If your dog is like most, he adores bones and gnaws on them in a state of blissful obsession, possessively lingering until he's stripped the bone of all meat. If the bones he has been given are raw, he is reconnecting with the ancestral practice of extracting bone marrow nutrients and teeth cleaning by chewing from the remains of a fresh kill.
However if he is in possession of a cooked marrow bone, he is at risk for harm from the brittle texture of cooked bone. Potential injuries include:
- Intestinal blockage or perforation
- Wind pipe blockage leading to asphyxiation
- Rectal bleeding
- Mouth and tongue injuries
- Broken teeth
- Bacterial infection known as peritonitis caused by tears in the intestine or stomach from bone shards.
Your dog can benefit from the nutrients in cooked bones providing you remove the dangerous bone solids and offer only broth instead.
Benefits of Bone Broth
Bone broth contains glucosamine, chondroitin and hyaluronic acid, and is good for your dog's joints. It's also rich in the amino acids glycine, which increases the detoxification capacity of your dog's liver. Other beneficial amino acids found in bone broth include arginine, glutamine and proline. The gelatin present in bone broth counteracts leaky gut, a condition that can lead to allergies and food sensitivities. The rich source of minerals in bone broth make it immune boosting and beneficial to sick dogs. Bone broth enables you to offer your dog the nutrients available in bones while eliminating the splinter hazards that accompany feeding the brittle bone solids.
Making Bone Broth
- Marrow and knuckle bones
- Apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
Making a healthy bone broth requires two things: adequate cooking time and an acetic acid to draw out the minerals from the bone. The bones can be raw or cooked, but should be rinsed clean of leftover spicy sauces. In addition to repelling flavor fussy canines, certain spices should be avoided for safety reasons such as onions and garlic, which can damage a dog's red blood cells. Broth can be made from a wide range of bone types, such as beef, lamb, chicken, pork, fish and even game animals such as venison. In addition to marrow bones, add knuckle bones as well for their cartilage as a source of collagen. Cover bones with water and add 2 to 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice for acetic acid. If you have a crockpot, simmer bones for 24 hours, or as long as you can watch over the pot if done on a stovetop. Carefully strain out all bone pieces. If you are watching your dog's weight, skim off excess fat. Cool and serve. Broth can be frozen in individualized serving sizes or kept in the refrigerator for about four days.