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Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio


In humans and animals Calcium to Phosphorus balance is essential to the development and maintenance of a strong and healthy skeletal structure.

It is important to have more Calcium than Phosphorus in your pet’s overall diet. Meat without bone (boneless meats) and especially organ meats are much higher in Phosphorus than Calcium. Eggs are also slightly higher in Phosphorus than Calcium.

There are three ways people who feed their pets a raw diet accomplish a balance of Calcium to Phosphorus when feeding boneless meats or eggs:

  1. mixing the boneless meats with ground frames (carcass with meat removed). Our preference because it is the most natural form of Calcium.
  2. adding ground eggshell. Calcium Carbonate – an antacid. Highly acidic stomach acids allow our pets to safely digest raw meat. Calcium Carbonate reduces stomach acid. We suggest eggshell with cooked eggs or occasional cooked boneless meats only. Pure Bone Meal Calcium is the safer choice for raw boneless meats and raw eggs.
  3. adding any other Calcium supplement. Least favorable because supplements may contain other ingredients that dogs and cats are sensitive to.

Bone is the most natural source of Calcium for our carnivorous companion animals. According to, “Of the approximately 1000g of Calcium in the average 70kg adult body, almost 98% is found in bone.” The Calcium to Phosphorus ratio  in bone is 2.5:1 (two and a half times more Calcium than Phosphorus.)

"How much [Calcium] is "plenty"? A good guide would be to use a natural prey animal as standard - about 7-10% of its total weight will be bone, so anything in excess of 10% of the total diet would be "plenty". You should not exceed 25% - because you do need to leave room for other nutrients also…"Mogens Eliasen, PhD, Balancing the Calcium/Phosphorus ratio in a raw diet for dogs (2003)

Carnivores were biologically designed to eat whole-prey animals; the meat, fat, organs, and bone. Our pets can easily digest and absorb the Calcium and other nutrients found in bone. Therefore, we trust that whole-prey supplies a good balance of necessary nutrients; including the proper ratio of Calcium to Phosphorus for our pets to thrive. Carnivores ground whole-prey products include the prey’s bone in the ratio nature intended for our carnivorous kids.

We feed our pets primarily Carnivores whole-prey products because we believe the bone content is naturally within the average healthy range.

When you feed primarily whole-prey products, you will only need to consider giving your pet added Calcium when you are serving them boneless meats, organ meats, or egg.

Poultry and Other Frames (animal carcass with meat removed):

“Frames” is the term used to describe the animal carcass once it’s been de-boned.

It is the bone structure of the animal with the choice meats removed. Frames are generally 50% to 60% or more bone with little meat and naturally higher in Calcium than Phosphorus. Because we use ground carcass-“Frames” to balance boneless  meals we work in percentages of raw boneless meat to bone instead of milligrams   of Calcium to ounces of raw boneless meat. When we feed boneless meats, like our Carnivores boneless Lamb or Venison, we simply add about 10% organ meats and enough ground carcass-Frames as a bone Calcium source to mimic whole-prey.

You don’t have to be exact with every meal. About seven to thirteen percent     (7% to13%) bone in the overall diet is the range we strive for. With a variety of    food, a balance within range, over time is fine.

Extra Bones = Extra Calcium: To supply added Calcium as well as enjoyment and other health benefits, we also feed our mastiffs weekly snacks of Poultry Necks and Recreational Bones which are both on the higher end of Cal:Phos ratio (significantly more Calcium than Phosphorus.)

Do Not Feed Frames (carcasses with little meat) or Necks as a Regular Diet:

Feeding Frames and Necks as a regular daily diet would supply an excessive, unnatural amount of bone; disrupting the balance nature intended.

Balancing the Calcium in Boneless Meat Meals – A handy guide:

The following is how we balance boneless meats like our Carnivores Boneless Ground Lamb and Venison, the Beef Trim Meat Chunks or the Boneless Bison (Buffalo). This is just a guideline; again, there is no exact science here.

