To many people, chicken broth sounds like comfort in a bowl; we prepare meals with it, we consume it when we aren’t feeling well, or even as a way to boost our overall health. The healthy claims are widely discussed and promoted freely on the internet.
But does that mean that we should be giving it to our pets to consume? Is chicken broth good for dogs? This, along with a few other clarifications of the overall subject of broth will be answered below and any truths (or falsities) will be exposed.
The Misconception of Chicken Broth
There is often confusion over what chicken broth actually is. Some call it broth, others stock, and the newer name that has recently been coined, bone broth. It is an interesting fact that the terms are used interchangeably and yet the actual methods of preparation are different.
The fact that many have added the word “bone” before broth is, in fact, a contradiction of terms. Broth is made of water and the addition of vegetables, herbs, and unless you are a vegetarian, meat.
Stock is actually the result you get from extracting the flavors from meat, vegetables, seasonings, along with the bones of meat (or fish).
To the average person the difference may seem minute, but to a chef who has high expectations (think Gordon Ramsay) or a scientist who wants to clarify the nutrient content of the product, this is an important difference.
Now that we have that clarification out of the way, we can dig a little deeper into the benefits of chicken *broth and *stock; the many claims that are made about each, and whether or not dogs can have it the same way that humans do.
(*It should be noted that both stock and broth will be referred to in this article, but when I say broth I mean made without bones, and when I say stock or bone broth, I mean that which has been prepared with bones.)
Nutritional Value of Chicken Broth
We know that broth does not contain bones in it when it is made. As such, we can take away specific nutrient claims that are believed to be derived from bones, see MotherJones.com, when talking about chicken broth.
- Cartilage compounds helping joints in the body
- Glutamine helping heal leaky gut
- The amino acid glycine helping the liver rid toxins in the body
That said, finding actual proof of nutritional values of chicken broth is hard to find for a couple of reasons:
- The first, people assume that broth is made from simmering meat bones
- Second, there just aren’t that many tests or studies that have been conducted on broth to validate any claims
But, let’s say for argument’s sake, you are making stock and not broth, and thus using the bone during the cooking process. According to Naturalife, the benefits are plentiful. Their claims, added on top of the previously mentioned ones above, are:
- Helps to heal a cold
- Makes your skin glow
- Boosts the immune system
- Encourages tissue regeneration
- Detoxifies the body
- Increases brain health
- Helps you to sleep
- Protects the heart
Arguably, there can be a lot said about the consumption of chicken stock to boost the way you feel. I myself am guilty of turning to chicken noodle soup, which I make myself from chicken bones simmered into a stock, to help me feel better when I have a cold.
Is it possible to validate the other benefits that are being claimed? Unfortunately, there just aren’t enough studies yet to prove their accuracies. But, we can always go with the way it makes us feel, and that can say a lot about a food. That said, can (or should) dogs eat chicken broth or stock?
Chicken Broth for Dogs?
To answer the question, can dogs have chicken broth? Simply put, yes. Provided that you are giving your dog a healthy broth, there is no reason to believe that it will do her any harm.
There are a few reasons you may want to consider giving chicken broth to your dog. The first is if you suspect that your dog is dehydrated.
Daily Puppy clarifies that since chicken broth is essentially chicken-flavored water, and since dogs love the taste of chicken, that by giving them chicken broth you may help hydrate your pup and aid in stopping any diarrhea she may be experiencing.
The site cautions, however, that a dog needs only about 250mg of sodium each day. As many purchased pre-made chicken broths contain considerably more sodium than what a dog needs, you are advised to make your own or find a broth where no salt is added.
Chicken Stock (or Bone Broth) for Dogs?
You may want to give chicken stock to your dog because you believe that it can help your dog’s health and her immune system. Just as humans believe they can benefit from the consumption of the stock, there is nothing to say that dogs wouldn’t benefit as well.
- Relief of joint pain
- Healthy heart
- Absorption of amino acids
- Encourages a healthy, shiny coat
- Helps promote brain health
Detoxification of the body
Giving broth or stock can also be a great way to get your dog to consume an otherwise unwanted medicine or supplement. The intense, savory flavor will entice even the pickiest or most suspicious of pets.
How to Give Chicken Broth (or stock) to Your Dog?
Rover has a few suggestions for giving chicken broth (or stock) to your dog, such as adding it directly to her food or coating her food with the broth. As Daily Puppy suggests, you could also try cooking some rice in the liquid to add flavor and entice your furry friend to eat if she isn’t feeling well.
And MyItchyDog.co.uk suggests giving your dog stock both during the winter and the summer; warm for the winter and as broth ice cubes for the summer which your dog will enjoy licking when she is overheated.
Making Your Own Stock
If you decide to make your own stock, you will find that once cooled in the refrigerator the stock will gelatinize. This is due to the cartilage found in the bones that causes the protein known as collagen to be extracted during the cooking process, Dailypuppy.com.
Rover.com advises that don’t make your stock or broth the same way for your dog as you would for yourself. This means: no salt and don’t add onions or garlic to the pot; they are not good for your furry friend.
You will want your stock to cool down completely before you put it in your fridge to store (for a few days) or the freezer for a few months, myitchydog.co.uk.
Keep in mind that although we have been talking about chicken broth feel free to try other bones such as pork, beef, lamb, whatever your dog prefers most.
Watch the video below for a great homemade chicken broth recipe uploaded from Dr. Judy Morgan.
If you simply do not have the time to make your own broth, but don’t want the additives that come what you find in the grocery store, you can try a bone broth made especially for animals. It comes in a powder form and you only have to add water.
What Have We Discovered About Chicken Broth for Dogs?
We’ve learned a lot about chicken broth and the possible benefits and health claims that are swirling around the subject. There is a lot of information out there, so what’s the takeaway?
- Broth and stock are not the same things
- Bone broth is a more recent term but is essentially stock
- Broth is prepared without bones from meat
- Stock is prepared with bones from meat
- Stock has unique qualities due to the simmering of bones
- There is no reason why you cannot give either to your dog
- When making your own for your dog, omit salt, garlic, and onions
- You can also purchase some bone broth powder to save time
Hopefully, you are no longer feeling unsure about what chicken broth is. There is no reason to believe that chicken broth is not good for dogs, so feel free to provide this tasty treat for her whenever you wish.
If you have any questions or concerns we would love to hear from you.