When winter is just around the corner, everyone in Real Food circles is talking about Bone Broth.

But is it a fad, and is it really good for our dogs?

All about bone broth

Sometimes bone broth is referred to as “stock”, and it’s far from being a fad.

Bone Broth has been used in most types of traditional cooking for thousands of years. When you are feeding a healthy, natural diet to your dog, there are lots of things you can enjoy sharing. Human grade meats, veggies, fruit, chia seeds, natural supplements, and even a cup of herbal tea!

Well I’m pleased to say that Bone Broth is one of those tasty, nutritious “comfort” foods that will not only benefit your dog’s health, but also your own!

Why is bone broth healthy for your dog (or cat)?

Bone Broth is a healthy addition to any dog’s diet, but particularly a sick pooch or picky eater. The traditional “convalescence” diet for a dog is chicken and rice – but we know now that dogs shouldn’t eat a lot of rice, and that chicken can be an allergen for many dogs. For us people, Bone Broth can be had as a healthful warm drink, or as a stock for many favourite recipes.

In addition to being high in minerals, collagen and micronutrients that are easily absorbed by the body, there are two main nutritional benefits to Bone Broth – its ability to assist in nutrient absorption, detoxification and oxygenation and its powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

How does bone broth work?

  1. Nutrient Absorption and Detox: Bone Broth works by detoxing the liver, which can be depleted by toxins in the environment, in medications and in processed foods.
  2. Anti-Inflammatory and Joint Support: Bone Broth contains crucial molecules – called glycosaminoglycans – that promote healthy joints, ligaments and tendons by lubricating them and soothes pain from arthritis and luxating patellas. Bone Broth contains lashings of glucosamine, hyaluronic acid and chondroitin.

Bone broth for dogs is incredibly easy to make!

Not only that, but you can add nutritional herbs such as dandelion root, astralagus, and burdock root to turn your bone broth into an absolute health powerhouse!

Any cooked or raw bones can be used to make bone broth, but the trick is to cook them slowly for a very long time – 24 hours in a slow cooker/crock-pot is ideal in order to ensure all the nutrients are extracted from the bones and that the bones are soft.

Please note that Bone Broth is not supposed to be a long-term or exclusive diet, but rather a base for your dog’s meals or a supplement to their regular diet. It is an ideal accompaniment to any type of dog diet and can be used to rehydrate freeze or air-dried products like Balanced Life, Vets All Natural, K9 Natural, or Frontier Pets. 

If Bone Broth is something new for your dog, make sure you introduce it slowly, a spoonful at a time.

So how do you make bone broth?

Well here’s a very simple bone broth recipe for dogs!

Go on, give your Dog a Bone Broth!

Bone Broth for Dogs and Cats

Simple Bone Broth for Dogs (and Cats)

Bone broth has excellent health benefits for dogs and cats (and us!), and best of all it's very easy to make.
The finished bone broth will keep for up to 4 days in the fridge or can be portioned out into ice cube trays and frozen.
You can feed this bone broth for dogs and cats combined with their regular meal, or even use it to rehydrate an air-driedor freeze-dried food.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 d
Total Time 1 d 15 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Bone broth for Dogs and Cats
Servings 4 lucky dogs

Ingredients
  

  • 2 kg raw meaty bones ideally joint bones with cartilage (such as poultry wings and legs, beef marrow bones, chuck bones)
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 2 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar this helps draw the minerals from the bones

Instructions
 

  • OPTIONAL: Brown meat in a roasting tray in the oven for 1 hour at 175 degrees – this releases the juices
  • Add your bones with any juice, veg and vinegar to the slow cooker or crock pot. Fill pot with water so that bones are covered and simmer for 24 hours.
  • When Broth is cooked, strain it.
  • DO NOT feed hard cooked bones to your dog. If any bones are still hard you can strip the bones of any meat and keep the meat and veg for a meal. Chicken bones will usually be soft enough to eat, but use care.
Keyword bone broth

Its hard to imagine that a simple dried flower can help relieve a range of uncomfortable symptoms in your cat or dog, right? Well Calendula is such a herb, especially for dogs and cats who suffer from hives, inflammation, allergies and itchy skin. Natural, gentle and completely chemical and soap free, it can be given orally, used as a wash, and is also a great item for your natural First Aid Kit and can be used for wound healing and inflammation as well as a salve for cuts, abrasions and burns.

