Calcium is one of the most important minerals to maintain your pet’s health, especially in young pets, pregnant and nursing mothers. A lack of calcium results in weak bones and teeth, bone deformities, weak joints and in a severe case called hypocalcemia, it causes disorientation, muscle twitch, tremors and sometimes seizures. Notable pet behavior of this condition is licking cement, concrete and brick.
Depending on what kind of diet you feed your pets with, the total calcium in their diet may not be enough. Thus calcium supplement is needed, but buying a commercial calcium supplement can be expensive sometimes and they may be loaded with chemicals and preservatives. The good news is, you can make simple calcium supplement for your pet (and for yourself too) from only egg shells in a few simple steps.
What you need
- 30-60 egg shells (depends on how much supplement you want to make)
- oven (optional)
- rolling pin/food processor/coffee grinder
- air tight container
What to do
Collect egg shells and keep them in the fridge until you have enough of them. An easier and faster alternative is to get egg shells from your neighboring restaurants. Talk to the manager nicely and you may collect the shells for free! Once you have enough egg shells, here are the simple steps you have to do: 1. Soak egg shells in water and wash from any dirt, dust and egg white. Removing the inner layer of the egg is not necessary because it has nutrition and minerals too.
Tips: crush the egg shells into smaller pieces to save the amount of water needed.
2. Boil egg shells for at least 10 minutes to kill pathogen microorganisms.
Tips: Clean the egg white completely in step 1 to avoid foam formed during this step. If that happens, don’t worry, simply remove the foam.
3. Drain and dry the shells. If you have oven, you can bake them to remove the moisture completely. The next step is easier to do with less moisture.
Tips: Lay them on moisture absorbent material, such as sponge or newspaper for faster drying process.
4. Grind the dried shells finely into tiny pieces, grains, or powder. Coffee grinder works best for this purpose, but not necessary. I currently don’t have any fancy kitchen appliance so in this process only mortar and pestle were used. If you don’t have fancy equipment, simply use glass or rolling pin to grind. Done! Store in an air tight container. Add some silica gel packets if necessary to keep it dry. One teaspoon of the powder contains 800 mg calcium in average. To find out how much calcium your pets need, please check with your vet for advice.
Directions: Mix the calcium powder with your pet’s food. Note that calcium is not water soluble and mixing them with water will make them sink to the bottom.
Recommended dosage is 1/2 teaspoon per 10 kg body weight, twice a week. This dosage may vary due to different body weight, calcium necessity and calcium intake from other food source (growing, pregnant and nursing animals or animals with calcium deficiency need more calcium than animals in normal condition). If you are not sure, you can always contact me for free consultation.