Every culture in the world has a unique set of traditions for promoting good health. From acupuncture in China, to fermented beet drinks in Russia, to the sweat lodge in America, people value special foods and practices for promoting health.
A handful of those foods and practices are so valuable, they’ve found their way into the health tradition of nearly every culture. For example…
Humble, tasty – yet powerful – bone broth.
As much as 2500 years ago, Traditional Chinese practitioners were using bone broth to support digestion and healthy kidney function in humans.
In ancient Greece, it was recommended to people for healthy digestion by none other than Hippocrates, the “father of medicine” himself.
The great Jewish philosopher and physician, Maimonides, who lived in Egypt in the 12th Century, recommended soup made with chicken bone broth to support health.
So, what is it that makes bone broth such a valued resource with health specialists?
It’s the building blocks.
Bone broth is rich in the building blocks of life – amino acids, minerals, vitamins, essential fatty acids, substances like chondroitin, and especially collagen, the most abundant protein in the bodies of mammals.
What’s exciting is that bone broth offers the same potential benefits to pets as it does to humans. And that’s great news for aging pets.
As a pet parent, you want to do all you can to help your pet remain healthy, comfortable and active for as long as possible. The time we get to enjoy our pets is far too short.
For most dogs and cats, age seven is the equivalent of middle age in humans. And for many breeds of dogs, that age marks the beginning of their senior years. Cats are officially “seniors” once they reach 10 years of age.
By the time your pet enters middle age, he or she can begin experiencing some of the same age-related changes humans endure, including:
- Stiff, achy joints
- Reduced muscle mass
- Declining bone density
- Diminishing immune function
Depending on your pet’s breed, certain physiological changes can appear even sooner than middle age.
So, what can you do to help fight natural age-related changes in your pet to help her stay active and healthy?
Key Building Blocks for Muscle, Bones, Joints and Immune Function – Is Your Pet Getting Enough?
Proteins are considered the “building blocks of life,” and form the basis of your pet’s entire body – his muscles, bones, arteries, veins, skin, hair, tissues and organs.
For many years, the veterinary community believed pets – especially cats – required less protein as they aged.
However, in the 1990s, Dr. Delmar Finco, a veterinary nutrition researcher, discovered protein requirements actually increase with age. He found that higher protein diets were associated with greater life spans, even in cats with kidney concerns.
Many older cats have consumed processed pet food with difficult-to-digest ingredients, including poor-quality rendered protein, their entire lives.
This type of poor diet can result in compromised kidney and liver function – and that may explain why so many kitties have reduced kidney function. What most aging cats really need is greater amounts of high-quality protein, not less.
With age, your pet’s body becomes less efficient at using the amino acids in protein for building and replenishing tissues. Senior cats and dogs need plenty of high-quality protein to help maintain muscle mass, promote joint and bone health as well as support proper organ and immune function.
Sadly, you’d never suspect how important high-quality protein is for cats and dogs by looking at the top-selling senior pet foods. Nearly all of them contain grains – wheat or GMO corn – as the second ingredient by weight.
These two ingredients don’t belong in food, especially food intended for senior pets, as they replace the high-quality, meat-based protein sources that cats and dogs need to maintain good health.
Plus, they can contain traces of glyphosate and aflatoxins, contaminants linked to cancer and chronic disease.
I recommend feeding your dog or cat a high-quality, species-appropriate diet whenever you can.
But what if you can’t feed this type of diet 100% of the time? How can you help meet your pet’s needs for muscle, joint and immune support if many commercial pet foods contain only limited quantities of the right building blocks?
Collagen: The Most Abundant Protein in Your Pet’s Body
Collagen is the most plentiful protein in your pet’s body – it makes up as much as 30% of his body’s total proteins, and 70% to 80% of the protein in skin.
Found in the connective tissue throughout the body, collagen provides the structural scaffolding for tissues to maintain their integrity and flexibility. In other words, it’s the “glue” that supports and holds everything together.
Collagen supports the integrity of your pet’s muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, digestive tract and skin. It plays an essential role in many biological functions:
- Supports digestion by increasing stomach acid and attracting and holding liquids, including digestive juices in your pet’s gut.
- Helps restore and maintain gut health, which in turn plays a major role in healthy immune function.
- Supports normal detoxification processes by providing glycine, a precursor amino acid for glutathione.
- Supports healthy muscles and energy production during exercise by forming creatine, along with two other amino acids.
- Supports DNA and RNA, the genetic building blocks for healthy cells.
- Supports your pet’s normal healthy inflammatory response.
While collagen provides a variety of vital nutrients for your pet’s well-being, her body’s capacity to produce it declines as she ages.
The good news is, lost collagen can be replaced.
