One of the most important supplements you’ll need to add to your dog’ 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.
12 eggshells, cleaned and dried
• Once clean and dry, eggshells can be left at room temperature in an airtight container until you save enough to make a batch.
• Preheat the oven to 300F.
• Spread the eggshells evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 5 to 7 minutes. The eggshells will still be mostly white or brown, but might have a light tint, which is okay. Baking eggshells any longer can produce an unpleasant smell.
• Allow the eggshells to cool, then grind in a blender or clean coffee grinder for 1 minute, or until you achieve a very fine powder with no sharp edges.
• Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
Amount to feed: Eggshell Powder should be added to homemade diets at
approximately 3/4 teaspoon per cup of prepared food.
Yield: 12 teaspoons.
This recipes is from a new cookbook we’re loving, Feed Your Best Friend Better: Easy, Nutritional Meals and Treats for Dogs (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2012) by Rick Woodford, aka “the dog food dude.” We highly recommend checking it out for its inspiring, easy, super-healthy, vet-approved recipes your dog will adore.