Do you eat egg? Don’t throw away the eggshell! That eggshell is an excellent source of bioavailable natural calcium for dogs and cats.
Eggshell powder is simple, quick to make, inexpensive and nutritious!
Many pet food products contain refined food-grade calcium carbonate calcium supplements from China. This type of calcium is contaminated with heavy metals: aluminum, cadmium, lead, mercury. Chicken eggshell powder tests very low for presence of heavy metals.
Eggshells are 39% natural, bioavailable calcium. Refined calcium carbonate doesn’t provide the same bioavilability.
Have you considered making your dogs and cat’s food? This eggshell powder recipe may inspire you to get cracking! A species appropriate whole food diet; raw or cooked can improve your dog and cat’s health. I’ll provide you with a link to a recipe further below!
Eggshell Powder Recipe
You will Need
- Empty eggshells.
- Clean china plate, glass or clay baking sheet.
- Grinder (coffee grinder, food processor, blender or mortar and pestle).
- Glass jar with secure lid.
- How Many Eggshells?
- A large chicken sourced eggshell will yield about 1 tsp of eggshell powder.
- For example, 15 large-size eggshells will make 15 teaspoons of eggshell powder.
- As you collect shells store them in the refrigerator, freezer or start the drying process noted below.
The Best Type of Eggshells
- You can use any type of chicken eggshell.
- The best choice are eggshells sourced from pastured-chickens.
- Next best are eggshells sourced from organic free range chickens.
- You can also use eggshells sourced from:
When you’re ready to make your eggshell powder…
Eggshells marked with an ink stamp; remove the ink-stamped piece of shell.
Place the empty eggshells on a plate or baking sheet.
Allow eggshells to air *dry for at least 3-days at room temperature.
When the shells are dry, toss them in a grinder.
Grind to a fine powder.
You can speed-up the drying process. Allow the shells to air-dry for a day, then bake the eggshells in the oven for 10 minutes at 250 degrees. Then grind the shells.
How to Store Your Eggshell Powder
Place the eggshell powder in the glass jar.
Place the top of the lid on the jar, make sure the lid is on tight to keep moisture-free.
Store in your cupboard.
Stored as per above eggshell powder has a long shelf-life.
Do not refrigerate the eggshell powder.
How to Use Your Eggshell Powder in Dog Food, Cat Food
Add ½ tsp or 800 mg up to 1,000 mg of eggshell powder for every 1-lb of boneless meat.
This provides the ideal calcium to phosphorus ratio in a boneless dog food, cat food raw or cooked diet. Calcium to phosphorus ratio for dogs and cats ranges between 1:1 and 1:2 (calcium to phosphorus). Some meat proteins contain more phosphorus; example sardine contains more phosphorus than chicken.
If you’re preparing raw ground meat to freeze for your dogs and cat’s food add eggshell and freeze.
If cooking your dog or cat’s food (rather than feeding raw), add the eggshell powder after cooked meat has cooled.
Most dogs and cats on Prey Model Raw (PMR) diet do well with raw whole bone or finely ground bone. For those that don’t tolerate bone ground eggshell powder is a perfect alternative.
A sprinkle of eggshell powder daily can help dogs and cats with osteoarthritis. Eggshell powder can be used in many ways to support health naturally!
Homemade Dog Food and Cat Food
If you would like to try making homemade raw or cooked food for your dog and cat you can use this homemade food recipe.homemade food recipe.
Nutritional Value of Eggshell
½ tsp (1,000 mg) of eggshell provides the following:
Calcium 900 mg (calcium carbonate CaC03)
Magnesium 24 mg
Phosphorus 8.4 mg
Potassium 8.0 mg
Sodium 9.0 mg
Eggshell Powder Use Cautions
Hypersensitivity to chicken can be a problem for many dogs and cats. But, some hypersensitive dogs and cats tolerate eggs and eggshell without issue.
You can test sensitivity by adding a few grains of shell for 7 to 14 days. If no allergy symptoms arise proceed to use. If allergy symptoms begin to brew, stop use.
Too Much of a Good Thing
Remember, as with all substances too much of a good thing can cause problems. Don’t overdose your dog or cat on calcium. Chronic overdose can cause health issues and conditions such as hypercalcemia.
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Article and graphics by Karen Rosenfeld.