The sooner you begin supplying your pet with the building blocks her body needs, the more likely you can help support healthy, comfortable movement. And the sooner she can enjoy all of collagen’s other potential benefits.
A Closer Look at Collagen
So, where can your cat or dog get the collagen he needs to support all these important functions?
Animal protein is an excellent source of collagen. It’s concentrated mostly in the bones, skin and tougher cuts of meat that have a lot of connective tissue, including tendons and ligaments.
As much as 90% of the collagen in your pet’s body falls into these three categories:
- Type I — The most abundant type, found in skin, tendon, bone, ligaments and connective tissue
- Type II — A primary component of cartilage
- Type III — Fibrous protein found in skin, muscle, blood vessels, bone, tendon, cartilage and connective tissues
Bone concentrate is an excellent source of collagen and beef bone concentrate in particular. Its collagen is similar to the collagen in your pet’s body.
Prepared beef bone concentrate contains abundant amounts of collagen Types I, II and III as well as other types of collagen that are key components for tendons, ligaments, muscles, bones, joints, gut and blood vessels.
To produce its own collagen, your pet’s body requires certain amino acids. Beef bone concentrate provides them all: glycine, proline, lysine, glutamine, arginine and hydroxyproline. These amino acids are behind collagen’s many benefits in supporting skin health, gut health, joints and bones, muscles and more.
Glycine makes up about a third of collagen’s amino acids. Not only is glycine a major structural component of collagen, but it’s also involved in important metabolic processes such as detoxification, muscle growth and the regulation of neurotransmitters.
When your pet consumes prepared beef bone concentrate, the collagen is absorbed by the digestive tract and travels to other parts of the body to make new collagen for up to 96 hours.
Why You Should Insist on “Organic” When Buying Collagen and Bone Broth
The vast majority of bone broth and collagen products on the market are not from organically raised animals, especially chicken bone broths. They typically come from animals raised in factory farms or concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).
CAFO animals are usually fed a GMO diet and given antibiotics and growth hormones. The last thing you want are traces of these potentially harmful additives in the broth you feed to your cat or dog.
The Consumer Wellness Center (CWC) recently tested eight of the most popular nonorganic poultry-based collagen products sold online.
Sure enough, they found potentially hazardous contaminants associated with CAFOs, suggesting CAFO animal byproducts are routinely used to make nonorganic collagen products.
Besides the trace amounts of antibiotics and insecticides widely used throughout the animal-based food supply, they also found these alarming contaminants in some of the products:
- Butylparaben – An endocrine-disrupting chemical associated with reduced testosterone levels and abnormal shape, size and motility of sperm
- Cyclandelate – A vasodilator drug
- Netilmicin – An antibiotic
Factory-farmed animal products are undesirable for many health reasons, and there are valid concerns about antibiotic resistance, animal welfare and environmental pollution.
Nonorganic poultry sources for bone broth products are especially concerning because bones tend to collect toxins, which are then extracted into the broth.
What about beef collagen? Is that any better?
The Truth About Some Beef Collagen Products
There are two ways to get collagen from animals. One is from the hides and the other from the bones.
Collagen happens to be one of the most abundant by-products of the leather industry.
Most collagen peptides, or hydrolyzed collagen, on the market come from the hides of cows.
What’s most concerning with this type of product is how the collagen is removed from the hides. To produce this type of highly-processed collagen, many tanneries use sulfuric acid and chromium salts during processing.
Animal hide-sourced collagen has a history of problems with heavy metal contamination (one of the reasons I never recommend raw hide chews for pets).
Rather than obtaining collagen from hides or skin, I recommend collagen sourced from real bone broth made from organically raised, grass-fed animals. This is the most natural way to obtain collagen and is, in my view, the best way to reap the full range of benefits while avoiding the potential drawbacks.
The slow simmering of bones and surrounding joint and connective tissues releases collagen, minerals and other nutrients, without the contaminants typically found in CAFO animals or hide-sourced collagen.
Properly prepared beef bone broth isn’t the same as canned or regular store-bought broth and bouillon cubes. It’s richer in nutrients, without potentially toxic additives.
Products made for humans often includes other ingredients, such as onions, which are delicious for people but not suitable for dogs and cats.
Regular bone broth is sometimes diluted and has sugar and flavors added to enhance the taste.
Many companies use lab-concocted meat flavors for bouillon cubes and soup mixes. Manufactured gelatin may contain monosodium glutamate, or MSG, a flavor enhancer and known neurotoxin – something definitely not appropriate for your pet.
Support Your Pet’s Bone Health and Joint Cartilage with Supplemental Collagen for Easy, Comfortable Movement
As your dog or cat ages, her joints experience normal wear and tear. The cartilage, or natural cushioning in your pet’s joints, also declines with age.
Collagen makes up as much as 90% of your pet’s cartilage, bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons. So, it’s no wonder joints can lose their stability and connective tissue can become more fragile as collagen production diminishes in the body.
