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Are you wondering if you should give your dog a calcium supplement?
Straight to the point: The right course of action really depends on the situation.
The truth is this mineral is nearly automatic when a pet pooch is being fed a good diet.
That’s not to say some dogs aren’t prone to calcium deficiencies. A need for supplementation is more common among larger breeds.
Most Dogs Get Enough Calcium From Their Food
This mineral is one of the most essential.
But, the thing is…
Too much calcium could harm your dog. And that’s why delivering it through a scientifically formulated K9 diet is preferred to products in concentrated form.
Again though, sometimes a supplement makes sense. But only a vet can confirm a deficiency.
Are you still concerned that your dog may not be receiving an appropriate amount of calcium?
Please consult your veterinarian rather than taking a hit-or-miss approach by possibly over-supplementing.
Evaluate The Diet First
Any deficiency is most commonly due to an improper or imbalanced diet.
It really could be that your dog isn’t getting the recommended vitamins and minerals (including calcium) from a quality dog food. You must know what you are feeding!
FYI: Calcium helps prevent debilitating bone diseases, maintain the muscles and ensure strong teeth.
Enough Calcium in Chow
The good news is getting your dog plenty of calcium is pretty easy!
It basically comes down to avoiding low-grade or cheap chow. And, while you’re at it, choose the correct life stage diet.
A dog food formulated for puppies will have the correct calcium amount for young, growing bones. Whereas one formulated for mature canines will have a slightly different calcium ratio.
It’s also important to buy large breed puppy chow if you have a large breed puppy.
The food that a puppy eats can affect how their bones grow, and because large breeds grow very big very quickly, they can end up with bone problems if fed an inappropriate diet. A proper large breed puppy chow could help prevent things like hip dysplasia later in life.
Do not overly rely on table scraps unless you’re certain of which foods will meet their specific dietary needs.
A veterinary nutritionist can help you identify the correct foods and construct the ideal diet for your dog.
Scenarios and Symptoms
Pregnant dogs require additional calcium. And this is especially true if they have a litter of several puppies.
If Mom doesn’t get enough calcium in her diet, her body will take calcium away from her bones and give it to her puppies, making her weaker and less healthy.
Big breeds are known to need lots of calcium and/or other types of supplementation. The best way to provide this is to buy a dog food specifically formulated for large breeds.
A hypo-calcemic (calcium-deficient) dog may begin to exhibit tell-tale symptoms such as:
Calcium Dangers for K9s
Let’s touch on the other end of the spectrum…
Too much calcium in your dog’s diet may lead to serious health issues down the road.
Prolonged and excessive levels can cause urinary tract infections and crystallization of the urine.
Kidney stones, adrenal gland failure and even increased cancer risks are possible when a dog is receiving unnecessary calcium because the body likes to store calcium rather than excrete it.
Common early signs include:
- Increased thirst
- Increased urination
- Loss of appetite
And unneeded calcium (over an extended period) may contribute to the dog having bone problems such as hip dysplasia later in life.
Meat an Absolute Must
Be sure that your dog’s formulated food contains plenty of meat.
In fact, it should be listed as the first ingredient. Some veggies are okay too.
The Bottom Line
Most canines do not require extra calcium because quality dog food has ample amounts.
Still have concerns?
Visit your veterinarian for an exam. A professional’s help is needed for a suspected calcium problem.
You need to know what’s going on internally. There is no better way to help your dog be the happiest and healthiest they can possibly be.
It cannot be stressed enough:
You can harm your dog by giving them calcium supplementation. This could result not only in pain and discomfort, but could also create a problem that didn’t exist in the first place.
21 thoughts on “Read This Before Putting Your Dog on a Calcium Supplement!”
I want to make homemade toothpaste. I found a recipe that calls for calcium with magnesium and coconut oil with baking soda. Will the human form of calcium magnesium be harmful for dogs, specifically Yorkies?
My 9 year old Maltese had bladder surgery to remove Calcium Oxalate crystals. She has been on Royal Canine SO (1/2 dry 1/2 canned food) but her PH level is 5.5.
I’m concerned that the crystals are forming again. I read that a calcium supplement can help her. What do you suggest? Thanks for the information.
My 14 pound Maltase mix has suffered loose/protruding teeth due to long term use of prednisone for an auto-immune disease. I know prednisone causes bone loss. Do you think the use of calcium will help her?
Yes, it will.
My large Pit-mix dog has very week nails and has lost every one of them at one time. Should I be supplementing his diet with extra calcium?
Can a calcium gel that is used for cattle be used for dogs?
My large German Shepard mix had a broken leg. Has a pin in it. Today we discovered a small fracture in it. Does he need extra calcium?
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?
Raw chicken bones are a great natural source of calcium. Maybe you could add some chicken necks to her diet?
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?
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.
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.
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!
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!
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?
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!
It is, but 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.
Do you know any vitamin or food supplement to prevent or stop cataracts in dogs?
There isn’t any magic pill or vitamin that will slow the process of cataracts that I am aware of. My Siberian Husky is diabetic and his cataracts have sustained their growth. Insulin is the only medication that I know of that assists with the growth of cataracts but that’s only if the cataracts are caused by diabetes.
Couple weeks ago my 5 year old dog had back pain. Somehow he got injured I believe because he is 5 pounds overweight and he jumped too high. The vet just gave him pain pills and the first thought that came to my mind is he needs calcium, even though his food is good (I think) California Natural.
I was ready to buy but I’m glad somehow I came to this page. Now I realize that is not easy just to give dogs what we think is good for us. Yes, they are correct, “owning a pet is not easy”. Thanks to the person(s) who wrote this article.
Hi Jorge. Calcium combined with quality food and daily exercise should improve your dog’s condition over time. Yes, owning a dog is definitely not easy but it’s also very rewarding!