The Power of Bone Broth: Unleashing the Benefits for Active, Athletic Dogs and Puppies

My mission is to help you have a healthier dog and breeders to raise healthier Llewellin Setters puppies through educational content based on over twenty years raising, training, and breeding Llewellin Setters. To help support these efforts, this page may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for qualifying purchases at no cost to you.

Bone broth has gained immense popularity in recent years, not just among humans but also among pet owners who are looking for natural and holistic ways to enhance the well-being of their dogs. I’ve been giving bone broth to my dogs for well over a decade. With its rich nutritional profile, bone broth has proven to be a valuable addition to the diets of active and athletic hunting dogs and puppies. In this article, we will explore the numerous benefits of bone broth for these energetic canines and provide you with some delicious recipes to try at home.

A Nutritional Powerhouse:

Bone broth is created by simmering animal bones (such as beef, chicken, or fish) for an extended period, typically 24 to 48 hours. This slow-cooking process extracts an array of valuable nutrients, including collagen, glucosamine, chondroitin, gelatin, amino acids, and minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. These elements provide a host of benefits that support the overall health and vitality of active, athletic, bird dogs and puppies.

Joint Health and Mobility:

One of the primary benefits of bone broth for dogs and puppies lies in its ability to promote joint health and mobility. The collagen, glucosamine, and chondroitin found in bone broth are essential components for maintaining healthy joints. These nutrients can help prevent or alleviate conditions such as arthritis, which are common in dogs engaged in high-impact activities. Regular consumption of bone broth can contribute to improved joint function, reducing the risk of injuries and ensuring better performance and longevity in athletic dogs.

Muscle Recovery and Repair:

The amino acids present in bone broth, such as glycine and proline, play a vital role in muscle recovery and repair. Athletic dogs often experience muscle soreness and strain due to intense exercise or physical activity. The amino acids in bone broth support the rebuilding of muscle tissues, aid in reducing inflammation, and accelerate the recovery process after strenuous workouts. Incorporating bone broth into their diet can promote faster healing and help them maintain optimal performance.

Digestive Health:

A healthy digestive system is crucial for all dogs and puppies as it ensures efficient nutrient absorption and energy utilization. The gelatin in bone broth is gentle on the digestive tract and can soothe and heal the gut lining. This can be particularly beneficial for dogs with sensitive stomachs or those prone to gastrointestinal issues. By promoting a balanced gut environment, bone broth contributes to better overall digestive health, reducing the likelihood of digestive problems that could hinder an active dog’s performance.

Boosted Immune System:

Bone broth contains various minerals and amino acids that support a robust immune system. Glycine, in particular, plays a role in the production of glutathione, an antioxidant that helps protect the body against free radicals and oxidative stress. A stronger immune system is crucial for active, athletic dogs and puppies who are often exposed to various environmental factors that can compromise their health. Regular consumption of bone broth can fortify their immune system, helping them stay healthy and perform at their best.

Histamine Intolerance: Unveiling the Downside of ‘Superfoods’

Just like humans, animals can possess genetic variants that make them histamine intolerant. These genetic variations, also known as Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs), hinder the normal clearance of histamine from the body. Consequently, histamine begins to accumulate, leading to symptoms that closely resemble allergies—itching, redness, and overall discomfort. However, despite exhibiting these allergy-like signs, these animals often receive negative results on allergy tests.

Functional medicine veterinarians are well aware of this possibility and consider it when formulating low-histamine diets. Of course, they first rule out other potential causes of allergy symptoms. If your dog displays allergy-like signs but tests negative for allergies, histamine intolerance may be the underlying issue. In such cases, opting for a low histamine diet is essential and you would reduce the histamine while making bone broth by using the freshest bones possible and reducing the cooking time to 4 hours on the stove or 30 minutes in a pressure cooker. Give small amounts at first and increase as their system adjusts. The benefits even for histamine intolerant dogs–and people–are worth a try.

Recipes for Bone Broth:

Here are two simple and nutritious bone broth recipes to try at home for your dogs and pups:

Beef Bone Broth:


  • 3-4 pounds of beef bones (such as knuckle, marrow, or joint bones or “soup bones”)
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic (garlic is completely safe for dogs in small amounts)
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • Water (enough to cover the bones)
  • Optional: a handful of fresh parsley or rosemary for added flavor

Chicken Bone Broth


  • 2-3 pounds of chicken bones (such as carcasses, necks, or wings)
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • Water (enough to cover the bones)
  • Optional: a handful of fresh parsley or thyme for added flavor


  1. Place the bones in a large stockpot or slow cooker. Add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and apple cider vinegar.
  2. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the bones completely.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 24-48 hours, skimming any foam or impurities that rise to the surface.
  4. Add the optional herbs during the last hour of simmering for added flavor.
  5. Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool. Once cooled, strain the broth into a clean container.
  6. Refrigerate or freeze the broth in portions suitable for your dog’s consumption.

Here’s a bone broth recipe specifically for making it in an Instant Pot:


  • 3-4 pounds of bones
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • Water (enough to cover the bones)
  • Optional: a handful of fresh rosemary for added flavor and benefits


  1. Preheat your Instant Pot by selecting the “Saute” function and adjusting it to the highest setting. Add a splash of oil to the pot.
  2. Once the Instant Pot displays “Hot,” add the beef bones and sear them for a few minutes on each side until browned. This step enhances the flavor.
  3. Add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and apple cider vinegar to the Instant Pot.
  4. Pour in enough water to cover the bones and vegetables, but ensure you don’t exceed the maximum fill line of the pot.
  5. Cancel the “Saute” function and secure the lid on the Instant Pot. Make sure the valve is set to the “Sealing” position.
  6. Select the “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” function and set the timer for 120 minutes on high pressure.
  7. Once the cooking time is complete, allow the Instant Pot to naturally release the pressure for at least 30 minutes. You can then perform a quick release to release any remaining pressure.
  8. Carefully remove the lid, and using tongs, remove the bones and vegetables from the broth.
  9. If desired, you can strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove any small bone fragments or solids.
  10. Allow the broth to cool before transferring it to storage containers. Refrigerate or freeze the broth in portions suitable for your dog’s consumption.

Note: Instant Pot cooking times and settings may vary, so it’s important to follow the specific instructions for your model.

I personally save all the bones from my meals–steaks, roasts, chicken, turkey. I keep bags in the freezer of beef, chicken/turkey and when I fill a bag, I make a big batch of bone broth. I typically use canning jars and freeze the broth, but I also love to make bone broth ice cubes. Just pour cooled broth into ice cube trays and freeze. Store the cubes in ziplock bags or containers and add one or a few to their meals or give as a refreshing treat during the hot summer months.

Bone broth is a natural and beneficial addition to the diet of active, athletic dogs and puppies. Its rich nutrient profile, including collagen, glucosamine, chondroitin, gelatin, amino acids, and minerals, offers several advantages, such as supporting joint health, aiding muscle recovery, promoting a healthy digestive system, and boosting the immune system. By incorporating homemade bone broth into their diet, we can help our dogs maintain optimal health, enhance their performance, and ensure a happy and active life for our best friends.