We feed our dogs a lot of eggs, and they love them! But with all of those eggs in the kitchen, a logical question is 'can dogs eat eggshells?'
Calcium is one of the most critical nutrients for dogs. It plays a significant role in bone health, muscle movement, and blood clotting. Eggshells are an easy way to incorporate more calcium into your dog's diet without a lot of extra cost. This simple homemade, powdered supplement is a 1-ingredient calcium powerhouse that can be added on top of homemade dog food to ensure they are getting an adequate amount of calcium in their diet.
***Please note, I am not a veterinarian, just a very passionate dog owner! The information in this blog post documents our own personal experiences, research, and the recipes that we feed our dogs under our veterinarian’s careful supervision. Please, consult with your vet and use your own personal judgment when considering transitioning to a 100% human grade food diet for your pup.***
Is my dog getting enough calcium in his/her diet?
Commercial dog foods already contain all of the necessary components your dog needs. This makes it much easier to maintain a stable diet with proper nutrition. However, if you make your dog's food at home like we do, it can be a little trickier. It is important to follow a proper diet plan to ensure that all your dog's nutritional needs are met.
The recommended calcium intake for healthy adult dogs is 50 mg per kilogram of body weight. This means a 10 lb dog will require roughly 225 mg of calcium per day.
Age, breed, gender, and lifestyle also play a role in how much calcium a dog needs in their diet. If a dog has been pregnant and is nursing she will need more calcium than normal to maintain her strength and to promote healthy bone growth in her pups. Too little calcium while pregnant can be a problem as it can lead to a condition called eclampsia, which is potentially deadly.
Can dogs eat eggshells? Benefits of calcium for dogs
- Bones and teeth
I'm sure we can all remember our parents imploring us to finish our milk because its calcium will help us grow big and strong. And perhaps you've said the same to your children. It is common knowledge that a regular diet of calcium keeps your bones and teeth strong and healthy.
Calcium helps develop bones as a puppy grows and reduces the rate of bone density loss as your dog gets older. Elder dogs will significantly benefit from calcium, as it reduces the risk and limits the symptoms of bone disease, like arthritis and osteoporosis.
Calcium also plays a significant role in the contraction of muscles, including the heart. When a muscle is stimulated, calcium is released into it, allowing the muscle to contract. As the body pumps the calcium back out of the muscle, it will once again become relaxed.
Cardiovascular muscles like the heart greatly benefit from calcium as well. It is known to relax the smooth muscles around blood vessels, which leads to the lowering of blood pressure.
Calcium is a crucial component in the complex process of blood clotting. Most people react negatively when "blood clotting' is mentioned because of the association with a "blood clot," or the transformation of blood from a liquid to a gelatinous state. These harmful clots can block blood and nutrients from passing through to other areas of the body.
But blood clotting, or coagulation, is a vital function for all living beings. Without it, any abrasion or wound would continue bleeding indefinitely, leading to obvious health issues. It also decreases the amount of time that a dog's injury takes to heal.
Calcium deficiency, also known as hypocalcemia, can occasionally occur in dogs even if you adhere to a calcium-rich diet.
Severely low amounts of calcium can be dangerous for dogs and can even be fatal if left unchecked. So always contact your vet if you think it could be an issue with your dog. Most calcium deficiencies can be diagnosed with a simple blood test. The vet will most likely recommend some calcium supplements or develop another plan to correct the issue.
Best sources of calcium for dogs
If your dog eats homemade dog food, it is critical to include lots of calcium in the diet. The following calcium-filled foods are great additions that you can add to the food recipe or give to your dog as snacks.
This protein is usually a fan favorite and is loaded with calcium. Boiled or roasted that has been shredded up into easily digestible pieces. Mixing it up in their food or with plain white rice is a way to get your dog excited for mealtime.
Chockful of protein, fish also contains a high amount of omega-three fatty acids, the primary source of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is necessary for proper calcium absorption. Cook fish before feeding to your dog, and make sure all bones are removed. To avoid any choking hazard, you can also grind the entire fish in a food processor, bones and all.
Considering that bones are made of calcium, this is the best option for highly concentrated calcium intake. The downside is that they take a little more preparation time and can be dangerous too! Bones can be choking hazards, and sharp points can damage the esophagus or intestinal tracts. It is imperative to grind the bones to fine powder or buy pre-powdered bones before feeding them to your dog.
Yogurt and cheese are excellent sources of calcium as well. As dairy can contain more fats than other foods, it is recommended to use non-fat or low-fat versions for dogs. Cottage cheese is a favorite among many dogs, and it is much more easily digested than block cheese. Yogurt contains the added benefit of probiotics, which significantly improve gut and digestive health.
Eggs, including their shell and membrane, are invaluably nutritious for dogs. They not only are packed with calcium but contain a litany of other minerals as well, such as zinc and magnesium. A hard-boiled egg, including the shell that is ground up, is an excellent way to serve it. This is exactly what I'm going to show you how to make below, a powdered eggshell supplement!
How much of this DIY calcium supplement should I add to my dog's meals?
I hate math, but approximately ⅛ teaspoon powdered eggshell per 10-lbs of body weight, assuming they are not getting calcium from any other sources.
One large eggshell will make about one level teaspoon of eggshell powder which, on average, will weigh in at 5.5 grams. One eggshell will provide approximately 2,000 mg of calcium.
What is the recommended calcium intake for healthy adult dogs ?
The recommended calcium intake for healthy adult dogs is 50 mg per kilogram of body weight.
This means a 10 lb dog will require roughly 225 mg of calcium per day.
- ⅛ teaspoon eggshell powder provides about 250 mg of calcium
- ¼ tsp eggshell powder provides about 500 mg of calcium
- ½ tsp eggshell powder provides about 1,000 mg of calcium
- ¾ tsp eggshell powder provides about 1,500 mg of calcium
- 1 tsp eggshell powder provides about 2,000 mg of calcium
If you’ve made this DIY eggshell supplement recipe for your pup I would be so grateful if you would give the recipe a star rating and let me know what you think in the comments below!
I just love hearing from you and your reviews and comments really help others that visit This Mess is Ours.Print
DIY Eggshell Supplement Recipe
If your dog eats homemade food, ensuring plenty of calcium in the diet is a must. A simple way to introduce more calcium is by making your eggshell supplement for dogs.
1 dozen eggshells, or more, cleaned, dried and sanitized - see note
Remember to consult your veterinarian before drastically changing your dog's diet or giving your dog new supplements.
Clean and dry about a dozen eggshells. As it may take a bit of time to accumulate enough eggshells, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees, and spread the eggshells on a lined baking sheet. Bake for about 5 minutes.
Allow the eggshells to cool after baking, and then grind them into fine powder. No sharp edges should be left that could cut a dog's mouth or esophagus.
The supplement should last up to 2 months when stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Check out some of our other dog friendly recipes!
Some types of bones are a hard NO when it comes to treating your dogs but others can be an occasional healthy treat. We are covering all the basics from raw vs. cooked bones to plant-based bone and chew alternatives, and even a simple dog-friendly bone broth recipe!
10 minutes of hands-on time and only 4 ingredients stand between you and your dog's new favorite treat! This peanut butter dog treats recipe is simple to make, gluten-free, and full of good for your dog ingredients.