This is my beloved Bella, a.k.a. “The broken dog.” She’s my best friend, and I’m hers. But she was not blessed with healthy joints. She has two fake knees thanks to torn ACLs and now she seems to be having shoulder issues. She’s only eight years old, so in the interest of helping her live a long, pain-free, swim-like-a-lab life, I’ve started giving her bone broth daily.
What is bone broth? It’s a broth made from bones – beef bones, chicken bones, pork bones – cooked for a long period of time with an acid to draw out the healthy marrows, calcium and cartilage of the bones. But wait! People are drinking it too! In fact, it’s a big hit in New York right now.
But I make Bella her own special version and here’s how I do it:
I begin by saving any leftover bones from meals I make – when I roast a pork, make chicken breasts on the bone, short ribs, any bones will do. If you buy the whole roasted chicken from the grocery store, save the carcass. I always have a bag of leftover bones in my freezer. Also, save any vegetable trimmings – carrot tops, broccoli stems, onion peels. Again, just keep them in a bag in your freezer.
The easiest way to make bone broth is in a crock pot, but you can simmer it on your stove. Be aware that it takes 36-48 hours (and in my experience, it tends to stink up the house a bit so avoid it when company is coming over, as I learned the hard way). Just throw the bones and veggie trimmings in the pot and fill it to the top with water. Then add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (this is the acid that draws the good stuff out of the bones). I also add a couple of tablespoons of turmeric in there as this spice has been shown to alleviate arthritis pain.
Turn the crock pot or stove on low and let it cook for 36-48 hours. I stir the ingredients around a few times just to ensure they’re all getting cooked well. I then strain out the liquid, the good stuff, and keep it in the fridge and add one cup each night to Bella’s food. Be sure to discard all of the bones, but I do add the veggies to her broth.
Bone appetito for Bella!