View Full Version : Churchill loves his Doggie Meatloaf

Karen Rawlins
16th March 2011, 04:15 PM
Here is the link for the recipe
I make this and measure the portions and put them in freezer bags. Churchill has great meals for a week. The Bark is a great resource. Thanks for the info on this forum, I have learned sooo much. Love it.:cool:

16th March 2011, 08:32 PM
Without added calcium, this diet appears to be unbalanced as far as calcium/phosphorus balance. This is really dangerous. See these links and/or google to read more.


Calcium and phosphorous work together in the body to maintain the growth and structure of the skeletal system. Deficiencies or excesses of both can create skeletal problems especially in young puppies. It is very important that the calcium and phosphorous be fed in the correct ratio. Problems with calcium and phosphorous rarely occur anymore due to the easily available commercial pet foods that are properly balanced. When problems arise, it is when owners feed a homemade diet or over-supplement, especially with young, rapidly growing puppies.

Many foods that are low in calcium are high in phosphorous, and in addition, many foods that are high in calcium are equally high in phosphorous. Therefore, providing the correct calcium to phosphorous ratio in the diet can be difficult unless the proper minerals are added. It is very important that calcium and phosphorous be fed at the correct ratio of around 1.2 parts of calcium for each 1 part of phosphorous (1.2:1).


Add 800 to 1000 mg calcium per pound of food fed (cooked weight). You can use ground eggshell at the rate of 1/2 teaspoon per pound of food, or any other form of calcium is fine, including calcium carbonate, calcium lactate, calcium citrate and vegetable calcium, such as Animal Essentials Natural Calcium. If you use bone meal, add an amount that provides 1000 to 1200 mg calcium (more is needed than when using plain calcium due to the amount of phosphorus in the bone meal). Do not use calcium supplements that contain vitamin D, as the amount will be too high. These guidelines are for adult dogs only, not puppies (see my article on Homemade Cooked Diets for guidelines for puppies).


Supplemental Minerals

If you just fed the meat, carbohydrate and fat ingredients, your pet would not thrive. This is because red meat and fish are too low in calcium. Animals on their own got around this by consuming the bones. Meat and fish are also quite high in phosphorus, which inhibits the absorption of the calcium that is present in the total diet when the ratio of calcium to phosphorus is not the ideal ( 1.2:1)

Pet food manufacturers solve this problem by adding powdered bone meal or calcium carbonate to their pet diets until they contain 1 to 1.2% calcium on a dry-matter basis. You can do something similar. The most readily available calcium supplement are 500 mg calcium carbonate antacid tablets (Tums, etc). I add 1.5 tablets per 10-15 pounds body weight per day - but no one really knows the daily calcium needs of individual pets. Do not use calcium supplements that are fortified with vitamin D because we will add D elsewhere. Alternatively, you may feel more secure just adding Balance IT supplements.

There are twelve minerals that are essential for dogs. One of these, calcium, is essential for the formation of bone and teeth and as a signal chemical between nerve cells. Puppies that do not receive sufficient calcium have pinkish, translucent teeth a bow-legged stance and knobby painful joints. Partial bone fractures in these puppies are common. Most of these puppies were the offspring of nutritionally deprived mothers. Others received a diet that was primarily meat and bread. Meat is low in calcium and high in phosphorus. High phosphorus interferes with the absorption of the little calcium that meat contains. Older dogs on low calcium high phosphorus diets also suffer from tooth and bone problems. A lack of vitamin D3 can also contribute to this.

16th March 2011, 08:35 PM
You'll note on the Bark link that someone responds to this recipe by stating that the addition of calcium is not OPTIONAL as stated in recipe.

Karen Rawlins
16th March 2011, 10:41 PM
I am adding 1/2 t of pulverized eggshell a day to his diet. Tell me more about phosphorous. Please understand I am just learning about this stuff.

16th March 2011, 11:53 PM
This recipe has a high volume of foods that are very high phosphorus and low calcium - 2 lbs of meat, whole eggs, oatmeal all fit that description - I checked through nutrition data website. EDITED - I AT FIRST INTERPRETED THAT YOU WERE ADDING 1/2 TSP. OF CALCIUM TO THE ENTIRE RECIPE, but if you are adding this amount to his daily portion, this would be more in balance. How much (by weight) of this recipe does he eat per day? I'd still want to run this diet through nutrition data to make sure it was balanced as far as calcium/phosphorus.

If you are going to home cook, I'd suggest finding a better source of nutritionally balanced diets - such as from Dr. Strombeck's website or dogaware website OR you could learn how to run a recipe through the Nutrition Data website so it will spit out a nutritional analysis so that you can calculate how much calcium (and other minerals) to add rather than making a wild guess. It bothers me greatly that this recipe says that adding calcium is "optional" - that's just not true, adding calcium is "essential."

You don't have to worry about phosphorus - this recipe is very high in phosphorus so that's not the issue. It is dangerously low in calcium. I know a dog that was fed an unbalanced homemade diet that actually broke his jaw. An event like that gets your attention and makes a strong impression. Again, if you want to homecook you just need to find a reputable source of diets and develop a basic understanding about how a diet should be balanced.

Karen Rawlins
17th March 2011, 03:18 PM
Yes I am adding 1/2 t calcium a day. I have been on dogaware and used the calculations to determine that amount for his weight, etc. Have been looking for additional recipes and have been on Dr. Strombeck's website for info. Am looking for his book on amazon and found it for $129, so I am going to look into purchasing that book. Thanks again for all the info.