DIY Eggshell Powder For Dogs

A complete guide to making and using eggshell powder for your dog. Plus, an extensive  FAQ section dedicated to all your eggshell powder questions.

By Amy Marshall

Feb 2nd, 2023

DIY Eggshell Powder For Dogs

A complete guide to making and using eggshell powder for your dog. Plus, an extensive  FAQ section dedicated to all your eggshell powder questions.

By Amy Marshall

Feb 2nd, 2023

I’ve used this recipe to make organic eggshell powder for my dog for 9+ years now, and it works like a charm.

The best part? It's easy.

In three simple steps, you'll have a ready-made ground eggshell powder to supplement your dog's diet.

So, let’s dive right in.

In this guide, I'll show you how to make eggshell powder for your dog.

Eggshell powder is as it sounds, eggshells ground into a fine powder.

What are eggshells made of, and why are they so great?

The chemical composition of an eggshell is almost entirely calcium carbonate crystals, plus some protein and other minerals. But the main mineral is calcium, at about 95% of the composition of an eggshell.

That’s why eggshell powder is a practical, homemade calcium supplement for your dog.

If you’re interested in learning more about egg anatomy, dive in here. For the rest of us, this is all we need to know to understand why eggshells are such a valuable tool for the DIY raw feeder.

What is
Eggshell Powder?

What's excellent about eggshell powder compared to store-bought calcium supplements is that eggshell powder is:

• affordable
• bioavailable
• reduces food waste

If you consider the price of supplements, eggshell powder is a shoo-in because it won’t cost you anything. If you eat eggs, collect the shells in a bowl, then make eggshell powder. If you don’t eat eggs, have a friend or family member collect their eggshells for you.

Now, you may think, “wait a minute, but wouldn’t a supplement be more effective?”

Not necessarily.

According to this study, “chicken eggshell has high calcium content and bioavailability comparable to calcium carbonate.” The National Institute of Health also agrees, stating eggshells are an excellent source of calcium.

Likewise, a 2003 article from the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology Research claims that “human and animal studies had found that a preparation of ground eggshells was a natural source of calcium and other elements.”  It said, “The bioavailability of calcium from this source, as tested in piglets, was similar or better than that of food-grade purified calcium carbonate.”

Plus, you’re working towards zero waste. Instead of throwing the eggshells in the garbage, you’re finding a use for your food scraps. That's better for your pocketbook and the environment.

Why Feed Eggshell Powder?

The main reason to feed eggshell powder is to supplement calcium
in your dog's diet

This is a tricky question to answer virtually.

Is your dog’s diet deficient in calcium?

If so, you may need to supplement with eggshell powder.

But if you’re like most dog owners, you don’t crunch the numbers in your dog’s diet. So, how do you really know if you need to supplement calcium?

Use this little cheat sheet for homemade, raw dog food diets:

• No bone or bone replacement = yes
• Too little bone = maybe
• Correct amount of bone (or too much bone) = no

Let’s break this down below:

Should I be Using Eggshell Powder?

In a raw diet, the calcium comes primarily from the edible bones. You'll need to supplement calcium if you opt not to feed raw meaty bones in your dog’s diet. Eggshell powder can help with this.

Remember that eggshell powder is not a direct replacement for edible bone. Bonemeal powder may be a better option to replace bone. But eggshell powder can help you adjust calcium more precisely in your dog's diet.

How do you know if you’re feeding enough if you feed bone?

Great question.

The short answer is that you need to run the numbers on all the items in your dog's diet to know if you need calcium supplementation. But there is a way for DIY raw feeders to estimate if calcium supplementation is required.

Use my bone content calculator to help you estimate.

Input the weight of your dog’s meal, which raw meaty bones are included, and how much they weigh (all using the same unit of measurement) to find out if you’re within acceptable, high, or low ranges for bone content.

If you’re on the low side, you can feed more raw meaty bones to supplement the potential calcium shortage. But if you’d prefer not to add any more raw meaty bones, you can add a little eggshell powder instead.

Most of the time, homemade raw dog food diets that include bone don't need to be supplemented with calcium.

Suppose you’re feeding the right amount of bone in your dog’s diet (falling within the acceptable or high ranges on my calculator). In that case, no calcium supplementation should be needed, so skip the eggshell powder.

Although eggshell powder is excellent for homemade raw diets (or any DIY fresh diet), you should not add it to commercially prepared, complete, and balanced raw dog food. These formulas will already meet your dog’s calcium requirements. 

