Can I Give My Dog Calcium Supplements?

Can I Give My Dog Calcium Supplements?Giving your dog calcium supplements may or may not a good idea depending on the situation. In general, doing so helps to maintain healthy bone structure among other benefits. However, pet dogs usually have all the calcium they need.

On the other hand, some dogs may require special attention in the form of calcium supplementation. Many vets recommend specially formulated calcium supplements for large breed dogs. There are other canine calcium supplement situations which we’ll touch on here.

But in most cases, caring for a dog usually doesn’t include extra calcium. When possible, do not complicate things since this essential dietary mineral is already included in quality dog food. More calcium may not be needed and could actually harm them.

Can I Give My Dog Calcium Supplements? Answer: Yes, but it’s not usually necessary

Under normal circumstances, dogs don’t typically require calcium supplements as long as they are fed a good quality dog food.

It’s true that canines need calcium to be happy and healthy. It’s the best defense against debilitating bone diseases and it also helps maintain strong teeth. But a calcium deficiency is almost always the result of an imbalanced diet. If you have reason to believe that your dog is deficient, ensure they’re getting the important nutrients and minerals from a high quality dog food.

So yes, you can see to it that your dog gets what they require including enough calcium. Never buy a low-grade or cheap canine chow or rely on the family’s table scraps. Instead, get the good stuff and supplement their calcium in that way. It’s a much more sensible option and one that your dog will appreciate over the long term.

Reasons for Extra Calcium

Some owners do successfully use calcium supplementation for larger sized dogs but it remains controversial. If you wish to do that then we recommend this one. More widely agreed is that some female dogs, during pregnancy, may require additional calcium. This could be especially true if they are carrying a large litter.

Such a deficiency could show itself in a variety of ways. Common calcium deficiency symptoms include tremors, weakness and more seriously seizures. But the only other known reason for a dog needing extra calcium is if they are routinely fed an imbalanced home-made diet or low quality kibble.

Calcium Supplementation Dangers

Never take it upon yourself to introduce a calcium supplement into your dog’s diet. There are several serious problems that you could be exposing your dog to as a result of excess supplementation. Such health issues won’t develop for weeks or many months later and by then it could be too late. Consult with a vet first, really!

Specifically, a urinary tract infection could result because extra calcium can cause crystallization of the urine. There’s also the potential for kidney stones to form. Ironically, if you provide too much calcium, for too long, it could actually end up causing bones problems later in life such as hip dysplasia.

Protect Your Dog’s Diet

It’s easy! Make sure they are getting what they truly need. That, first and foremost, includes a good brand of dog food. This formulated food should have as it’s first ingredient a meat-based item. A combination of vegetables and other vitamins and minerals should be next on the label. That basically take cares of all the calcium supplements they’ll need.

This strategy will also give you peace of mind that your dog is receiving the correct calcium levels. Combine this with daily physical activity and a lot of love. Get those three things right and you won’t have to worry about supplementing their diet.

Conclusion on Calcium

The vast majority of dogs do not require added calcium because their food is formulated with a sufficient amount. Normally you shouldn’t put your dog on a calcium supplement unless there’s a confirmed and valid reason to do so. You can harm a pet by giving them too much of a good thing, like with calcium. In any case, if you believe that your dog should have it, or extra iron or any other vitamin, run it past your vet beforehand.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Sandra May, 2015

I have a 13 year old Shih Tzu. She has a problem with her skin, her liver levels rise and has a form of crystallization in her urine. The vet has put her on a special diet of kangaroo meat, pumpkin and sweet potato. She’s been on this diet for the last 6 months and has done well. But my main concern is that she isn’t getting much calcium and we cannot change this diet. Do I need to supplement some calcium or a multivitamin to add extra vitamins to her body?

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A Different (Sandra) May, 2015

Raw chicken bones are a great natural source of calcium. Maybe you could add some chicken necks to her diet?

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Nacole December, 2014

My dog, an 8 year old long hair Chihuahua, has heart problems and has lost his appetite. I’ve tried everything including homemade food that’s grain-free and still his appetite is down. What can I give him to get the minerals he needs?

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Lynnette January, 2015

Hi Nacole. I also have a Chihuahua. You can put Pedialyte into his water or totally substitute it for his water into order to get minerals into him. My dog actually loves it. Be sure to get the clear Pedialyte, not the flavored kind. It will also keep him from getting dehydrated. To improve his appetite, you could use a liquid vitamin called Ultimate Health For Dogs. I do so by just putting a little on his food and he gobbles it up, whereas he used to be so fussy about his food. The way you do it, right from the beginning, is to not to make a big deal out of giving it to him. Just put some on his food and let it soak in. It works especially great with broiled chicken. Chihuahuas usually will eat chicken when they don’t want to eat anything else.

If you are giving him a commercial food, that’s probably what is wrong. You could try making chicken at home for him yourself and see if he will start eating it. I sometimes buy a broiled chicken and he loves it. Remove most of the skin first though.

Ultimate Health For Dogs – Liquid Dog Vitamins Formula can be found on Amazon which is where I bought it. It’s a large bottle and lasts a long time for small dogs like ours.

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Mike November, 2014

Given that even the best quality commercial dog foods contain overly high levels of carbohydrates, as cheap filler, including grains that might disagree with some dogs, a more baseline question than the calcium one is – how healthy, really, is my commercial dog food? It requires some very good and thorough research but consider homemade dog diets, with supplements, including calcium.

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Bruce October, 2014

What is a good calcium pill for dogs? I was told nearly 20 years ago when my wife and I started raising Rat Terriers that Pet-Tabs Calcium tablets were the best. So for almost 20 years, we have given all our dogs the tabs. Tonight, we just lost our 2nd female in 18 years from a seizure. We were told by 2 different vets that it was due to a lack of calcium in their bodies. We are heart broken over this, because the female we lost tonight has got a litter of 5 puppies right now that are 4 weeks old today. Someone, please help us!

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Nicole July, 2015

If you are mainly looking for calcium, grind up some eggshells and add to their food. Bake them in the oven until they’re easily crunched up. You could also use bone meal or feed them raw chicken bones. I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved pet and due to no fault of your own!

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Gina October, 2014

I want to give raw knuckle bones to my two dogs, but I’ve seen their feces turn white, i.e., too much calcium being excreted. The bones are given to keep their teeth clean and it’s fun for them too. Perhaps I should limit bone chewing to twice a week? But will this be enough?

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Winona October, 2014

The white color of their feces is calcium and small particles of bone from the bones that they are eating – not calcium from their own bodies. Let them enjoy their bones!

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Rachel October, 2014

It is, but you should be careful! I gave my 6 month old puppy a rawhide bone and he just swallowed the small end of the bone! My vet said that it is okay, but the best thing to give dogs are chew toys.

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