Is it Healthy or Not So Healthy Ingredients for Your Pet: Bone Meal

What’s with the confusing title you ask…well depending on the circumstances bone meal can be good or bad for your pet. Read on to understand more.

What is Bone Meal?

Bone meal is made from the ground or crushed bones and hooves of cattle and other animals. It is organic and can be used as fertilizer (more on that later). It is typically steamed in a pressure cooker and then dried and crushed into an ash.

Why would it be in pet food?

Bone meal is a rich source of calcium, phosphorous and other trace minerals. It aids in their digestive process can help curb diarrhea and helps fulfill their daily requirements of calcium. It can be found in many commercial dog foods.

Folks that feed their pets a raw diet need to be sure their dogs get raw bones for the nutrients they provide and can sometimes substitute raw bones with bone meal.

Are there any risks to feeding your pet Bone Meal?

YES! And that’s why our title has the Not SO Healthy label. Bone meal does have many benefits, but it also has some dangers. Much of the bone meal used commercially in the US is sourced from overseas which greatly increases the chance of contamination.

In addition, the heat used in the manufacturing process can affect the nutrient value and make it difficult to digest.

Bone meal is also widely used in fertilizers and giving your pet bone meal you buy at your local garden store can be deadly to them. If ingested it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, pancreatitis or even an intestinal blockage as it congeals into a concrete ball in their intestines.

To avoid problems, make sure it’s human grade and sourced locally.

Also read the label as some bone meals have added Vitamin D which can be toxic for your pet.

Bone Meal Factoids:

You will find bone meal playing a role in the Minecraft video game where it is used as a fertilizer as well as a dye.

It was once used prominently by humans until the 1980’s when it was discovered that many sources were contaminated with lead or other toxic metals.


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