A homemade broth for dogs can be packed full of flavour, delicious all year round and a resourceful way to use (or reuse) bones, vegetable scraps, peelings and offcuts.
Broth is a year ’round staple in our house. In winter it’s lovely served warm on its own. Pack it in a thermos for a warming, delicious reward during a long hike in cold months. Warm it and add to the daily meal or to soften biscuits for a punch of flavour. In summer, make a frozen broth pop for a cooling, yummy treat. Or, serve cold as a refreshing treat. Broth can be added to a variety of recipes and it’s long been a staple in our household.
The easiest thing about this recipe is that it isn’t actually a recipe. No precision is required and if you have a crockpot, everything just goes in the pot overnight and the next day you have a batch of deliciousness your dog will love.
Easy, delicious homemade broth for dogs
When preparing vegetables for the family meal, don’t throw away the peelings, ends, off-cuts or really any scraps at all. Pop all the bits and pieces in a bag in the freezer and keep adding to the bag until it’s full. We save scraps such as potato skins, carrot ends, pumpkin skins and seeds, celery, cabbage, zucchini ends – any vegetable that a dog can eat. We also save chicken carcasses and meat bones. Don’t worry – the bones will all be discarded before serving to your dog.
Finally, if you have any fresh herbs you’ve bought for recipes, freeze any left-overs. You can usually continue to add frozen herbs to your (human) recipes, as well as a handful to this broth. We’re lucky that we have a little pot of fresh herbs we can pick as required.
Following our keeping-it-simple principle, all you need to do is pop the bones at the base of the crockpot, layer on the frozen vegetable offcuts and scraps, toss in a few herbs, then fill your crockpot to capacity with water. Leave to cook on a low setting overnight and in the morning you’ll have a pot of deliciousness. Allow to cool
Once your broth has cooled (we usually skip this step and try to undertake the task while it’s steaming hot, not recommended), you’ll need to strain any bones and scraps from the liquid. We grab the biggest container we can – usually a stock pot but a large mixing bowl will do, then pop a colander over the top. Make sure the colander has small holes, to collect any bones.
If you’re feeling like a bit of an effort, pick through the strained pulp to collect any bits of meat that might have come away during cooking. We usually find some lovely little bits of chicken and a few bits of decent looking veg. Give these to your dogs immediately, when cooled, to reward them for waiting for so long for the broth to cook. Discard any bones and vegetable scraps. If you have one, add the veg to your compost bin.
Freeze broth in ice-cube trays for small portions, or in freezer bags/ containers for medium sized portions. We usually always have a fresh (defrosted) batch in the fridge, which will keep for around 4 days. Frozen broth will keep for 4 – 6 months.
You dog might enjoy these broth pops in summer. What other ideas do you have for using a broth as an ingredient?