For “Itchy Dogs” on the treadmill of harsh shampoos, ointments and steroids, it is a godsend, relieving rashes, allergic reactions and dermatitis. Not only speeding up healing and offering pain relief, Calendula carries antimicrobial properties that can prevent  infection.

Calendula is versatile enough to use both internally and topically. You can brew Calendula flowers into a tea and add it to food, use it topically as a salve, or as a bath infusion to assist with a variety of common problems.

What are the benefits of calendula for dogs?

Inflammation and Pain: As a tea, Calendula can be used to relieve inflammation of the digestive or urinary tracts in cats and dogs. It will not only reduce inflammation, but help in lymphatic drainage.

Yeast: Calendula has anti-fungal properties and can be used to treat yeast overgrowth. Brew as a tea and add to food, or steep in bath water.

Immune System Support: Brew as a tea and add to food to stimulate the immune system, aid in liver function and calm the nervous system.

Skin Allergies, Rashes and Itching: Infuse bath water and use on its own, for spongeing, or use as a final rinse after shampooing using a natural soap-free wash.

Cuts, abrasions, burns: Use a Calendula tincture to spray on affected areas.

Where to buy calendula for dogs

Calendula comes in many forms for dogs. Here’s a few of them:

Making food for your dog or cat at home is easier than you think.

In fact, don’t over think it – it’s easy!

Variety is important in your pet’s diet, and the following homemade fresh food recipes for dogs and cats are a great way to add variety and nutrition.

Feel free to combine these with a kibble, wet, or BARF diet, even if it’s once or twice a week.

Your dog or cat will love these recipes -they’re bowl lickin’ good!

Read this first!

All fresh food recipes for dogs and cats use the same basic (and really simple) method. Each recipe will make approximately 1kg of food which may be frozen in portions. If you’re unsure about feeding raw food to your pet then all recipes may be gently cooked.

For all fresh food recipes make sure you do the following:

  • Wash and trim vegetables, fruit and herbs. If using Pumpkin or Sweet Potato, peel first.
  • Place in food processor and pulp to a mush.
  • Add meat and organs, mix with vegetables.
  • Gently cook (if you want to).
  • Feed to your dog (or cat), either as a meal or supplement to what they normally eat!
  • If you use a supplement mix as a substitute for fresh vegetables, you can add the rehydrated supplement just before serving.

Homemade Fresh Food Recipes for Dogs

Homemade Fresh Food Recipes for Cats

Novel recipes for Dogs & Cats

Feeding Supplements At Meal Times

When feeding homemade fresh food recipes for dogs and cats it is vital you offer vital nutrients to make the diet “complete & balanced”. Variety is always good, so feeding fresh food recipes alongside other types of dog or cat food like biscuits, wet food, BARF patties, or raw meaty bones, will offer an excellent way to cover all bases.

Here are some great supplement ideas to your fresh food recipes for dogs and cats:

  • 1 tablespoon of low fat Greek Yoghurt or Kefir.
  • Omega Oil or Coconut Oil
  • If raw meaty bones are not fed, add calcium source such as MCHA freeze dried bone powder (not required if using a supplement mix).
  • Mineral/vitamin supplement (again, not required if using a supplement mix).
  • Taurine for Cats and Kittens (not required if using a supplement mix for cats which contains taurine).

Feeding Raw Meaty Bones

Never underestimate the power of a species-appropriate raw meaty bone. Both dogs and cats are essentially carnivorous animals, and the gnawing and chewing of a raw meaty bone will work wonders in both nutrition and fighting off periodontal disease by keeping their teeth in optimum health.

For more information on feeding raw meaty bones to your cat or dog refer to our raw meaty bones guide.

Contribute recipes!

Do you have any homemade fresh food recipes for dogs & cats to contribute? If so let us know or leave a comment below!

Remember what they say – “Happy Dog, Happy Life!”