Likewise, eggshell powder is not needed in commercial raw diets (even if they’re not complete and balanced)  that contain ground bone. These are often called "grinds."

Using eggshells in either of these scenarios could throw off the calcium/phosphorus ratio, making the recipe unbalanced.

If you feed a combination of commercially-prepared raw dog food that contains ground bone, along with other raw foods you add at home, do this:

Add eggshell powder to match only the boneless meats in the foods you added. Do not factor in commercial foods.

Read on to find out how much eggshell powder to feed your dog. But first, let’s talk about how we make it!

How to Make
Eggshell Powder
for Your Dog

As you eat eggs at home, grab a bowl and save the eggshells.

Make sure you clean the eggshells by giving them a good rinse under hot water before adding them to the bowl. 

This helps to save the pile of eggshells from becoming a sticky mess when it comes time to make eggshell powder. It also helps to cut down on the inside membrane becoming moldy or smelly.

Step 1: Collect Eggshells

step 1 - collect eggshells

Step 2 - Boil (or bake) for 5 minutes

Step 3 - grind into a fine powder

DIY eggshell powder is a breeze and can be made with just 3 simple steps:

Pro Tip: Remove the membrane from the shell and save.

Although, some believe the membrane needs to be offered at the raw, uncooked stage (and not boiled) for optimal benefit since heat can destroy the beneficial properties of the membrane.

A better option is to save the membranes and feed them directly to your dog or mix them within their food. 

Granted, removing the membrane can be a pain, but with practice, it will get easier, and you’ll get more efficient at it. Watch this video for tips to help you get started. 

If you can save yourself a trip to the vitamin store (since joint supplements are expensive) and reuse this unique, health-promoting part of the egg – why wouldn’t you?

Now back to our DIY eggshell powder recipe.

Eggshell membranes can benefit your dog's
joint health.

The eggshell membrane is not technically part of the eggshell, but it’s usually attached to it. You can find it between the eggshell and the egg white. It’s most easily visible when you peel a boiled egg.

Eggshell membranes contain protein, collagen, elastin, chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine, and other natural and health-promoting substances. Studies (1, 2, 3, 4) show that regular intake of an eggshell membrane may benefit joint health.

When making eggshell powder at home, you can leave the membrane intact, which may boost the nutrition of your DIY eggshell powder. 

Drop your eggshells in boiling water for about 5 minutes to kill harmful bacteria

Remove and allow to air dry.

HINT: if you’d rather not have that eggy smell lingering in your house while they dry, put them out to dry in your garage or basement. Or even better, out in the sun.

Alternatively, you can also bake the eggshells. Preheat the oven to 300 F. Spread the eggshells evenly across a baking sheet and bake for 5-7 minutes. Then take them out of the oven; baking eggshells any longer can produce a funky smell.

Step 2: Boil (or bake) Eggshells for 5 Minutes

Once dry and/or cooled, grind the clean eggshells into a fine powder.

You can use a food processor, blender, coffee grinder, spice grinder, or even a good old-fashioned mortar and pestle. Make sure you pound until you get a fine powder with no sharp edges.

Step 3: Grind into a Fine Powder

I know many dog owners, myself included, that have fed eggshell powder past the two-month marker without issues or adverse effects.

Most "use by" or "best buy" dates indicate freshness and when the product is at its peak, not necessarily when it’s spoiled.

But to be safe, I recommend you follow the best-by date of two months.

Think you’ll forget?

Grab some date labels to attach to your container of choice and label when the batch of eggshell powder was made (or when to use by).

I use this airtight glass chalkboard label jar

the literature varies, but for best results,  Use eggshell powder within two months.

How Long Does Eggshell Powder Last?

It’s hard to say precisely how much eggshell powder you need because it depends on what you’re feeding and what nutrients are in those foods.

Below are some general recommendations. Remember, these are just starting points. You may need to adjust here and there and experiment with your dog, but these should get you close.

Good question.

How Much Eggshell Powder to Feed Your Dog?

 ¼ teaspoon
per cup
of food

1 teaspoon
per pound
of muscle meat


Nutritional Information in Eggshell Powder 

You’ll find this varies because the nutritional composition of an egg will vary based on how that egg (or the chicken that laid the egg) was raised and where it came from.