Option 1 - preferred method
Using Frames/ground carcass - the goal is a bone content in the 10% range:

1 lb. (16 oz.)      Carnivores Boneless Ground Lamb or Venison, or Beef Trim
                         or Boneless Bison (Buffalo), (100% meat – no bones or organs)
                         Higher in Phosphorus than Calcium

1/8 to 1/4 lb.    Primal Grind (heart- a muscle meat, bone, liver)
(2 oz. to 4 oz.)   Available in Lamb, Buffalo, or Beef
                         These Primal Grinds are balanced with a
                         Calcium to Phosphorus ratio of 1.33:1 and 1:1

                               Carnivores Chicken, Beef or Rabbit Organ Meat can be
                         substituted for Primal Grinds. Just add additional
                         Frames to increase the Calcium because they do not
                         contain bone

1/3 lb.(5.3 oz.)  Oma’s Ground Lamb and Bone or Quail Frames
                         (Frames/carcass) approximately 50% meat and 50% bone
                         (2.65 oz. of each) Higher in Calcium than Phosphorus

1/2 to 1 Tbsp    Optional – Veggie-Puree, or select pureed vegetables

We feel this mix mimics the bone and organ content found in the whole-prey model. Make adjustments accordingly when feeding a smaller quantity to a smaller animal.

Balancing the Calcium in Eggs:

Eggs are slightly higher in Phosphorus than Calcium. Each egg (white and yolk) has approximately 78mgs more Phosphorus than Calcium. This can add up if you are feeding eggs twice a week. Feeding foods with higher Calcium levels, such as Poultry Necks and Recreational Bones on a weekly basis would likely offset this minimal difference. To be on the safe side, for each egg you can add about 85mgs of elemental Calcium (just shy of 1/8th of a teaspoon of pure Bone Meal). Eggnog Recipe


I’m gonna sleep on it,

but I think the best Calcium for me is in bones…..

Click Here to Read or Print this Full Report
Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio


Learn: why we need to keep this balance, what experts say is the best Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio range, how much more Phosphorus than Calcium is in various boneless meats and how many milligrams of Calcium is needed for balance, which boneless meat is extremely high in Phosphorus, which two boneless meats are balanced in Calcium to Phosphorus, how much more Calcium frames (ground carcass) and poultry necks supply and why you don’t want to feed them as an everyday diet, about ground eggshell- how to prepare it and when and how much to use, other sources of Calcium, about Calcium absorption and which Vitamin D to avoid and other reasons you may not want to use certain Calcium supplements…


Reference Links:

Nutrient Composition Of Whole Vertebrate Prey (excluding fish) Fed In Zoos,
by E. Dierenfeld, PhD, H. Alcorn, BS, and K. Jacobsen, MS.
(See pages 12 and 13 for mineral content of whole-prey.)

Balancing the Calcium/Phosphorus ratio in a raw diet for dogs (2003),
by Mogens Eliasen, PhD

Self Nutritional Data – Reference tool for nutrients found in foods

The “Weird” Types of Meat with the Highest Nutrient Density,
by Catherine Ebeling – RN, BSN & Mike Geary, Certified Nutrition Specialists

Egg yolks, organ meat, milk, and sea fish are rich in Vitamin D,
by Dr. Shagufta Feroz

Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio Chart for Vegetables

Vitamin D Pharmacology

Heavy Metal Toxicity – sources of heavy metals

Gloria Dodd, DVM on aluminum found in processed pet food

Recall excess Quantities of Vitamin D


Disclaimer: By utilizing this website you express your consent to our Disclaimer. Unless otherwise noted, the contents of our website and marketing materials are based upon the research and opinions of Grateful Pet, our business partners and reference materials. We are not licensed veterinarians, physicians, or nutritionists. The information is not intended to diagnose or prescribe or to replace a relationship with a qualified health care professional and it is not intended as medical or nutritional advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of the Grateful Pet team. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions for your pet based upon your own research and your personal knowledge concerning your pet. If you use the information on this website to make decisions for your pet’s health or your own health, Grateful Pet assumes no responsibility for such decisions. We provide insight, high quality food, supplements, and gentle remedies and recommend seeking advice from a qualified, nutritionally oriented health care provider who has thoroughly researched your pet’s health.

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