We hope you’ve enjoyed our homemade fresh food recipes for dogs and cats. Please tell others about these recipes!

Homemade Recipes for Cats and Kittens - Cheeky Chook

Cheeky Chook for Cats & Kittens

This is a simple recipe with chicken, liver, and heart, but please note variety is essential in a cat's diet and when feeding any homemade fresh food diet for cats you need to address vital nutrients such as taurine. This is a great recipe to combine with bones, such as fresh chicken necks.
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Fresh food for Cats & Kittens
Servings 1 lucky cat

Ingredients
  

  • 800 g human grade chicken meat
  • 50 g human grade chicken liver
  • 50 g human grade chicken hearts
  • 100 g mixed veggies and herbs (zucchini, red capsicum, apple, mint) or 25g of supplement mix
  • 50 ml warm water

Instructions
 

  • Wash and trim vegetables, fruit and herbs.
  • Place in food processor and pulp to a mush.
  • Add meat and organs, mix with vegetables.
  • Gently cook (if you want to).
  • Feed to your cat!

Notes

All fresh food recipes for dogs and cats use the same basic (and really simple) method. Each recipe will make approximately 1kg of food which may be frozen in portions. If you’re unsure about feeding raw food to your pet then all recipes may be gently cooked.
Homemade Recipes for Dogs - Seamus Chicken Licken

Famous Seamus’ Chicken Licken’ For Dogs & Puppies

This super-simple homemade chicken recipe for dogs & puppies is an excellent addition to any diet. Chicken, just like kangaroo, is an excellent lean protein which is readily available and relatively cheap. Feel free to use chicken breast, chicken mince, or even grind up a whole chicken for an excellent cost-effective meal packed with calcium (just make sure if cooking that you are not feeding cooked bones).
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Fresh food for Dogs
Servings 1 lucky dog

Ingredients
  

  • 600 g human grade chicken meat
  • 100 g human grade chicken liver
  • 300 g mixed veggies, fruit & herbs (bunch silver beet, handful green beans, pumpkin, apple, pear, celery, sweet potato, parsley, mint, rosemary) or 75g of supplement mix
  • 150 ml warm water = 300g rehydrated veg, fruit and herbs

Instructions
 

  • Wash and trim vegetables, fruit and herbs. Peel the pumpkin & sweet potato.
  • Place in food processor and pulp to a mush.
  • Add meat and organs, mix with vegetables.
  • Gently cook (if you want to).
  • Feed to your dog!

Notes

All fresh food recipes for dogs and cats use the same basic (and really simple) method. Each recipe will make approximately 1kg of food which may be frozen in portions. If you’re unsure about feeding raw food to your pet then all recipes may be gently cooked.
Homemade Recipes for Dogs - Surf n Short

Surf & Snort for Dogs

This is a rendition of Surf 'n' Turf, but using the cheaper (but still tasty) alternative or pork mince. Adding sardines to your dog's diet at least once or twice a week will offer them essential oils for heart health and wellbeing, packed with omega 3 & 6.
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Fresh food for Dogs
Servings 1 lucky dog

Ingredients
  

  • 500 g human grade pork mince
  • 100 g lamb or chicken livers
  • 100 g canned sardines in spring water
  • 300 g mixed veggies, fruit and herbs (bunch bok choy, carrot, zucchini, berries, apple parsley, mint, rosemary) or 75g of supplement mix
  • 150 ml warm water = 300g rehydrated veg, fruit and herbs

Instructions
 

  • Wash and trim vegetables, fruit and herbs.
  • Place in food processor and pulp to a mush.
  • Add meat and organs, mix with vegetables.
  • Gently cook (if you want to).
  • Feed to your dog!

