Adding Calcium to Your Dog's Raw Diet
There are three basic rules to feeding a homemade diet: variety, balance over time, and calcium. The best source of calcium is Raw Meaty Bones.
Raw Meaty Bones should make up 30 to 50 percent (one third to one half) of the total diet, or possibly a little more if the parts you feed have a great deal more meat than bone (e.g., whole chickens or rabbits). The natural diet of the wolf in the wild contains 15 percent bone or less, based on the amount of edible bone in the large prey animals they feed upon. While a reasonable amount of raw bone won't harm an adult dog, more than 15 percent is not needed and reduces the amount of other valuable foods that can be fed.
Too much bone can also cause constipation, and the excess calcium can block the absorption of certain minerals. The stools of raw fed dogs are naturally smaller and harder than those fed commercial foods, and often turn white and crumble to dust after a few days. If the stools come out white and crumbly, or if your dog has to strain to eliminate feces, you should reduce the amount of bone in his diet.
For more information on Home-Prepared Diets for Dogs, purchase the complete set of Whole Dog Journal's ebooks on the subject.