I recently started making my 8 lb, 7 y.o. boy’s food. He has kidney disease and I know it’s important to incorporate calcium in his diet & I’ve chosen to do that with eggshells. All of the recipes suggest grinding them to a powder in a coffee grinder, which I don’t have. If I just crush them up with my fingers he scarfs them down (even by themselves, I discovered when I accidently dropped some on the floor). So, is there a reason that I need to grind them up? Thanks for any help!
The more surface area, the easier they are to digest, but it really shouldn’t be an issue. For most dogs, you grind them to get the dog to eat them. I can give 2 of my three dogs a whole egg and they will carefully eat it on their own. The third won’t eat the shell unless it is in pieces that are too small to sort out of his food.
I have a mini-cuisinart and it works really well for grinding them to a powder. I bought it for grinding & chopping my food, but now also use it for egg shells. The shells are supposed to baked at 350 degrees for 10 min. I don’t know the reason, maybe a salmonella issue, but it will also make the shells more crunchy & easier to grind down.pugmomsandyModerator
I think baking the shells just dries out the membrane if your using freshly cracked eggs.
If you don’t bake them first, the membrane will coat your food processer blade. And I’m sure baking also cuts down on the possibility of salmonella comtamination, which most raw feeders aren’t too worried about.Jo RMember
New here but avid follower of the forums. I cook for my dogs and use ground egg shells to balance the meat. I grind the egg shells to get accurate measurement of calcium. One teaspoon of ground egg shell which is about one egg shell, will give 2000 milligrams of calcium. As I feed three dogs with weights from 10 to 50 pounds, I find the teaspoon measurement easier.
I also put them in the oven when preheating as that gives them just enough time to heat without burning.Kristin CMember
In the past, I have just let the eggshells dry on my counter and put them through the coffee grinder which worked fine. I have since read that bones provide phosphorous in addition to calcium so eggshells would not be enough. So bonemeal might be a better option?
Bones have very little phos, but meat is the main source of phos. That’s why you have to have the right amount of bone for the amount of meat. Most bonemeal is considered to be contaminated, but I’m really not sure if it is more contaminated than other beef bones. The longer the animal lives before becoming food, the more likely it is to pick up heavy metals in its bones, and most sources of bone meal are cattle, which are at least 1 1/2 years old.Hildie VMember
You have to grind them into a fine powder otherwise they don’t get absorbed.
Their digestive system is too quick to digest properly bigger chunks.
pugmomsandy: Oh my gosh, I’ve been peeling the membrane out of the eggshells & it’s been taking forever, s they keep breaking, so throw the littlest pieces away, as it’s too hard to peel the membrane off of them. I might try putting them in the oven to dry it out, But, then that uses electricity to heat it up, then to bake them. Not sure if it’s worth it.
Amanda: I bought a little seed/coffee grinder at Walmart for around $13. They range in price from about $12 to over $15. Don’t get one with the separate clear plastic holder for putting the shells in. They get the grinder clogged up, & the plastic holder gets to where you can’t take it out. The others don’t have a separate plastic holder, so are better.
Hi Norma, its best to use organic eggs. Also, in my raw group, they feel there is no clear research to say how much of that calcium is absorbed when feeding ground eggshells. Here is something interesting to read about including the membrane. http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.com/2013/11/natural-eggshell-membrane-nem.html
Amanda, I did buy that grinder with the separate clear plastic holder first. What a mess, & it did get clogged up & stopped working. I then bought one without the separate plastic holder. Much better. Now, just need to know how much to give my little 12lb. 1 1/2 yr. old dog.
- This reply was modified 3 years, 1 month ago by Norma R.
Jo R: I give my 12 lb. 1/1/2 yr. old Poodle Mix a vitamin powdered supplement. It says it has 24881 mg. of Calcium in it. Do you know if I need to add more calcium. I have finely ground egg shells from several eggs, but don’t know if I should give her more than she is already getting in her supplement. It’s called VegeDog, from Compassion Circle. Thanks. Norma
HI. Just went to the ottawadogwhisperer site. This is what it said about the membrane of egg shells: 1.0 Natural Eggshell Membrane (NEM)
NEM is the naturally occurring thin membrane between the egg shell and egg white. The proteins present in NEM can help repair cartilage. When cartilage is damaged either by a sudden trauma or due to aging, damaging acids that cause pain and stiffness are released.
