What Every Dog Owner Should Know About Raw Meat Diets
The dog food industry has been flourishing for many decades. But as pet owners become more informed about what goes into these foods and why it’s not good for their dogs, a trend toward raw feeding is developing. There’s no doubt that raw meat is better than canned or dry foods that are filled with by-products and, for the most part, nutritionally inadequate. But if meat is all that you feed your dog, he’s still not getting all of the nutrition he needs.
Just like humans, dogs have certain nutrients they need to stay healthy. One of the most important of these is phosphorous. It is found in most meats, so few dogs on raw meat diets are phosphorous deficient. But just as important as phosphorous is calcium.
Calcium deficiency can cause a number of health problems in your dog. It can be detrimental to his bones, causing them to become demineralized and fracture easily. Calcium deficiency is particularly dangerous for females that are lactating, because it can cause seizures and eclampsia.
On the flip side, feeding a raw meat diet without a good source of calcium can disrupt the important balance between calcium and phosphorous. This can cause phosphorous toxicity, which can lead to kidney damage. It is also detrimental to the bones, heart, and metabolism.
Making Sure Your Dog Gets Plenty of Calcium
Feeding bones along with raw meat will provide lots of the calcium your dog needs. If you’re getting meat from a local butcher or hunter, you could ask for some bones to go along with the meat. But if you’re feeding meat from the grocery store, getting bones may not be so easy.
Certain other foods contain calcium, but most of them are simply things that few dogs will eat much of. Vegetables you could try include beans, and anything that’s leafy and green. Other options include nuts, salmon, sardines, and dairy products.
Another viable option is giving your dog calcium supplements. One of the most popular calcium supplements for dogs is bone meal, but it has certain disadvantages too. It requires a large dose that could substantially alter the taste and texture of the meat. It also contains some phosphorous, which could make it more difficult to obtain the correct calcium to phosphorous ratio. Supplements made from eggshells, such as Eggshellent Calcium, are easier to use and interfere less with the taste of the food.
If you want to make proper raw feeding as easy as possible, using a prepared raw meat food is the way to go. All of our frozen mixes contain the proper meat to bone ratio. They combine the convenience of commercial dog food with the nutrition of raw feeding.
Raw feeding is a step in the right direction for your dog. But it is crucial to his health to include some source of calcium in his diet. Dogs that get the proper calcium to phosphorous ratio have healthier bones, teeth, and hearts, better metabolism, and more energy. The small amount of effort it takes to ensure that your dog is getting the right amount of calcium is well worth the results.
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