One of the most important supplements you’ll need to add to your dog’s meal is calcium.
If dogs had the ability to chew on a good bone every day, they would be scraping off bits of bone that then would be broken down in the their body and used to strengthen their own bones and teeth.
It’s the job of the parathyroid to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphorus in the blood. If a diet is deficient in calcium, the parathyroid will go looking for it in your dog’s bones. When the parathyroid starts secreting extra hormones in order to balance the calcium-to-phosphorus ratio, it creates a condition known as secondary hyperparathyroidism.
This disorder can cause permanent damage to the skeletal system, arthritis, and even broken bones.
Extra calcium will be excreted in the urine, but while it’s in the body, excess calcium inhibits the absorption of phosphorus. So don’t overdo a good thing.
By diverting eggshells from the compost bin you have an inexpensive and easy solution to providing your dog the appropriate amount of calcium. It requires only a couple of teaspoons of Eggshell Powder to balance out the phosphorus in most diets and this recipe will make about 12 teaspoons, each with about 1800 milligrams of calcium.
Ground eggshell is one source of calcium that is easy to obtain.
You can either air dry the shells then grind them or dry them in an oven set to a low temperature, then grind them in a clean coffee grinder or Vitamix dry container.
To ensure the calcium can be fully absorbed, grind eggshells to powder rather than just crushing them into pieces.
One-half teaspoon ground eggshell provides approximately 1,000 milligrams calcium. Ground eggshells will last indefinitely as long as they are kept dry.
I keep my ground egg shell powder in a glass jar in the cupboard with the coconut butter.
Add this essential mineral to all homemade cooked diets and to raw diets that do not include raw meaty bones. If you feed a combination of fresh and commercial foods, and more than about one quarter of your dog’s diet is fresh foods, it’s best to add calcium to balance out the phosphorus in the added foods. The more fresh foods you add, the more important it becomes to provide calcium.
It isn’t harmful to feed occasional meals that don’t include added calcium. Adult dogs can get by without added calcium for a few weeks or even months, but eventually a deficiency of this mineral will cause serious consequences. If you choose to feed a homemade diet, be sure to add an appropriate amount of calcium to keep your dog healthy.