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Hound Dog Mom

Hi shelties mom –

You only want to use one calcium supplement. You can stick with one or rotate every so often. I’ve actually never used bone meal as a calcium source, but the thing to keep in mind if you want to use bone meal is that it contains both calcium AND phosphorus so you’ll have to add more bone meal than you would a pure calcium supplement (such as calcium citrate) to get the ratio in balance. Most bone meal has a 2:1 calcium to phosphorus ratio but it can vary by brand. Dr. Pitcairn’s book “Natural Health for Dogs and Cats” contains a guide guide for balancing recipes with bone meal, I’m sure there are a lot of websites out there that explain it as well. If you’re using a pure calcium supplement, the general rule is about 800 mg. per 1 lb. muscle meat and 1,000 mg. per 1 lb. organ meat – as long as you follow that general rule the end result should be balanced. Sometimes slightly more or less can be used depending on the type of meat – i.e.) fattier meats will be lower in phosphorus and thus require less calcium than leaner meats. In my boneless beef recipe above, after the nutrient analysis I found that I only needed 1,400 mg. calcium to get the ratio where I wanted it. The tripe didn’t require any calcium as tripe naturally has a balanced C:P ratio, 85% lean is a little fattier and contains less phosphorus than extra lean meat and my offal blend contains trachea and gullet which only have slightly more phosphorus than calcium. There really wasn’t any reason behind my choosing calcium citrate other than it was available in powder form – I prefer to use powdered supplements when possible. You could certainly use another calcium supplement such as eggshell calcium, calcium lactate, etc. Just make sure the supplement contains ONLY calcium – some add other vitamins and minerals which, if not accounted for, could over-supplement your dog’s meal. I’ve heard that certain calcium supplements are better assimilated than others, but I really wouldn’t worry too much about what type you’re using as long as you’re getting the amount right.