More many dogs eating calcium in the form of meaty bones is too heavy for their bellies. The most common problem caused by bones to a sensitive stomach is too stiff and hard stools. Other possible, more severe problems include constipation and continuous diarrhea. To solve this problem there is really nothing else we can do but to look at the bones again and find out what can we do to get the needed calcium without the negative side effects of the bones.
Calcium is mandatory for dogs. It is important specially for puppies, young still growing dogs and nursing bitches, but every dog during any stage of their life needs calcium.
The amounts needed vary, but for adult dogs I have used either 60mg per kilo or about 0.5% of the weight of the food (this typically means % of dry matter, but as I feed raw, it is easier for me to use about 60mg per kilo). This means an adult dog of 25 kilos would need 1500 mg, meaning about 2 grams in total. Both of the ways give approximately the same needed amount, so we are pretty safe saying:
Your dog needs pretty little but still some amount of calcium per day, depending on the size.
The reason we usually give more than that per day is because the ratio of calcium and phosphorus should be 2:1, or at least 1:1, but calcium should always exceed the amount of phosphorus. With raw feeders this means making sure the dog gets more calcium than the required minimum simply because meats have lots of phosphorus.
Also, to ease everyone’s mind, in 100 grams of minced chicken meat, high in phosphorus, there is 178mgs of phosphorus. If we make that up to 200mgs just for the fun of it, and feed 600 grams per day (see where I’m going with the calculations here, lazy me), it would mean 1200mgs of phosphorus per day. To balance this we would need about 1,5 grams of calcium. This means feeding even the slightest bit of bone in the diet would meet and even exceed the need for calcium.
So, feed some bone. That simple? Unfortunately not always.
What if bones are a no-no?
In some cases, feeding bones simply doesn’t do. Some dogs are very sensitive to bones and their stools get painfully hard when they are fed bone. In these cases, sometimes adding fiber helps. Grinded flax seeds are a good option, even better when mixed with minced vegetables. This builds up quite a lot of fiber, but in some cases this alone doesn’t help.
If even egg shells are a no-no, then try some artificial calcium product. Some dogs, once again, tolerate artificial products better than actual bones, but unfortunately this is not always the case.
What if NOTHING mentioned helps? Well, first of all, make sure the meat you use is mostly meat, not cartilage and other junk. It’s a wonder how much of a difference good quality meats can make. Secondly, if you have just started, give the dog some time to adapt. If it. This doesn’t mean letting it suffer from constipation or have diarrhea, obviously! Stools may be a tad harder than normally in the beginning, or quite the opposite, but this shouldn’t take for long or happen to extremes. If it causes discomfort for the dog, you need to act asap. If not, then follow the development of the situation.
For some dogs, full raw never does the trick. This is unfortunate and it usually tells something about the quality of the digestive system of the dog, but we need to understand not all dogs thrive with raw. These dogs can thrive with 50 / 50 or 70 / 30 diets, or just some additional meat in their diet. The main reason to feed raw is to feed the best possible food, and if raw is NOT the best possible option for your dog, then do what fits YOUR dog. Any dog can enjoy SOME meat in their diet, it doesn’t have to be raw all the way.
I feed some meats with grinded bone in them, but the bone needs to be extremely well minced for my dogs to have it. I used to feed calcium powder, but I felt it was hard to give just the right amount. The stools got very hard sometimes, and I feel giving minced bone, even if the general amount of calcium is then higher than before, fits the digestive system better. Go figure. Feeding is a form of art for itself.
Now, with the current style, my dogs seem to be OK with the amount of calcium they get. Just to be sure they get all they need I still use mostly grounded salmon (seems that fish bone digests better than actual bone) so I can give more of it and I feed additional kibble, rice and porridge here and there for extra fiber.
Mistä on kyse?
Koko elämänsä koiria harrastaneen raakaruokintafriikin ajatuksia, pohdintoja ja elämää koiralauman kanssa.
Päivitämme säännöllisen epäsäännöllisesti myös Facebookiin.