All these normal age-related changes, including the decline in collagen production, can take a toll on your pet’s comfort and flexibility, leading to a greater susceptibility for injury and bone and joint conditions.
Collagen from beef bone concentrate supports your pet’s healthy joints and bones in several ways:
- Helps provide cushioning between bones to help them glide more effortlessly
- Helps maintain strong bones and healthy bone density
- Contributes the amino acids used to support structure and function
- Is readily absorbable to support cartilage and bone health
Certain breeds have a predisposition for joint concerns. With these pets, I recommend taking a proactive approach and starting with a collagen supplement at an early age to help maintain healthy collagen levels.
The Effects of Collagen and Beef Bone Concentrate on Your Pet’s Gut and Immune Health
Prepared bone concentrate is easily digested and soothes your pet’s gastrointestinal tract, providing comfort for both healthy pets and pets with digestive issues.
Collagen’s amino acids help support healthy tissue that lines your pet’s colon and gastrointestinal tract.
The naturally occurring glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) in bone broth also support his digestive and gut health. Beef bone concentrate and collagen support gut and immune health by helping to:
- Support a healthy gut lining and normal intestinal permeability.
- Help maintain a healthy microbiome.
- Support your pet’s normal healthy inflammatory response.
Because about 80% of your pet’s immune system is in his gut, supporting gastrointestinal health also supports healthy immune function.
Bone broth is a great first product for animals recovering from any type of acute gastrointestinal upset. If your pet’s appetite is waning, offering bone broth may help entice your pet to eat and promote the health of her GI tract.
Our Organic Collagen Comes from Real Grass-Fed Beef Bone Concentrate – Not Leather Industry By-Products
Our Organic Collagen Powder for Cats & Dogs is made from the real thing – the bones and surrounding connective tissue from USDA Certified Organic grass-fed beef bones.
Cats and dogs love its taste, thanks in part to a touch of Himalayan pink salt that helps bring out the full flavor of the meaty broth.
Why add salt, you might be wondering? Palatability is important when it comes to bone broth, and a small amount of salt enhances flavor.
Pets actually require a small amount of salt each day. This requirement mimics the sodium from the blood of prey in the wild.
Sodium is important for:
- Supporting healthy muscle contraction and relaxation.
- Maintaining proper fluid and electrolyte balance.
- Supporting healthy nerve transmission.
- Maintaining healthy blood pressure already in the normal range.
Rather than adding processed table salt, we add a dash of Himalayan salt to our Organic Collagen Powder. It contains 84 health-supporting trace minerals like potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus and vanadium.
Conventional table salt isn’t ideal for pets as it is heavily refined and mixed with anti-caking agents. On the other hand, lightly processed Himalayan salt offers many potential benefits, including support for bone strength, respiratory and vascular health, and digestion.
How Our Organic Collagen Powder Stands Apart
There’s nothing like slowly-simmered bone broth made from the bones and the surrounding connective tissue from grass-fed cows. Maybe that’s why it has found its way into the health tradition of nearly every culture in the world.
Our Organic Collagen Powder is unique for several reasons. It’s...
- Sourced from Organic Grass-Fed Beef Bone Concentrate and not a by-product of the leather industry.
- USDA Certified Organic so you know exactly what you’re getting.
- Third-party testing for heavy metals so you can serve it to your pet without concerns about contamination.
- Not processed with metal salts, as it’s a minimally processed “complete” source of collagen.
- Created especially for cats and dogs so it’s free of additives, artificial flavorings, added sugar, onion, spices and MSG.
- Very palatable, thanks to a dash of Himalayan salt, making it a great option for increasing your pet’s fluid intake while supporting electrolyte levels.
Simply boiled and dried, our Organic Collagen Powder for Cats & Dogs is the closest thing possible to slowly-simmered beef bone broth – only without the hard work and long wait. Just mix with water and it’s ready to offer to your pet.
Order Organic Collagen Powder Today to Help Your Dog or Cat Stay in Peak Condition
Supplementing your pet’s diet with Organic Collagen Powder from Organic Beef Bone Broth Concentrate from grass-fed cows can help your pet stay active and healthy for years to come.
Our Organic Collagen Powder is made especially for cats and dogs to help fight natural age-related changes and help:
- Maintain joint flexibility and mobility
- Keep your pet in peak condition as he or she ages
- Maintain physical well-being
- Support your pet’s digestive tract health for optimal gut and immune health
Ideal for aging pets, athletic animals, finicky eaters and any pet with digestive or joint concerns, or with a genetic predisposition for joint issues. You’ll want to keep a supply on hand.
Help your pet stay in peak condition as he ages. Order Organic Collagen Powder for Cats & Dogs today.