Gracie is now 13 years old!

For nine years she's eaten REAL, HOMEMADE FOOD, NOT commercial dog food. This blog shows how easy it is to be a DOGGIE CHEF and how healthy a home-fed dog can be.

January 19, 2010

Calcium & Eggshell Powder

I ran out of bone meal powder this week.
I'm having a hard time finding bone meal powder containing only calcium and phosphorus, with a calcium-to-phosphorus ratio close to the recommended ratios (click here for an earlier post explaining this important ratio). Until I buy some new bone meal powder I decided to make egg shell powder to supplement Gracie's meals.

Several books, including Dr. Pitcairn's, tell how to do this. Over the course of two or three days I saved some egg shells and washed and dried them. I then put them in a 300 degree F oven for 15 minutes, even though 10 minutes is the recommended oven time. I feel like the extra five minutes might help kill more bacteria but I'm not even sure that's what the oven time is for. One source said it's to help remove a type of wax that's sometimes put on commercially produced eggs.
After removing the eggshells from the oven I cooled them to room temperature and ground them in a coffee and spice mill. I ground them thoroughly, to avoid leaving any large or sharp pieces. I've added small amounts of this eggshell powder to some of Gracie's meals, for a calcium supplement.

According to Dr. Pitcairn's book, eggshells contain a 1,800 mg-to- 6 mg calcium-to-phosphorus ratio, so excessive use can supply way too much calcium in a dog's diet. Bone meal provides a better calcium-to-phosphorus ratio for a calcium supplement so I'll keep searching for a brand I like.

*** POST UPDATE: The ground egg shells were just a temporary calcium supplement. I'm now using KAL Bone Meal Powder. According to the label on this new bottle, 1 teaspoon (6g) contains: 1620 mg calcium (from Bone Meal), 540 mg phosphorus (from Bone Meal) and 18 mg magnesium (from Bone Meal). It's not an ideal calcium-to-phosphorus ratio but Gracie's meals contain enough phosphorus to balance it out.

1 comment:

  1. I actually just ran out of bone meal and the darn weather is below 30 Celsius. I can't go out and get more, but I have eggs in the house so I'll try this. Dogs need twice as much calcium as cats so this is definitely A LOT of calcium for my cat, so I'll really have to ration it. Ill probably just do tiny sprinkles of it a few times in the week, hope it warms up by the end of the week. Also seeing all the pictures of Gracie she is such a beautiful dog! Congrats for being blessed with her :)