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A Question That Bugs All Dog Owners: Is Bone Meal Good for Dogs?

Is Bone Meal Good for Dogs?
For your pet dog to maintain the best of health, it requires nutrients like calcium and phosphorus, which is found in bone meal. But is it safe for dogs? Let's find out through this DogAppy article.
Rutuja Jathar
Last Updated: Feb 22, 2018
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Feeding your dog the right food is very important to maintain its health and vigor. As a caring pet parent, you want to provide the best for your pet and this includes feeding the right food that includes the required nutrients. Most of the time, pet food cannot fulfill the dietary needs of your canine, and hence owners are constantly looking to supplements and foods that may benefit in any way.
Some dog owners are of the opinion that homemade dog food is the best for their dog, but this only compounds matters further, since finding the nutritional balance in homemade dog food becomes even more difficult. Especially, the ratio of calcium and phosphorus, which is crucial for a dog's health. If this ratio is not maintained, then dogs phlebotomize from their own blood, which is not right as far as the dog's health is concerned. In the quest to find a perfect food that will accomplish these requirements of the dogs, bone meal was considered to be the ideal solution. But what exactly is it? Let's find out.
What is Bone Meal?

Bone meal is a mixture made of ground and crushed bones. Its original or intended use is as an organic fertilizer for plants and also as animal feed. It is a rich source of calcium, phosphorus, and other trace minerals, and these ingredients make it suitable as dog food. Phosphorus helps all the nutrients to get extracted in the bloodstream, thus aiding dogs suffering with digestive disorders. Calcium is also very helpful to fulfill the calcium requirements and deficiencies in dogs. It is also seen that a little amounts of the organic version of bone meal is capable of evading diarrhea and flatulence in dogs. As a matter of fact, it used to be a major component in human dietary supplements, but after a while, it was found out that bone meal was contaminated with several toxic metals, and hence, the practice was stopped.

Meat and bone meal is a byproduct of the rendering industry. It contains a lot of protein, fat, moisture, and ash. It is used mainly in animal food to increase the profile of amino acids. In the '80s, a research revealed that bone meal was a major cause for the mad cow disease, and subsequently, its use as a human dietary supplement was discontinued. Due to the fact that dogs and cats are not susceptible to mad cow disease, bone meal is still very popular as dog and cat food supplements.
Is Bone Meal Safe for Dogs?

In most cases, it has been found that dogs are not affected on being fed bone meal. Adding it to the meal only makes it healthy. However, there are some things that you should take care of before deciding to feed your dog bone meal:

» Do not buy bone meal from departmental or garden stores, because chances are that it may contain toxic fertilizers, which can be poisonous. Buy it from pet stores or from the vet's clinic.
» If you are in search of supplements, look for those that are free of lead and other toxic components.
» There are several bone meal versions that are rich in vitamin D, which is a strict no-no for dogs.
» Another option is to find supplements that are specially designed to fulfill all the dietary requirements of the dogs with limitations put on the amount of the nutrition.
» Feed bone meal to your dog in accordance to its size. Excess consumption may cause problems, leading to stomach discomfort. In such cases, dogs should immediately be given plenty of water/milk. In worst cases, which is a rarity, side affects such as vomiting, fever, or overall malaise for 24 hours may be seen. If so, do not waste time in contacting your veterinarian.
If the above factors are taken into consideration, then bone meal is generally a safe option for dogs. Just remember do not feed excess amounts of bone meal.
How to Make Homemade Bone Meal

Making bone meal at home is an easy and safer option to store-bought ready-made bone meal. Use chicken or other meat bones that we generally throw away after the meat has been consumed. Dry them and grind them in a bone crusher. Chicken bones are the safest. You can make the meal using dried raw bones and also by cooking, steaming, or boiling the bones first and then grinding them. You can also boil the bones, dehydrate them, and then grind them into a powder form.

As a responsible dog owner, one has to be very careful about pet health and pet food. Bone meal can cause health issues if your dog consumes it in excess quantities.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a veterinarian.