You're such a good dog parent, you've decided to go the extra mile and homemake your pup's food instead of feeding her store-bought kibble. Add bone meal to your recipe to make the most of your efforts and improve nutritional value. You're sure to get a slobbery kiss of gratitude.
Bone Meal Benefits
Bone meal is just that: a powdery meal made from the hooves and bones of cattle and other animals. It is loaded with nutrients important to your dog's health like calcium, fat, protein and phosphorus. It helps build and maintain strong teeth and bones, is beneficial in nutrient absorption, can assist in digestion and has been known to ease gas and diarrhea. In her book on natural health for dogs and cats, Liz Palika advises that you feed fish oil to your dog when feeding her bone meal to help metabolize it correctly.
Where to Buy
Bone meal is fairly easy to find, but beware of where you purchase it. Vet Info warns against feeding your dog bone meal purchased from home and garden stores, as that type of bone meal was developed for fertilizing purposes and is toxic to your dog. Instead, buy bone meal for your dog at a pet store and read the label to ensure you get bone meal that is specifically for animal consumption.
Make Your Own
Making your own bone meal can be done fairly easily and can be a money saver if you have some bones leftover from a meal. Poultry bones are recommended when making your own bone meal because they're easy to work with, splintering and breaking easily, but you can also use beef bones. Just cut the bones into small pieces while they are still soft, before they dry out. (You may need to boil beef bones in order to make them pliable enough to cut.) Dry the small bone pieces for a few days, letting them harden and dry out thoroughly before placing them in a spice grinder and grinding them into powder.
Healthy Recipe for Dog Food
You can put together a quick and healthy meal for your dog using 2 1/2 cups of cooked bulgar wheat, 1/2 pound of cooked meat such as shredded chicken or ground hamburger, 1 tablespoon of fish oil and 2 tablespoons of bone meal. Mix the ingredients thoroughly and serve to your dog. Leftovers, if there are any, can be stored in a covered container in the fridge for up to three days.
Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.