Calcium for Dogs – Complete Food Guide

dog eating bone

Calcium is one of the most important nutrients in the development of the dog, not only together with phosphorus, it constitutes most of the bone mass, that is to say the skeleton, but it is fundamental for the correct functioning of the nervous, muscular and hormonal system.

There are many natural foods rich in calcium for dogs, although if your dog is fed on products made like commercial food, possibly calcium is already added to its composition and it is not necessary to give any supplement.

Let’s see what are the normal calcium levels for a dog, which dogs need more calcium, what are the most recommended foods and how to know if our dog needs calcium or has an excess of calcium in his diet. Prepared?

Index of contents

  • 1 What is the role of calcium in dogs?
  • 2 How much calcium does a dog need to eat per day?
  • 3 What natural foods are rich in calcium for dogs?
  • 4 Excess or deficiency of calcium in our dog How to detect it?

What is the role of calcium in dogs?

As in most vertebrate living beings, calcium has a vital role in the development of bone mass. Although without phosphorus, your teeth and bones would not acquire the necessary hardness, so the balance between calcium and phosphorus must be perfect for proper development.

Our dog’s hormonal system is much more important than we think, the thyroid gland (thyroid gland) will not work well if the calcium level in the blood is not adequate, causing serious hormonal problems in the dog.

dog eating calcium for dogs

The joints will not form correctly if the calcium level is not adequate, causing the bones to rub against each other and, for example, causing the famous hip dysplasia in dogs.

Calcium, together with potassium and sodium, is directly related to correct muscle contraction. A calcium deficiency can also affect the muscular system of our dog. As if all this were not enough, calcium also directly affects the dog’s glycogen metabolism and enzyme system.

In summary, correct calcium levels are essential for both puppy development and maintaining good health in adult dogs. A lack or excess of calcium can lead to serious health problems.

How much calcium does a dog need to eat per day?

Dogs don’t really need to eat calcium every day, although if they do it in adequate doses nothing would happen either. The correct thing would be to ask how much calcium a dog needs in his diet, since one day he takes enough calcium and the next two or three he does not take anything, his calcium levels will remain homogeneous.

At the quantitative level, a puppy needs to ingest an average of three hundred milligrams of calcium per kilogram of body weight per day. So if our puppy weighs ten kilos, he will need an average of three grams daily.

An adult dog by contrast, does not need as much as its body is developed, so an average of one hundred milligrams per kilogram of body weight will suffice.

These are the doses of calcium for dogs recommended by the veterinary schools, however there may be cases in which the dog requires a greater quantity or a smaller quantity. This will require a blood test at a veterinary center.

The pregnant bitches or infants (who already feed their puppies milk) need extra calcium in their diet. So the daily amount of calcium they need is much higher than that of a normal adult dog.

plain yogurt for dogs

What natural foods are rich in calcium for dogs?

There are plenty of natural foods that contain a large amount of calcium highly assimilable by our dogs. Even the water they drink contains calcium, but not in the amounts necessary to consider it a supplement.

Let’s see which are the foods that contain more calcium, suitable for dogs, although the amount to supply depends a lot on the age, size and weight of the dog. Remember that some dogs are not used to eating natural foods, so if you have the option to chop them, they will be more digestible for them.

  • Fleshy bones
  • Plain yogurt
  • Fermented cheese
  • Fish
  • Eggshell

The fleshy bones are the tender bones of some animals such as chicken, very easy to chew and digest by adult dogs. The best dog bones they are those that normally constitute the thorax of the chicken and / or the wings.

However, puppies cannot chew them as they do not yet have their definitive teeth well developed, so it is advisable to cut the tips of their wings, which are softer and easier to chew. We can also use deer antlers to play while they nibble on it, as it is rich in calcium.

Plain yogurt is also an excellent source of calcium, milk is not good for dogs because it contains lactose, but in yogurts lactose is fermented, so it does not harm them. You can get more information at: Yogurt for dogs.

The same goes for the fermented cheese, it does not contain lactose making it an excellent source of calcium for our dog. However, the cheese is also very fatty, so we must be careful with the amount we give it so that it does not cause digestive problems.

Fish, in addition to containing a large amount of vitamins and minerals, contains a large dose of calcium. Ideal as a natural food supplement, specifically tuna, salmon and sardines: Can my dog ​​eat Sardines?

Egg shell also has a large amount of calcium, although on a personal level we do not recommend it. Raw can contain salmonella, something very harmful to our dog. And cooked we must chop it and turn it almost into powder so that when it is eaten, it feels good. Even so, there are many dogs that do not tolerate eating eggshell, so we recommend using one of the above options.

On the other hand, our vet can administer calcium tablets for our dog, indicating the appropriate daily dose. It is usually the simplest option, although it is obviously not natural.

dog licking the wall

Excess or deficiency of calcium in our dog How to detect it?

The truth is that the only reliable way to know if our dog has a deficit or an excess of calcium, is through a blood test in a veterinary clinic. This is without a doubt the most efficient way to control normal calcium values ​​in our dog.

However, we can know or at least suspect that our dog has an excess of calcium if its poops are white or whitish. Dogs that eat lots of bones on a daily basis usually have this type of excess: Color and texture of a dog’s feces.

Dogs with fragile or easily injured bones may suffer from a lack of calcium in their body or have suffered a significant calcium deficiency during their development, when they were pup
pies.

The fragility of the teeth of an adult dog can also give us clues about a lack of calcium, although in older dogs it should not be a concern. However, there is a behavior that can clearly indicate that the dog needs more calcium, it is when the dog licks or bites the walls.

If your dog eats good quality kibbles (I think, balanced, commercial food …), it is most likely that they already contain all the amount of calcium necessary so that your dog does not have this type of problem.