Last Updated on
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.