You can’t use one without the other
Raw diets have quickly become common in the world of dogs, cats and other pets. People, dissatisfied with their choices among commercial pet foods, have turned to a healthier and more natural alternative – the raw meat diet. What some people don’t understand is that raw meat isn’t enough – without calcium your pet is not getting the nutrition that he needs.
Just like humans, pets need certain nutrients to stay healthy. Phosphorus is one of these. Abundant in meat, few raw fed pets are ever phosphorus deficient. Just as important as phosphorus is calcium. Without calcium, the balance between calcium and phosphorus is destroyed which can lead to phosphorus toxicity which can lead to kidney damage as well as causing harm to the bones, heart and metabolism. Each in correct proportion is necessary for the absorption of the other – it is a symbiotic relationship that pet owners would do well to heed.
Calcium deficiency can cause a number of health problems in your pet. It can be detrimental to bones causing them to demineralize and fracture easily or become soft causing rickets. It is exceptionally dangerous for females who are pregnant or lactating as it can cause seizures and eclampsia. Deficiencies can be very hazardous to growing puppies by creating skeletal problems and bone diseases as well as stunted growth. On the other hand, a diet too high in calcium can cause many of the same problems. It is incredibly important to strike the proper balance between the two – and it’s not that hard to do.
It has been found that a ratio of 1.0-2.0 parts calcium to 1 part phosphorus is the ideal ratio for dogs and cats. A pet fed an all meat diet is getting about 1.0 part calcium to approximately 18 parts phosphorus – a ratio FAR from the ideal. Avoiding the disastrous consequences of such an imbalance is imperative and incredibly easy to do.
Feeding bones along with meat will provide all of the calcium that your pet needs from the most natural source available. The correct ratio is reached and your pet is healthy and happy. While feeding bones may seem “dangerous” to some people, raw bones are NOT the same as cooked. While the cooking process tends to make bones brittle and nearly indigestible, edible raw bones such as those found in poultry, are soft and pliable and very digestible.
At A Place For Paws, our raw mixes are specially formulated to make certain that your pet is getting the right balance of calcium and phosphorus. We have taken great care to formulate them to achieve the proper meat and bone ratio which is consistent throughout the mix ensuring that your pet will get the right ratios no matter what. Part of our popularity is the sheer convenience – we’ve done the figuring for you! Many people are interested in feeding their pets a diet high in red meats such as beef are stymied by the fact that there are few edible beef bones that are easy to find or appropriate for all sizes. Our Beef and Bone mixture makes it easy as we make our own bone dust to add to the muscle meat and organs in the correct proportion. Using bones from the same high quality animals that our meats come from we have developed a method to break down bones so that they can easily be ground fine and mixed with the other ingredients. You know that your pet is getting a healthy source of beef bones that we have made edible for all without relying on bone meal from unknown sources or an over the counter manufactured calcium supplement. This is true of all of our mixes with the one exception being Pork. Unable to obtain the amount of pork bone that we needed to provide for our product we instead opted for the next best thing – eggshell calcium. By adding the correct amount of calcium supplement we are assured that your pet is still getting proper ratios and still getting it from a whole food source in an easy to absorb form.
So what should you do when you are “gifted” with lots of boneless meat from your neighbor who hunts? Throw it away because it didn’t include any bones? Absolutely not. Invest in a calcium supplement made from 100% eggshells so that you can use the meat and not upset the delicate ratios of calcium and phosphorus or feel like you are providing a poor source of calcium. Eggshell calcium is perfect for this purpose and will not alter the taste of the food and is calcium how nature intended running a close second to actual bones. So if you find yourself at the grocery store in front of a huge sale for ground beef – don’t walk away, simply add some eggshell calcium and give your pets a great meal! Keep in mind that whole shells will not offer anything much to your pet. Many will not eat them and unless they are ground into a powder they won’t absorb much of the calcium from them at all. Either spend the time crushing them with a mortar and pestle or just take the easy way and buy it already done for you!
Raw feeding is the ultimate way to ensure good health in your pet but it’s not something to do without a thought. Your pet is safer and healthier because you control what he takes into his body but you also need to pay attention to making sure he gets all that he needs. Making sure that he receives the proper balance of calcium and phosphorus goes a long way towards your ultimate goal – a pet with strong bones, teeth, heart and metabolism and lots of energy. What an incredible testament to your vigilance to do what’s best for your pet.
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