While raw egg is not appropriate because of high risk in salmonella, eggshells are a great source of calcium for your pets. Calcium is needed for normal growth, strong bones, teeth, and claws, as well as for optimum muscle contraction. Using raw bones as a calcium source is the most common way to provide this vital nutrient to your pets. Raw bones can usually be fed whole though some people who prefer to feed ground up bones find it hard to get a hold of the equipment needed to grind the bones.
Eggshells however, present a healthy, balanced calcium source mainly due to some trace amounts of other minerals contained in the shells. There is a combination of 27 different mineral micro-elements in the eggshell and interestingly, the composition is very similar to those found in bones and teeth.
The advantages of using eggshells include:
- Eggshells provide one of nature’s best natural sources of calcium
- Powdered eggshells are easy to digest and are adequately absorbed by the digestive system
- Using powdered eggshells in combination with magnesium and vitamin D3 (like cod liver oil) improves bone mineral density.
A great way to powder the shells is to use a coffee grinder. This works much better than a food processor or blender. Feel free to use a variety of eggshells sourced from either chicken, duck or goose eggs. When supplementing your dog’s diet with calcium, it is important to note that the calcium and phosphorus levels are correct. They need to be delicately balanced in order to keep the body healthy. A ratio of 1.5 parts calcium to 1 part phosphorus is appropriate for most dogs.
Robert Mueller, BSc, Pharm. is a registered pharmacist, author of “Living Enzymes: The World’s Best Kept Pet Food Secret”, and co-developer of BARF World’s BARF diets patties, nuggets and supplements – the first company to make the Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods (BARF) diet conveniently available to animals everywhere. He and his wife love to travel around the world with their dog, Moxie – a Yorkshire Terrier/Maltese mix. For more articles like these and to learn more about the benefits of raw food for your pets, sign up for “The Intelligent Pet” monthly e-zine at www.barfworld.com.