Can My Dog Eat Eggshells?
Before you toss those eggshells into the compost, they may have a greater purpose than just helping to mulch your garden. In fact, they could be a healthy daily supplement to your pooch’s food. You see, eggshells are a great source of calcium which is needed for not only strong teeth and bones but to support a healthy heart. And the phosphorus found in eggshells helps with cellular repair and gives your best buddy’s immune system a boost, while the amino acids, vitamins A and E are optimal for supporting a healthy coat.
And while a good diet of quality food should already include many of the same vitamins and minerals, it never hurts to give him a little nutritional boost from time to time.
Now, before you just start tossing whole eggshells into your pet’s food bowl, there are a few steps you need to take to ensure his digestive system takes full advantage of the nutritional benefits and that it’s in a palatable format that your dog will actually be willing to eat. This includes cleaning and drying the shells, then crushing them down to a fine powder that you can sprinkle into his wet or dry food.
If it’s starting to sound complex, don’t fret because the process is quite simple and once you get into the habit of reserving your eggshells, you’ll find it easy to ensure you always have a ready supply of this super-charged calcium supplement.
Start by thoroughly rinsing the eggshells as you collect them. You want to remove any residual membrane that may still be intact inside the shell. Once dry, store these shell fragments in an air-tight container to prevent bacterial growth. When you have enough shells to prepare a batch of powder, it’s time to begin the prep process. Now, if you’re not sure what “enough” shells means, consider that each shell will net the equivalent of one teaspoon of ground powder. So a little more than a day’s worth of supplement for your pet.
When it’s time to begin the heat-dry process, place them on a baking sheet and pop them into an oven that has been pre-heated to around 300-degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for no more than 5 minutes to avoid charring the outer shell. Remove them from the oven, let them cool, then grind them down in a blender, food processor, or coffee grinder. As you process them, you’re looking for a fine powder without shards from the original egg. This won’t take more than 1 minute.
While this natural supplement is an ideal boost to your pet’s health, like any nutritional enhancer, it needs to be used in moderation. Sprinkle no more than 1 teaspoon into your dog’s food once a day – not once per meal. With it being used in moderation, the shells from a dozen eggs should take you through almost two weeks – depending on the number of pets in your household. Best of all, it can be stored in an airtight container for several weeks.
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