How to use leftover turkey to make bone broth for dogs ( with easy recipe)


Wondering what to do with a leftover turkey carcass? Why not turn it into bone broth for your dogs! 

Turkey carcass bone broth is one of my favourite recipes. Of course you can make this with a chicken carcass, and many other bones ( see below).  Even the fussiest of dogs tend to love bone broth. It is highly palatable and you can eat it too!  It’s so easy to make and just requires a few cheap ingredients and a slow cooker. Put everything in and switch it on. More on that later!

Why is turkey carcass bone broth good for dogs?

Bone broth is brilliant for all dogs, particularly for puppies, older dogs and dogs that are unwell or recovering from surgery. Turkey bones are full of invaluable nutrients and offer an extensive range of health benefits for your dog. Because bone broth is insanely meaty, dogs adore it.

The main benefits of turkey carcass bone broth are: 

  • Bone broth supports bone and joint health thanks to the high levels of glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Bone broth helps the liver detox
  • Bone broth promotes a healthy gut
  • Acts as a general immune booster
  • Supports your dog’s digestive system and helps to soothe tummy troubles
  • Bone broth can help to relieve common food and environmental allergies
  • Can help to relieve dry, itchy skin and can aid in conditioning the coat
  • A healthy way to moisten dry food
  • Hydrates your dog when they’re feeling sick 
Turkey Carcass Bone Broth

How does bone broth help detox a dog’s liver

Your dog’s liver works hard every day to detox all sorts of things that they are in daily contact with. From the chemicals used to clean carpets, the grass that has been treated with weedkiller, to the flea treatment and the medicine you may have given them, these are all toxins that your dog’s body needs to remove.

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How to use a snuffle mat by Ruffle Snuffle

The liver’s capacity to detoxify is limited by the availability of the amino acid glycine. Guess what’s full of glycine? Yes, you guessed it,  a hearty bone broth. Bone broth stock contains both potassium and glycine which support both cellular and liver detoxification. 

A review published in the Scientific World Journal shows that glutathione helps with elimination of fat-soluble compounds, especially heavy metals like mercury and lead.

Bone broth also increases intake of essential minerals, which act like chelators to remove toxins by stopping heavy metals from attaching to mineral receptor sites.


Does bone broth help with leaky gut?

The lining of your dog’s intestines contains millions of microscopic holes that allow the passage of digested nutrients to enter the body. Stress, poor diet and bacterial overgrowth can cause more holes to open or to become bigger, this is a condition known as leaky gut.

The trouble begins when things that aren’t meant to pass into the body, do, because the holes are now bigger. These things might include undigested food, toxins and year. 

The body will defend itself against these invaders, this is how food sensitivities and allergies develop. 

A report published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology indicates that gelatin effectively supports intestinal health and integrity. Which is great, because bone broth is packed with  gelatin. That lovely gloopy substance extracted from the bones can really help seal the holes.

How long do you cook bone broth for dogs?

At least 12 hours and preferably 24 – 48 hours.  This is necessary to get the maximum nutrition from the bones. Make sure you don’t leave it simmering unattended on the hob or the slow cooker boil dry.

You can cook bone broth for up to 72 hours. Studies suggest that any longer than this and you risk leaching out any heavy metals or toxins in the bones into the broth.

We leave our crockpot in the bottom oven of the Aga so it just simmers away all day.

What kind of bones are best for bone broth for dogs?

You can use raw or cooked bones but be sure to include joint bones with cartilage. Ideally your broth will have a mix of bones. Definitely include bones that contain a good supply of marrow as well as feet or necks that also contain a large quantity of connective tissues and tendons. 

The best bone broth is loaded with gelatin, glycine, glucosamine, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid. Add collagen-and-gelatin-rich bones such as chicken feet, knucklebones, tendons and chicken, duck, or goose heads.

Save your cooked bones from your meals in the freezer. Make sure your rinse off any sauce they may have been cooked in before adding them to the broth as some sauces may irritate your dog’s stomach.


Why do you add apple cider vinegar to bone broth?

Apple cider vinegar or lemon juice is added to broth because it helps to extract the maximum amount of collagen from the connective tissues in the bones as they cook. It also helps draw the minerals out of the bones more thoroughly.

How long does bone broth last in the fridge?

Refrigerated, bone broth will last 3-4 days.

Can you freeze bone broth for dogs?

Yes! It’s super-easy to freeze. I pour my cooled broth into silicon ice cube trays. It’ll easily last up to a year in the freezer. 

How do you defrost bone broth for dogs?

Just pour a little hot water over the icecube and wait until it melts.

How do I feed my dog bone broth?

