Bone Broth for Senior Dogs

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This article was updated on October 29th, 2021

Making bone broth for senior dogs is a simple way to have a bit impact on your golden oldie’s health and comfort level.

Bone broth is a nutrient-packed liquid that dogs love.

Making bone broth for dogs

The benefits of giving bone broth to senior dogs include:

  • Contains vitamins and minerals to support general health & immune function
  • A natural source of Glucosamine, Chondroitin & Hyaluronic Acid for joint support
  • Packed with Glycine to promote optimal liver function
  • Contains natural anti-inflammatory compounds – Glycine, Proline & Arginine
  • Easy to digest and soothing to the Gastrointestinal tract
  • Even dogs with little appetite enjoy bone broth
  • Excellent nutrition for dogs with poor health or who are convalescing

From this list you can easily see why giving bone broth to older dogs is such a wonderful way to help them get the nutrients they need.

For healthy senior dogs it’s a power-packed, all natural dietary supplement which helps to support organ and immune system function and keep them healthy and strong.

For senior dogs who have decreased appetite/difficulty eating, or who are recovering from illness or dealing with chronic health issues, bone broth is a tasty way to get essential nutrients into their bodies.

Also a great way to increase fluid intake and prevent dehydration.

Dry kibble can be soaked in bone broth or it can be added to canned or home-cooked meals, or offered as a tasty drink (in addition to regular water).

How To Make Bone Broth for Dogs

There are many different recipes for bone broth, but the process if fairly similar for across the board.

It’s simple to make and takes very basic ingredients, then it’s just a case of allowing it to simmer for a day, or two, or even three.

The longer it simmers, the more nutrient dense the liquid becomes.

Bone Broth for Senior Dogs – Ingredients

As the name suggests, the prime ingredient in this recipe are bones – whose marrow is the source of the majority of minerals and nutrients which make bone broth such a super-food.

So, which bones should you use? There are several options:

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Duck
  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Ham

Joint bones are especially good as they contain cartilage.

Bones with a little meat/fat attached are good.

When using chicken, turkey or duck you can throw in the whole bird, or the whole carcass.

You can use cooked or raw bones in your bone broth recipe, but raw bones are going to give maximum nutrition benefits.

Using bones from organic, pasture-fed, free-range and hormone & antibiotic free livestock is the best choice.

To make bone broth, all you absolutely have to have are bones and water… filtered water is preferred by not essential.

However there is an additional ingredient that will help you make sure your bone broth is as nutritious as it can be… Apple Cider Vinegar.

The acid in the apple cider vinegar helps make sure that the bones release the maximum amount of minerals into your broth.

One teaspoon of raw apple cider vinegar per gallon of water is about right.

If you don’t have apple cider vinegar you can use the juice of one or two whole fresh lemons instead.

If your dog loves carrots, add some carrots. Or green beans, spinach, kale etc.

I wouldn’t recommend using onions or garlic. Although they are generally considered safe for dogs in small amounts, I prefer not to give them at all.

Finally, bone broth for senior dogs gets an extra anti-inflammatory and detox boost from Turmeric.

Two tablespoons of powdered Turmeric is a good amount to add to a large stock pot of bone broth.

Bone Broth for Senior Dogs – Recipe

You don’t have to possess culinary skills to make bone broth, it’s super easy!

Once you’ve picked out your ingredients you just need to decide how much broth you want to make.

Happy dog waiting to be fed

Bone broth is pretty versatile and can be kept in your refrigerator for up to four days.

I’ve heard that bone broth is fine in the fridge for up to a week, but I like to err on the side of caution.

Or it can be frozen in Tupperware or plastic containers, or sturdy ziploc bags.

You can even use ice cube trays or Popsicle containers.

Dogs of all ages LOVE bone broth, as do cats. So if you make a big pot-full you can share it around 🙂

Here’s a simple step-by-step recipe that will make tasty, nutritious bone broth that your golden oldie will love:


Step One:

Fill a big pot with water, preferably filtered water.

A stock pot works really well (I have a 5 gallon stock pot that is the perfect size).

A crock-pot is also a good option even though it won’t make as much broth.

If you’re using raw bones, or whole chicken/duck or turkey portions, rinse them off well.

Add bones to the water.

Add Apple Cider Vinegar or lemon juice.

Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for around 20 – 24 hours.

The fatty foam which forms early in the process should be skimmed off the top and discarded.

You’ll need to watch your bone broth carefully to make sure it doesn’t cook too fast, or too slow, and stir the post occasionally.

If by any chance the broth reduces down significantly, or the bones are uncovered, add more water.

You don’t want to dilute the broth too much, but you also don’t want it to burn.

* Add Turmeric when broth is almost ready.

If you choose to use a whole chicken or duck, or turkey pieces, you can remove all the skin/meat that has fallen off the bone after about 4 hours.

Step Two:

After 20 – 24 hours the bones will be soft and you need to remove them from the broth.

Large bones can be scooped out, you’ll need to use a wire strainer to get the mid-sized to smaller ones.

Run the entire pot of broth through the strainer twice to make sure you haven’t missed any bones.

It’s important to remove all bones as even when soft they’re a choking hazard.

Chicken/turkey/duck bones that are cooked are also inclined to splinter and the sharp edges can do serious internal damage.

Then all you need to do is allow the broth to cool and feed it to your dog 🙂

To prevent upset tummies start out with small amounts,  and work up as your dog’s digestive system adjusts.

Some dogs don’t have any issues at all, others get loose stools to begin with.

And that’s all there is to it!

Bone broth is such a simple way to improve your senior dog’s health and boost his nutritional intake.

Best Store-bought Bone Broth for Senior Dogs

If you’d like to give your senior dog the benefits of bone broth but don’t have the time or opportunity to make it yourself there are some great broths that you can buy.

Obviously it’s a more expensive route but can be the perfect option for time-crunched owners, especially if you need it short-term for a dog who is sick or recovering from illness.

100% Grass-Fed Organic Beef Bone Broth, 2 pk 


Organic, Collagen-rich Chicken Bone Broth, 2 pk 

Beef Bone Broth & Osteobroth Powdered Chicken Bone Broth Combo 



  • Dr. Winnie, Veterinarian

    Dr. Winnie earned a Master in Biology from St Georges University, and graduated from the University of Pretoria's Veterinary School. She is a full-time Veterinarian specializing in internal medicine for companion animals.

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Disclaimer: This website's content is not a substitute for veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian for healthcare decisions. Read More.


  1. Thank you for sharing this recipe and information. I have a 15yr old ShiTzu that I have been having a real hard time getting her to eat anything the last several days. With your recipe it is my hope I can get her interested in eating again before she starves her self to death.

  2. QUESTION:If the broth was made using carrots or different types of greens is there any reason why these cannot stay in the broth making a kind of soup but just remove the bones?
    QUESTION:Also, how many bones per gallon.. recipe seems to not give a guideline for ratios.
    I have just today rescued a little poodle mix that looks starved and will not stand. I do not know her age but she is at least 10 years old, she is skin and bones. Taking her to the vet Monday in hopes they can find a cause for her condition, I hope she is not sick and with love and attention may start eating. This is my first time trying to help an older dog. I hope this broth is a positive step in her recovery to more happy days in her life.

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