Calcium and Home-cooked Diets

Calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and other trace minerals are diet necessities in order to maintain the good health of joints, bones and teeth.

Bones are a great source of calcium. But home-cooked diets should contain bones. Cooked bones become soft and sliver or whole bones can pose major dangers as they travel through your pet’s system.

Since bones are eliminated from home-cooking, calcium should be added to the diet.

Adult dogs require about 800-1000 mg. of calcium for every pound of food. Cats need calcium in their diet as well. The calcium must be in proportion to phosphorus. The ideal ratio is 2(calcium):1 (phosphorus).

A good source of calcium is ground eggshells. First rinse the eggshells well. Then place them on the kitchen counter overnight or in the oven on low heat to dry, checking regularly. When they are completely dry, grind them to a powder. I find a clean coffee grinder works very well. Shells that have not been ground to a powder are not absorbed as well.

One large eggshell grinds to about a teaspoonful and contains approximately 2000 mg. of calcium. Add 1/2 teaspoonful per pound of the dog’s food. Add 1/l4 teaspoonful to a cat’s food 3 or 4 times weekly.

Bones and eggshells provide the calcium. Meat provides the phosphorus. Chicken is lower in phosphorus than red meat and organ meats.

If your pet becomes constipated, try cutting back on the calcium.

Always consult with your veterinarian, preferably a holistic one, before adding anything to your pet’s diet.

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