pot and cover them in water. Don’t go much more than around an inch above the bones, as this will create the most dense and nutritious broth. Add your apple cider vinegar. This should be around 50mls for an average-sized slow cooker that holds around 3.5lts.
Step 2: Put on the lid and turn your slow cooker on high for the first hour, just to get the heat up, or bring your covered pot to the boil, before turning it down to a very low simmer. Continue this simmer for 24 – 36 hours.
Step 3: When your broth is finished, allow it to cool down a bit and then strain out those bones. These bones can’t be fed to your dog as they are cooked, however you can pick off any pieces of meat that were originally attached and keep them for feeding. Once the broth is cool, pop it in the fridge. This will make it easier to skim any excess fat from the top of the broth which you will need to then throw away. Underneath this, you should find a rich, gelatinous broth.
How do you know your bone broth is good?
Your broth should turn gelatinous in the fridge, this shows that you’ve been able to extract all the gelatine from the bones. It’s now ready to feed to your pet. You can keep this broth in the fridge for up to 5 days, or alternatively, decant it into a silicone ice cube tray (these are worth every penny and by far the easiest way to get the cubes back out) and freeze until you’re ready to use
Once your bone broth is put into the fridge, it will turn to jelly, but it can also be frozen. Here are some ideas on feeding.
Liquid – In its liquid state, the broth can be used as a dog food topper, given straight in a bowl, or diluted with water to encourage drinking and provide extra hydration. It can also be gently warmed for extra appeal (remember to check that it’s not too hot before feeding – think baby food temperature).
Jelly – In its jellied state, the broth can again be added as a dog food topper, mixed in to make dinner time more interesting, or again stirred into some water for extra hydration. Of course, it can also be fed from the spoon as a treat or gently warmed to bring it back to its liquid state if you prefer.
Frozen – To make the broth last longer, you might want to freeze it into cubes. We recommend a silicone ice cube tray for this, as it makes it much easier to release them when needed. You can add blueberries or some chopped broccoli or other little treats that your pet likes to these cubes for extra nutritional value. The frozen portions can be fed as they are, which is great as a cooling treat for hot weather or can be gently warmed back to a liquid state if you prefer.
You can store the broth in the fridge for up to 5 days. Use an airtight jar or container for this. Kilner jars are a favourite with us, as they are easy to store and use.
If you feel that you won’t get through the broth in 5 days, you can freeze it into silicone trays and store them in the freezer to use as you need. They will keep for up to 6 months.
We hope you enjoy trying out this recipe – if you don’t have the time to make bone broth yourself, why not go for our pre-made beef bone broth for dogs?