When you’re feeling under the weather, nothing beats the soothing power of a warm bowl of chicken noodle soup. And if your dog is refusing to eat due to an upset stomach or ongoing illness, one of the most popular fixes is to pour a little chicken broth over his food. After all, chicken-flavored anything is the key to a dog’s heart and stomach.
But is chicken broth good for dogs? As it turns out, veterinarians approve of this home remedy. However, not all chicken broths are dog-friendly.
If you’re wondering whether what you have in the pantry is safe for your dog to eat, read on for everything you need to know about chicken broth for dogs including health benefits, how to prepare it, and a few creative ways to add it to your dog’s diet.
Can Dogs Have Chicken Broth?
In short, yes—chicken broth is a generally safe addition to make to your dog’s diet. “I routinely recommend chicken broth as a palatability enhancer for dogs with picky appetites,” says Dr. Valerie Parker, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist and associate professor of clinical small animal internal medicine and nutrition in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.
That said, be sure to take a look at the label before you feed your dog any ol’ store-bought chicken broth. Many broths contain additional ingredients like onion and garlic, both of which can be toxic to dogs, says Dr. Deborah E. Linder, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist and research assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in Grafton, Massachusetts.
Beyond this, even low-sodium broths can be very high in sodium, which may be a no-no depending on your dog’s unique dietary needs, she says.
As is true any time you change your dog’s diet, make sure to check in with your veterinarian before you add chicken broth to his food, especially if he has an underlying medical condition such as diabetes, cancer, or heart disease.
Can Dogs Have Chicken Bone Broth?
While Parker notes that there are no studies evaluating the use of chicken bone broth in dogs’ diets, the same rules apply when you’re examining the label. Avoid chicken bone broths with added aromatics like garlic and onion, and opt for a low-sodium or homemade bone broth if you’re watching your dog’s salt intake.
Benefits of Chicken Broth for Dogs
Ultimately, the main benefit of chicken broth for dogs is probably what you have in mind for it already—enticing your pup to eat when he’s not feeling super hungry.
As for other health claims—a cure-all for gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea and constipation, a shiny coat, and more—researchers have yet to dig into them just yet.
How to Make Chicken Broth for Dogs
If you don’t have any chicken broth at home, it may be preferable to make it yourself anyway. “Homemade chicken broth is fine for dogs, and it’s sometimes the easiest way to find a broth that excludes onion and garlic,” says Parker.
Here are steps to prepare homemade chicken broth for dogs:
Step 1: Bring chicken meat to a boil in plain water with no seasoning, says Linder.
Step 2: Lower the heat and allow it to simmer uncovered for three to four hours, skimming any foam off the top as necessary.
Step 3: Strain the liquid to remove all chicken meat. Allow it to cool to a safe warm-but-not-hot temperature.
Step 4: When it’s the right temperature, pour some over your dog’s food.
While chicken and rice is another popular home remedy for dogs with an upset stomach or loss of appetite, this will almost always result in an imbalanced diet, says Parker. Again, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian before making any major changes to what goes on your pup’s plate, especially if he’s not feeling well.
Other Ways to Use Chicken Broth for Dogs
All in all, any food that isn’t a part of your dog’s complete and balanced diet formulated by a certified veterinary nutritionist (think: their dog food) should make up less than 10 percent of his total daily caloric intake (like treats and snacks), says Parker. Because chicken broth is generally a low-calorie food with about 15 calories per cup, it fits the bill for a great treat or palatability enhancer to add to your dog’s food.
Here are a few creative and fun ways you can add chicken broth to your dog’s diet:
Make homemade dog treats. All you need to whip up these veterinarian-approved dog treats is flour, oats, peanut butter, and chicken broth.
Cool off during the dog days of summer with chicken brothsicles. Freeze your dog’s favorite low-calorie treats like strawberries and dog-friendly veggies such as green beans and pumpkin puree with chicken bone broth in popsicle or ice cube trays. If your dog’s a chomper, stuff them inside a chew toy in order to avoid damaging his pearly whites, suggests Parker.
Create soft-serve “ice cream.” Blend together dog-friendly fruit like seedless watermelon or cantaloupe with plain, unsweetened yogurt and chicken broth to make a dog-friendly version of ice cream. Pour it into a mold or toy, and voilà!
Spoil your pup with a mini chicken pot pie with whole wheat flour, chicken broth, shredded chicken, carrots, and peas.