Notes

All fresh food recipes for dogs and cats use the same basic (and really simple) method. Each recipe will make approximately 1kg of food which may be frozen in portions. If you’re unsure about feeding raw food to your pet then all recipes may be gently cooked.
Homemade Recipes for Dogs - Basic Roo Stoo

Basic Roo Stoo – Great for Overweight or Allergy Dogs

This is a simple Aussie classic made using human-grade Kangaroo steak as a fantastic lean protein which is non-allergenic. It's the perfect recipe for an itchy/scratchy dog or an overweight/lazy dog, or any dog for that matter!
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Fresh food for Dogs
Servings 1 lucky dog

Ingredients
  

  • 600 g human grade kangaroo steak or mince
  • 100 g lamb livers
  • 300 g mixed veggies, fruit & herbs (bunch kale, 1 carrot, 1 red capsicum, 1 zucchini, 1 apple, parsley, mint, rosemary) or 75g of supplement mix
  • 150 ml warm water = 300g rehydrated veg, fruit and herbs

Instructions
 

  • Wash and trim vegetables, fruit and herbs.
  • Place in food processor and pulp to a mush.
  • Add meat and organs, mix with vegetables.
  • Gently cook (if you want to).
  • Feed to your dog!

Notes

All fresh food recipes for dogs and cats use the same basic (and really simple) method. Each recipe will make approximately 1kg of food which may be frozen in portions. If you’re unsure about feeding raw food to your pet then all recipes may be gently cooked.
Grain-Free Choc-Coconut Dog Cake Recipe

Grain-Free Choc-Coconut Dog Cake Recipe

Dogs don’t have a sweet tooth, and sugar is worse for them as it is for us.
But don’t worry, because I’ve created a delicious, grain-free Choc-Coconut dog cake recipe which apart from being super nutritious is so easy to make. To top it off (literally), the icing is made from Greek yoghurt and peanut butter!
You won’t want to wait until your dog’s next birthday for this one!
Just remember – it’s not for you!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Dog Birthday Cake
Servings 1 lucky dog

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cup organic coconut flour
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup carob powder DO NOT use cocoa or chocolate powder
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped organic coconut chips or flakes available from your local health food store
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp Greek yoghurt for the icing
  • 1 1/2 tbsp smooth peanut butter for the icing

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 175 degrees.
  • Lightly grease a cake pan. There are some great doggy themed ones available online.
  • In a bowl, combine the flour with water, until it is nice and smooth.
  • Add the yogurt and mix well.
  • Add the remaining ingredients, making sure everything is well combined.
  • Pour the batter into the cake pan.
  • Bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until the top of the cake is dry and springs back when you touch it with a finger.
  • Cool completely before spreading the mixed icing mixture and serving.
Keyword birthday cake for dogs, dog birthday cake, dog cake, healthy cake for dogs

It is currently estimated as many as 95% of Australian pet owners feed their dogs and cats some form of commercial canned or dry foods.

In a highly competitive market, clever marketing will sell any pet food, no matter what its nutritional value. Many petfoods are labelled as ‘premium’, ‘super-premium’, even ‘ultra-premium’. Products labelled as such are not required to contain any higher quality ingredients than are any other products. And all kibbles and canned foods, without exception, have been cooked and processed, and also contain starch – this is what creates the consistent biscuit shape. But a great marketing tool none-the-less.

“Grain Free” kibble is currently trending worldwide, and many manufacturers are jumping on that bandwagon. But unfortunately the starches contained in them are just as unnecessary for dogs and cats, and equally as indigestible. Most “natural” and “holistic” diets are based on rice. Others are made using white potato. These are not great ingredients for dogs or cats.

Veterinarian and author Tom Lonsdale, in his first 15 years of working life promoted the feeding of what he now refers to as “McCans” and “McKibble” and believes this was the one common uniting feature of the animals needing his services. Many pet professionals including Vets, Breeders and Trainers feel the same way.

So do we.

Thankfully there are a few pet food brands in Australia which offer your dog better options. Look for human grade, chemical and colour-free dog foods, preferably dried (such as air-dried or freeze-dried) or raw/BARF, and also consider whole prey, carcases, fresh meat, and offal.

Our philosophy is that Fresh, Natural, and Human Grade is best for pets.

We know great dog food isn’t cheap. Producing and distributing high quality, real foods is labour intensive and expensive, and feeding raw or dehydrated meals isn’t as easy and convenient as scooping some dry brown balls into a bowl.

But for the love of Dog, your own Dog, stop feeding them junk pet food, and start your pet on the road to a healthier, happier life!