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A common concern for dog owners who are feeding a home prepared diet is whether or not it is ‘complete’. People worry that it won’t be nutritionally balanced and that their dog will miss essential nutrients that can only be found in commercial dog food.

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One of the most common questions asked when changing diets, either to raw, home cooked, a mixture of raw and home cooked or adding fresh food to kibble, is how to maintain balance in the diet.

Let’s look at the meaning of the word ‘balance’. Most commonly it is referred to as the calcium/phosphorus ratio in the diet. Phosphorus is quite abundant in all foods. Calcium, however, is harder to find in foods. Commercial pet foods add calcium to bring the calcium/phosphorus ratios into balance. In the wild, dogs will consume bones from their prey which gives them the additional calcium needed.

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