Calcium And Phosphorus: Creating A Balanced Raw Diet For Your Pet

A Raw diet that is varied, balanced and species appropriate will provide your furry friend with all the nutrients, minerals and vitamins that nature intends them to eat in order for them to survive and thrive. 

When you choose to start feeding Raw it might seem a little overwhelming at first, figuring out how to get the mix right. But once you get your head around a few of the fundamentals you will find that it is simple!  

Calcium And Phosphorus – Why Do Our Pets Need Them?

When feeding a Raw diet there are a few guidelines you need to follow and the most important one is balancing the minerals calcium and phosphorus.  Calcium and phosphorus are both essential minerals needed in your pets diet and are needed in the proper amounts in order for your pet to grow well and remain healthy. 

Feeding your pet good quality muscle meat is really important. However, an all meat raw diet isn’t enough. An all meat diet for your pet will mean their diet will be too high in phosphorus and too low in calcium. Getting the balance wrong when it comes to phosphorus and calcium can be detrimental for your pet’s health especially younger and larger breed animals and can cause a number of health issues some of which include:

  • Skeletal problems.
  • Skeletal demineralisation, particularly of the pelvis and vertebrae.
  • Interference with normal healthy bone mineralisation and growth. 
  • Developmental bone disease such as osteochondrosis (abnormal bone growth).

Phosphorus In A Raw Diet

The main function of phosphorus is in forming bones and teeth. Phosphorus plays an important role in the body’s use of carbohydrates and fat and also helps the body with:

  • Synthesizing protein for growth, maintenance and repair of cells and tissues
  • The production of ATP, a molecule the body uses to store energy
  • Supporting B vitamins
  • Muscle contraction
  • Kidney function
  • Heartbeat regularity
  • Nerve conduction

Phosphorus can be found in both meat and bones however meat contains very high levels of phosphorus but is low in calcium. This is why an all meat diet will provide your pet with an unbalanced level of calcium and phosphorus that could cause bone and nervous system issues in your pet and severe bone issues in growing animals.

Calcium In A Raw Diet

Similar to humans, our pets need calcium for healthy development of bones. Calcium is responsible for making sure the heart functions efficiently (by contracting the heart muscles), it helps the blood to clot, it aids in digestion, it supports proper nerve function, and it helps to squeeze and contract all those muscles that ensure your pet can run around and play. And of course it’s extremely important when it comes to building and maintaining strong bones and teeth.

When our pet’s don’t get enough calcium they can suffer from conditions including:

  • Rickets (where bones become soft and fragile)
  • Muscle twitching
  • Restlessness
  • Stiffness
  • Lethargy
  • Convulsions
  • Osteoporosis

Getting The Balance Right Isn’t Difficult

It is important that our companion friends get enough calcium in their diet, as well as some phosphorus as these minerals work very closely together. Balancing calcium and phosphorus isn’t difficult when your pet is fed on a species appropriate, balanced and varied raw diet. Including raw meaty bones (RMB) in your pets diet will help to ensure they are getting the balance they require as bones contain both calcium and phosphorus. 

To get enough calcium and keep a healthy balance of minerals, your dog’s raw diet needs to contain about 12% to 15% bone. You shouldn’t exceed 25% because pets need other nutrients too and excess calcium can also interfere with normal healthy bone mineralisation and growth. This is especially true in young (under 1 year-old) large and giant breed dogs.

Try out our Raw Food Calculator to help you work out the specific bone requirements for your pet or contact us for further advice. 

You can find out more about our raw meaty bone (RMB) products and their additional benefits by following the links below:  







Tips For Feeding Bones Safely 

It is important that bones are always fed raw. Cooked bones can splinter and cause impaction, perforation of the gut and even death.  For a more comprehensive guide on bone safety you can refer to our previous blog on ‘How To Choose and Feed Bones Safely’, contact us directly or speak to your holistic vet if you have serious concerns about your pets health. 

Browse our range of bone products or visit our online shop to view our full range of minced bone and meat products available.

*Disclaimer: At Instincto, we aim to provide the most current, up to date information about feeding Raw safely.  If you have any further questions please contact us! Please use this as a guide only and always check with your holistic Vet if you want more information.

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