It’s been estimated that:

chicken eggshell powder provides approximately
380 mg of calcium per gram 

I’ve received lots of questions about eggshell powder over the years. If you have more questions, read further to see if they’re answered below:

Eggshell Powder FAQs:

Need help finding your question? Use the form at the end of the article to ask a new question.

Yes! Eggshell powder wouldn’t be recommended by veterinarians and dog food experts worldwide, nor would I have been feeding it to my dog or writing this post if it wasn’t.

All cheekiness aside, eggshell powder is not just for pets. It’s actually recommended as a calcium supplement for people.

If you reference the links and studies mentioned earlier in this article, they’re specifically aimed at human beings. So, if it’s safe enough for us to make and eat at home, it’s safe for your dog.

"Is it Healthy for My Dog to Eat Eggshells?"

None that I've witnessEd, heard or observed over the years.

According to, “when prepared correctly, eggshell powder is considered safe.”

The potential exists for eggshells to be contaminated with bacteria like Salmonella. The way we avoid this risk is by boiling the eggshells before grinding them into a fine powder. We avoid this risk by boiling the eggshells before grinding them into a fine powder.

The other risk is over-supplementing, which can cause an excess of calcium in your dog's diet.

"Are There Any Risks with Feeding Eggshells?"

Short answer: yes.

Long answer: It’s more challenging to find data on the eggshell composition using eggshells from birds other than chicken.

With a little determination and digging, I’m sure you can find some.

For example, this California State Science Fair project reports that quail eggshells have the highest percentage of calcium carbonate, so I’d infer they would be another good option for eggshell powder.

While there are differences in the calcium levels of eggshells from various domestic birds, they appear to be relatively small. Variations look like 63%, 69%, etc. They don’t seem to be drastically different.

But to know for sure, you’ll need the data.

With all this said, if you’re looking to experiment, be mindful that recommendations on how much to feed (and all of this information) are based on chicken eggshell powder.

"Can Eggshell Powder Be Made with Eggs Other Than Chicken Eggs?"


We’re already boiling eggshells for 5 minutes.

So, if you kept the egg in its shell and boiled it for five minutes, that’s technically a soft-boiled egg. And a hard-boiled egg  usually takes 7-9 minutes.

The point is it doesn’t change much.

If you eat soft or hard-boiled eggs regularly, feel free to save the shells to use for eggshell powder.

"Can I Make this with Hard Boiled Eggshells?"

I wouldn’t recommend it.

As mentioned earlier, feeding a commercially prepared, complete-and-balanced food (raw, cooked, or processed) should already be formulated to meet your dog’s calcium needs.

Whether processed pet foods are truly balanced and whether the synthetic vitamins/minerals that are often included are as effective as naturally derived supplements is a long discussion for another time.

Regardless, adding more calcium to dog food formulated to meet calcium requirements can throw that food out of balance.

Eggshell powder is better suited to supplement DIY raw dog food diets.

"Can I Add Eggshells to Kibble?"

It’s hard to say with certainty since arguments for both viewpoints have been made. In my research, I’ve read that boiling is ineffective unless you can boil and rinse several times because pesticides are water soluble, so boiling won’t do much more than washing. Because pesticides are complex organic molecules, breaking down all pesticides would require prolonged exposure to temperatures over 200 degrees.

But I’ve also read it can be effective. This study, in particular measures the effects of cooking on residue concentrations of pesticides in rice. In this study, pesticide residues decreased by 20-100% through boiling and steaming.

The takeaway is that boiling is likely to remove some pesticides but probably not all traces.

"Does Boiling Destroy Pesticides?"

My answer will always be the same, the highest quality you can comfortably afford.

Eggshells from conventionally raised chicken are fine to use. In fact, it’s what a majority of the research in this article is based on.

If free-range, organic, etc., is out of your budget, don’t let anyone scare you away from “regular” eggs. They will still be effective calcium supplements.

If anything, the research points to conventionally raised eggs having higher calcium content.

"What Quality of Eggs Should I Use for Eggshell Powder?"

Like anything else – natural calcium supplements can potentially contain toxic metals like lead, aluminum, cadmium, and mercury.

The good news is that the amount of potentially toxic elements in eggshells tends to be lower than in other natural calcium sources, such as oyster shells [sources 1 and 2].

This is also why buying quality eggs is important. See FAQ below.

"I Heard Calcium Supplements Contain Toxic Metals"

Some of you may be worried about feeding eggshells because you’re concerned about pesticides on eggshells, and you’ve heard boiling won’t destroy them.

Valid concern.