Medicinal Properties of NEM
Like other alternative medicines and herbs it takes a little time (i.e. seven to ten days) for the effects of NEM to start evidencing a decrease in inflammation and pain. Effects should continue to build over that span of about 30 days.
NEM contains multiple substances that support the maintenance of healthy joints and tissue:
So, guess it’s ok to leave it on the shells, but just need to let it dry out before grinding up the shells.
Thanks, CL, for posting the link about Calcium: When to add & when not to add to your dogs food. Also lists the best sources, info about baking the shells, the membrane, & more. Everyone should read the article. This article is specifically about calcium: http://dogaware.com/articles/dwcalcium.html Norma
Myths about Supplements to your dogs food, including Calcium. Good info:
1. “A multivitamin added to the food will cover any gaps.”
The question here is this: Which multi, and with which diet? Any unsupplemented home-prepared diet will be low in some nutrients and adequate or high in others. But because there is no standard formulation for human multivitamins and they can vary greatly in what they include, just tossing one in the dish is not the answer.
Choosing an all-purpose multi made specifically for dogs doesn’t necessarily solve the problem either. These usually contain very low levels of nutrients because it’s assumed they will be added to commercial food, and so are unlikely to provide enough supplementation to round out a homemade diet. This is why “balanced” is not just a buzzword; it’s a valid and essential aspect of proper nutrition. Once you understand your dog’s nutritional needs, work out what her diet actually contains and then add what’s missing.
2. “I’m adding yogurt to my dog’s food daily so she’s getting enough calcium.”
Dogs require fairly high levels of calcium, and yogurt absolutely won’t cut it. Here’s a quick example: My own 75-pound dog has a daily requirement of 1,840 mgs of calcium, and since I use quite a bit of fiber in his diet in the form of brown rice, I want to offset any absorption issues and ensure that he gets about 2,000 mgs per day, or 14,000 mgs per week. His weekly diet alone—turkey, liver, sardines, brown rice, ground lamb and acorn squash—only provides 1,750 mgs. That means I need to add over 12,000 mgs of calcium; in other words, more than 40 cups of plain yogurt.
Calcium supplementation is always necessary unless you are feeding raw bones. I recommend using a commercial carbonate or citrate form of calcium, or an eggshell crushed into a fine powder—one teaspoon of this powder (about 5.5 grams) equals roughly 2,200 mgs of calcium carbonate. To use eggshells, rinse them well and then bake for about 10 minutes at 300 degrees; use a small grinder to make the powder. Bone meal can be used if there is also a need to add phosphorus, but many homemade diets supply plenty of this mineral.
Another article about Calcium for your pet.
Is your dog or cat getting the right amount of calcium? | Animal…
Homemade diets are popular with a lot of pet owners. … “It’s challenging to say ‘ this size dog needs this much calcium’,” says Dr. … to ground bone; eggshells are a food-based source of calcium carbonate and … His rule of thumb is 1,000 to 1,200 mg per pound of home-prepared food. … 12 eggshells, cleaned and dried.
Norma, aren’t dairy products like yogurt considered a negative as a calcium Source, not to say it’s negative in general to add to a diet. The negative being that milk products also contain phosphorus and so then you’re getting too much phosphorus with the calcium while you’re trying to add more calcium and balance it with the phosphorus in the meat in the diet? That’s besides what you posted about it not being enough calcium in yogurt.Jessica MMember
Can you use human grade calcium supplements ?Gigi RMember
After washing them good, I allow the egg shells to sit in a colander for a day or two to dry out then put them in either a coffee bean grinder or my mini chopper. Either method brings them to almost a powder form. Wondered about baking them and the salmonella issue.Gary WMember
Simply dry the shells out and grind them in a clean coffee grinder until they are powdered and sprinkle the powder on your dog’s food.
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