How to make sure your dog is getting enough calcium in their diet
When I first looked into Home Cooking for Willow, I did lots of research, including talking to my vets. One thing that kept coming up was the subject of calcium. Commercial pet foods have lots of supplements in, so when it comes to feeding your dog real food, its up to you to make sure they’re getting enough.
So why is Calcium so important?
Like Humans, its great for bones, teeth and shiny coats (Hair for us!). However, for dogs, its a little more complex , with a need to balance out the ratio’s between calcium and phosphoros. If you want to read more on this yourself, try this link.
In a nutshell, it goes back to how dogs used to eat, basically devouring a whole animal in the wild. The meat providing the phosphorus and the bones the calcium. Hence, now pet food brands are adding calcium supplements to do the same job as the bones and likewise, raw diets need to include a certain amount of ground up bone.
How to include in home cooked diets
If – like us, you prefer to home cook for your dog, how can you ensure it includes enough Calcium – and how much actually is enough?
You can give your dog raw bones – always supervised! I personally feel a little apprehensive of this. For Willow therefore, I opt for these other options.
Egg shells – These things that have been either thrown in the bin or on the compost heap, are the most amazing sources of calcium. Each Eggshell contains circa 1900mgs of Calcium. to put that into perspective, a dog requires circa 50mg per kg that they weigh. My Cockapoo Willow who is 9kg would therefore require 450mg per day, meaning one single egg shell would be enough calcium for her for 4 days!!
If you are worried about the sharp edges eggs shells have, then wash them out, dry them out in a low oven (Circa 100 degrees) for circa 15-20 minutes and grind in a processor – you can see this in action under our “Kitchen Hacks” on our Intsa page – Follow us whilst you’re at it please! 🙂 I then keep in an air tight jar and add 1/4 a teaspoon to Willows meals
Calcium Supplement – If you’d rather, you could look to add in a supplement. I use this one here for when i’m out of egg shells.
Could I not just add in Dairy?
The go to when thinking about calcium is dairy, milk, cheese, yoghurt and the like. Whilst these can be great treats, to give my 9kg dog enough daily calcium would require 400ml of milk so really hard to get enough. The eggshell or supplement therefore give you a much easier option.
Hope this has given you an easy way to ensure your pooch is fighting fit. Always check with your vet if changing your dogs diet away from commercial dog food.
If you want to change to real food for your dog but are a little too scared to home cook, there are some great alternatives out there to get home made food delivered through the likes of Butternut Box, or our particular favourites Different Dog – use code WILLOW20 for get 20% off your first order