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Home-Prepared Cooked Dog Food Diets

One of the most common mistakes that people make when feeding a home-cooked diet is the failure to add calcium. You must add calcium when you feed a diet that does not include bones.

Adult dogs need around 800 to 1,000 mg of calcium per pound of food fed. They also require the calcium to be supplied in a proper proportion to phosphorus.

The ideal calcium: phosphorus ratio in the canine diet is between 1:1 and 2:1. Meat contains a lot of phosphorus, so the more meat a diet contains, the more calcium will be required to reach the correct calcium:phosphorus ratio. Adding 800 to 1,000 mg of calcium will provide the correct calcium:phosphorus ratio even for a high-meat diet, unless you use a calcium supplement that also contains phosphorus. In that case, moderately higher amounts of calcium may be needed to balance out the additional phosphorus contained in the supplement.

Ground eggshell can be used as a calcium supplement. Rinse eggshells and dry them on a counter overnight, or in the oven, then grind them in a clean coffee grinder. One large eggshell provides one teaspoon of ground eggshell, which contains 2,000 mg of calcium, so add 1/2 teaspoon ground eggshell per pound of food fed. Don't use eggshells that haven't been ground to powder, as they may not be absorbed as well.

For more information on Home-Prepared Diets for Dogs, purchase any of Whole Dog Journal's ebooks on the subject:

Home-Prepared Diets for Dogs, Part Three: Cooked Diets.

Or purchase the entire series

Home-Prepared Diets for Dogs: Complete Series.

Whole Dog Journal Blog

Evacuation Plan

If you woke up in the middle of the night and your house was on fire, could you escape with your dogs? I read the above news story and have to admire the man who thought quickly and was able to throw a mattress out his bedroom window - on the second story of his home - and then throw his dog, a hefty-looking adult Labrador, onto the mattress. Only then did he jump onto the mattress to escape. Both man and dog suffered some soreness but were otherwise okay. Read More...

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