Our Favorite Chicken Broth Products for Dogs
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While your pantry may be stocked with traditional, low-sodium chicken broth, there are plenty of other toppers, meal additives, and dog-friendly bone broths to try. We’ve rounded up our absolute favorite, nutritious products that have numerous benefits for our canine companions.
Brutus Broth for Dogs
We are big fans of this bone broth from Brutus Broth. Not only does it work to flavor food for picky eaters and combat dehydration, but it’s also formulated to support bone and joint health with the addition of glucosamine and chondroitin. It’s made from all-natural ingredients and is low in sodium, so you don’t have to worry about unnecessary fillers or extra salt in your dog’s diet. Plus, this broth is available in two flavors—chicken and beef—so you can find an option that your dog really loves.
- Made of human-grade, natural ingredients.
- Made and packaged in the USA.
- Two flavor offerings: chicken and beef.
- Supports joint and bone health.
- Low in sodium.
- Packaging is sustainable and environmentally friendly.
Things to Consider
- The broth should be used within 7-10 days of opening.
- Can be enjoyed warm or cold depending on your dog’s preference.
CARU Daily Dish Chicken Broth Meal Topper for Dogs
This chicken broth meal topper is formulated by veterinarians, so you know it’s healthy for your canine family member. There are no preservatives, no added coloring, no MSG, and this formula is free of onions and garlic, which can be toxic to dogs. This is designed to easily be added to your dog’s regular food, offering your pup some added hydration or helping to soften up food.
- Formulated by a veterinarian.
- No preservatives, added coloring, MSG, or harmful ingredients.
- Easy to add to a dog’s regular kibble or food.
- Designed to help dogs get more hydration.
- Very reasonably priced.
Things to Consider
- While the majority of dogs love this stuff, some online reviewers said their pups didn’t care for the taste. Something to consider if you have a very picky eater.
The Honest Kitchen Bone Broth Pour Overs
If you want to give your dog an added little treat, these wet dog food toppers from The Honest Kitchen mix in quality ingredients like real chicken, carrots, and squash with bone broth to make a hearty stew-like meal addition. Chicken is obviously our flavor-of-choice, but these topper are also available in Beef and Turkey and Salmon depending on your dog’s preference.
- Made completely from human-grade ingredients and meets the FDA human-grade safety standard.
- Delivers an added boost of protein to your canine friend.
- All natural. Made without byproducts, artificial colors or flavors, and these are completely grain and potato free.
- Pouches contain two servings and are easy to reseal for freshness.
Things to Consider
- These toppers are chunkier than regular chicken broth or bone broth—more of a stew-like, wet dog food consistency.
- These are not meant for everyday use and should be used intermittently as an extra treat or meal enticement once in a while. Consult your veterinarian if you have questions about your dog’s nutritional needs.
- These toppers are not meant to be served alone as a meal.
Native Pet Bone Broth Powder for Dogs
We love this chicken bone broth powder from Native Pet because it is easy to store and use, plus it lasts a long time (it has a shelf life of 12 months!). You can mix this powder up with water for a liquid broth or simply sprinkle it over food for some added flavor. We love the low calories and simple ingredients in this formula.
- Made with three ingredients: organic chicken broth, organic chicken protein, organic sweet potatoes.
- Has a shelf life of 12 months, so it’s easy to store and use.
- Low calorie, so it won’t pack on extra weight.
- Native Pet offers a risk-free promise. If you’re unhappy, they will give you a full refund.
Things to Consider
- If you want to use this as a liquid topper, you will have to heat up some water and mix in the powder.
Primalvore Organic Bone Broth Food Topper for Dogs
Although this broth-based food topper from Primalvore is a little on the pricey side, we think it’s a great option for dogs who need some extra mobility and joint support in addition to the benefits of bone broth. This formula is boosted with collagen peptides to support joint health and organic turmeric, which reduces inflammation. This bone broth topper is a big hit and most reviewers rave about its quality and how much their dogs enjoy the taste.
- Boosted with collagen peptides and turmeric to support joint health and mobility.
- Made in the USA.
- A good option for dogs of all breeds and ages—including puppies.
- Salt-free formula with no garlic, onions, or other harmful ingredients.
- Shelf stable and lasts up to 18 months if unopened.
Things to Consider
- Once opened, the product needs to be refrigerated and should be used within 7-10 days.
- It is on the expensive side if you’re looking for a daily-use product. But we love it for a special treat or once-in-a-while addition.
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