If you’re using the liquid broth, just pour it over their food or feed as a little treat all on its own. Be warned though, there will be lots of happy food noises and plenty of splashing!  If you’ve frozen the broth in ice cube trays, just take a broth cube, pop it in a dish and pour over a little hot water to thaw it out before feeding.

Will bone broth help my dog get their appetite back?

Bone broth is a very mild, liquid meal that sits easily in upset canine stomachs. It is also a nutritious and delicious way to add moisture and flavour to dry food and encourage dogs with reduced appetites to eat.

Is bone broth good for dogs with upset stomachs?

Bone broth is a good choice for dogs with an upset stomach. As it is gentle on the digestive system it won’t aggravate an already delicate tummy. Bone broth is both hydrating and nutritious, so giving your dog bone broth is a great way to help them replenish the water and nutrients they lose when they have diarrhea. 

Because bone broth is so flavoursome it is highly palatable and can help encourage a dog with reduced appetite to eat. Studies conducted in the 1800’s showed that when there is plenty of gelatin in the diet, the body’s need for protein from meat sources can be reduced by as much as fifty percent. So a little broth will go a long way and help speed up recovery.

If your dog has been unwell, is recovering from surgery, or is elderly or weak, feeding a spoonful, or a defrosted ice cube of broth along with their evening meal every day or every other day for at least a week or for the duration of their illness is a smart option. 

Can bone broth give my dog diarrhea?

When you introduce a new food to your dog’s diet there is always the potential for unwanted side effects like diarrhea.  To minimise this risk, start your dog on just a small serving of broth per day and build it up gradually. 

Another reason bone broth would give your dog diarrhea is if the broth contains something your dog is sensitive to, so, if your dog is allergic to turkey, make the broth from other bones.

How much bone broth can I give my dog?

You should calculate how big your dog is and proportion the broth accordingly. 

For pets between 20-40 pounds, serve them 2 oz of bone broth a day. For pets between 50-80 pounds, feed them 4 oz of bone broth a day. For pets 80+ pounds, feed them 6 oz of bone broth a day. But with all these amounts, start much smaller and slowly increase over a period of a couple of weeks to avoid any unwanted side effects, like diarrhea.

Can I give my dog bone broth every day?

Once your dog has adjusted to the bone broth and you know it doesn’t cause digestive distress, you can feed bone broth to your dog twice daily.

Can I give my dog the bones from making bone broth?

NO! Never feed your dog any form of cooked bone. Whole bones can get stuck and can puncture the stomach or intestines leading to a painful death if not caught early enough. Bones in the broth will break down a bit and go crumbly but even these can still cause major problems so make sure you strain every single bit out.


Why make bone broth?

Bone broth is brilliant for dogs and it’s really easy to make. It doesn’t cost much, either, but it’s exceptionally healthful. Add variety by making it  with different types of animal bones like rabbit, and goat and ask your butcher what other bones they may have you can use. 

Here’s the recipe:

Turkey Carcass Bone Broth For Dogs

Get the benefits of your leftover turkey when you turn this into a broth for your dog.
Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time12 hrs
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American, English
Keyword: bone, broth, christmas, leftovers, thanksgiving, turkey carcass
Servings: 4 litres


  • Slow cooker or large crockpot


  • 1 carcass Turkey ( or chicken) You can leave all the extra bits of meat and gristle on, neck and feet are all good to go in the pot
  • 3 marrow bones Beef ( optional) These are really good for adding gelatin
  • 4 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar To draw the nutrients out of the bones
  • 1 clove Crushed Garlic ( optional)
  • 1 handful Leftover veggies (optional) such as carrots, kale, brocolli, beans
  • 4 litres Filtered Water Tap water is fine too


  • Put your carcass, bones and all ingredients into the pot.
  • Add water until all the contents are covered and a couple of extra inches on top.
  • If you’re cooking in the crockpot, turn the heat to a medium-high temperature for an hour. If using a slow cooker, cook on high for an hour.
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  • After the hour has passed, turn the stove or slow cooker to low and let the bone broth cook for 24 hours.
  • Once it has cooked, allow to cool for 15 minutes.
  • Now strain into a jug. You want to keep straining and make sure you remove all the bones from the broth.
  • Put the broth in the fridge to cool for 3-4 hours.
  • Remove from fridge and scrape off the fat layer that has solidified at the top.
  • Underneath your broth should look like a big jug of jelly. If it doesn't, then next time add more apple cider vinegar.


In the fridge your broth will keep for 3-4 days.
You can freeze the broth in silicon trays ( this makes doggy popsicles) and then pop them into a bag put in your freezer. It will keep up to a year in the freezer.
To defrost, just pour a little boiling water over the cubes and add the broth to your dogs dry food to moisten it.