This is a two-part answer.

First, does boiling destroy pesticides?

now for the second part of the answer, pesticides in eggshells:

You won’t have to worry about pesticides as much if you buy certified USDA organic eggs, as these products are produced without synthetic herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers.

If you buy eggs that are not organic, traces of antibiotics, pesticides, and other chemicals used in raising factory-farmed chickens could be present in eggshells. Most pesticides that enter chickens come from the chemically-treated feed they eat. Sometimes, chemicals are directly applied to chickens to protect against pests, leading to their absorption through the skin or inhalation.

But it’s not a perfect system.

Chickens that don’t eat feed with pesticides or have it applied to their bodies, like chickens raised organically, could still come in contact with pesticides if the land they roam is treated with pesticides.

Plus, mother nature spreads chemicals. Perhaps the farm you buy eggs from is chemical-free, but the neighboring farm may not be, and the wind can and does spread pesticides.

The point: complete avoidance is not possible.

Regardless of how it happened, chickens exposed to pesticides then excrete the residues of these pesticides in their eggs. The amount of that residue depends on the type of pesticide.

But with that said, many of these types of chemical pesticides (like organochlorines) tend to concentrate in body fats and, according to studies on this matter, “typically accumulate in fatty tissues,” in which case I’d be more concerned about these residues in the egg itself, not the shell which is made almost entirely of calcium carbonate crystals.

So, don’t let this scare you away from eggshell powder, organic or not.

The biggest concern with eggshell powder is contamination with bacteria, such as Salmonella, and we get rid of this threat by boiling or baking.

Remember, we live in a toxic world, and 100% avoiding chemicals is impossible. Buy the best quality eggs you can afford, rinse the shells, and boil them and you’re doing a lot to remove chemical residue that may be present.

A Word of advice:

Try not to take an “all or nothing” approach to your dog’s nutrition. Being overly fearful or skeptical of ingredients to avoid all chemicals (which isn’t possible) can cause you to miss out on all the potential nutrition locked in certain foods that could benefit your dog.

Do your research, weigh the pros and cons, and then move on.

In my opinion, the pros far outweigh the cons. Eggshell powder is safe for humans and dogs.

Eggshell powder doubles as an excellent fertilizer for your garden. Sprinkle and mix some eggshell powder into garden soil to add calcium carbonate and reduce soil acidity. Or, use eggshells to start seedlings.

Another option is to add eggshells to your compost heap or bin. Calcium is an essential nutrient because it helps plants build cell walls. By adding calcium to your compost, plants can grow faster and more robust.

You can also use leftover eggshell powder to create a non-toxic, abrasive cleaner. Think of it as a DIY Ajax. Mix a cup of eggshell powder with 3 cups of baking soda. To clean, mix the powder with vinegar, and voila!

See here for tons of other great eggshell uses.

If you have leftover eggshell powder past its best-by date and don’t feel comfortable feeding it, repurpose it! There are plenty of uses for eggshell powder.

What Should I Do with Eggshell Powder Past its Due Date?

That depends on your needs.

But I recommend starting with a smaller number of eggshells. You don't need as much eggshell powder as you might think initially.

Often the first-time pet parents make a batch of eggshell powder; they make far more than they need.

For example, 1 large eggshell equals about 1/2 tablespoon of eggshell powder.

"How Many Eggshells do I Need to Make Eggshell Powder?"

Of course, and I recommend it!

Eggs are an incredible food item for both people and dogs. They're a complete food source packed with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, making them eggcellent (I had to) in addition to your dog's raw diet. 

Feed whole as a fun puzzle toy, or crack an egg into your dog's bowl. Likewise, it's okay to feed cooked (scrambled, over easy, sunny-side up, and hard/soft-boiled). 

Have fun with eggs!

"Can I Feed the Whole Egg and Not Just the Shell?"


We all get DIY fatigue. And sometimes it's just easier to buy something.

Click here to buy premade eggshell powder for your dog.  According to the manufacturer, it's good for up to 3 years.

"Can I Just Buy Eggshell Powder?"


By diverting eggshells from your garbage can, you have an easy and inexpensive solution to supplement calcium (and the bone) in your dog’s raw diet.

I’d like to hear from you. Are you going to give DIY eggshell powder a try? Or, maybe you still have a question. Either way, let me know by filling out the form below. If you found this information helpful, please share it with other dog owners you know could benefit.

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Questions about using Eggshell Powder with your Dog?

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