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March 11, 2013
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Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Ithaca, NY
If a milk moustache is the universal sign for healthy and growing kids, then a pile of crushed egg shells should be the symbol of strong dogs everywhere. Eggshell powder is one of the easiest do-it-yourself supplements to add to any homemade dog food or dietary routine. Eggshells are loaded with calcium and small amounts of over 20 additional nutrients including magnesium, iron, sulphur and zinc that promote proper bone development in canines. Dr. Joe Wakshlag, board certified veterinary nutritionist agrees that calcium supplements are important for dogs on a homemade diet, saying, "calcium deficiency is one of the biggest problems with home prepared rations." However, supplementation is probably not necessary if your dog is getting most of their daily calories from a complete and balanced dog food.
Proper bone formation leads to a healthier and more active pup and this 100% natural recipe will boost and maintain your homemade-food-eating dog’s bone health.
Tip! Eggs are an excellent source of healthy protein for humans so don’t waste any insides to get those eggshells, make yourself an omelet or breakfast frittata to enjoy. If you are saving eggshells throughout the week, store the dried and cleaned shells at room temperature in an airtight container.
Clean and dry eggshells thoroughly (leave no remaining egg residue). Spread the eggshells evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 5 to 7 minutes at 300°F. Allow the eggshells to cool complete then blend thoroughly in a coffee grinder. If you do not own a coffee grinder, you can place the shells in your blender and set it to ‘pulverize,’ or simply put the eggshells in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Whatever your blending technique, it is very important to grind and/or roll the eggshells until they are a fine powder with no sharp edges.
Though a specific quantity to add to a dog's food every day can differ, a simple rule is to add ½ teaspoon of eggshell powder per 20-30 lbs body weight of your dog to their home-prepared food. Eggshell powder will last for up to 60 days when stored properly (at room temperature in an airtight container). It's best to check with your vet when planning and supplementing homemade diets so your dog gets all the proper nutrients.
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This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian. It has however been reviewed for accuracy by Dr. Joe, a board certified veterinary nutritionist and graduate of Cornell University's program for Veterinary Medicine.
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