Calcium is essential for dogs. Because calcium is one of the minerals that every animal needs. It is used to build bones and teeth in your dog.
In addition, calcium has many other tasks in the dog’s body. Therefore, your dog must consume the right amount of calcium every day. This is particularly important if you feed your furry friend raw, for example, barf.
How much calcium do dogs need?
This question: how much calcium does the dog’s body need is extremely difficult to answer. The specialist literature speaks of 50 to 100 milligrams of calcium for your four-legged friend. This is per kilogram of body weight per day.
However, this value varies greatly. Because the effective absorption of calcium from food depends on many factors:
- Your dog’s general health
- age of the dog
- simultaneous intake of other nutrients
- vitamin D supply
- gut health
- bioavailability of the fed calcium
For your dog to be able to absorb calcium, it must be optimally supplied with vitamin D3 and K2. These two vitamins are found in egg yolks or the liver.
Vitamin K2 is responsible for regulating the calcium balance in your four-legged friend. Vitamin D3 ensures the absorption of the substance from his intestines. Your dog excretes any calcium that the body does not use.
Do puppies and females have an increased calcium requirement?
If your dog is fed correctly, there is hardly any over- or undersupply of calcium. In general, puppies have a higher calcium requirement. Suckling and pregnant bitches also need more calcium.
With proper feeding, you do not need to resort to calcium supplements. Never feed your puppy or pregnant bitch additional lime products. If you are unsure, always ask your vet beforehand.
Bone meal is a good source of calcium
The only adequate fresh bone substitute for your dog is bone meal. This is made from sterilized, dried bones. In addition to calcium, the bone meal also contains phosphorus and other minerals for your darling.
The ratio of calcium and phosphorus must be right
When feeding your dog, you should always keep an eye on the balance between calcium and phosphorus. The two substances are closely related. Too much calcium in the feed deprives the body of phosphorus. Too much phosphorus prevents the dog’s body from absorbing calcium.
Do you feed your dog ready-made food? Then you don’t have to worry about the calcium content in principle. Here the calcium-phosphorus ratio is already balanced. You can get many different types of ready-made food on the market that are perfectly tailored to the needs of dogs.
Calcium for Dogs
Calcium is one of the so-called bulk elements. Bulk elements are those substances that occur in relatively large amounts in your dog’s body. In contrast to the trace elements.
In addition to the mineral calcium, these include magnesium, chlorine, potassium, phosphorus, sulfur, and sodium. These seven minerals are therefore essential for dogs. Because the body of your four-legged friend needs them to maintain its bodily functions. Calcium is particularly important here.
What is the role of calcium in the dog’s body?
You may associate calcium with bone structure and teeth. This is one of the most important jobs calcium does in your dog’s body. Only with the right amount of the mineral can your body keep your bones and teeth healthy.
Calcium is also important for stimulating your pet’s muscles and nerves. Here it is involved in the conversion of nerve impulses into muscle contractions. A lack of calcium leads to muscle cramps and neurological malfunctions in your four-legged friend.
Calcium is also necessary for stable cell membranes. It is involved in cell division in the dog’s body. And it plays a big role in blood clotting. Your dog also needs it to activate some enzymes and hormones.
Calcium regulates the pH of the blood
Your dog’s acid-base balance cannot function without calcium. If the pH value of your four-legged friend’s blood falls below a certain limit, his body releases calcium from the bones.
This is important to prevent your pet’s blood from becoming acidic. As a result, the dog’s body ensures the respiratory rate and oxygen transport.
Conversely, when blood calcium levels rise, the body stores calcium in the skeleton. This lowers the pH value in the blood.
In this way, the body of your four-legged friend can survive for a certain time without additional calcium from food. However, this only works in the short term. It is a makeshift solution for your loved one’s body.
Can vegetables cause calcium deficiency?
Feeding specific foods at the same time can greatly affect your dog’s calcium absorption. For example, phytochemicals such as phytin and oxalate can impede calcium metabolism. These two substances ensure that the body excretes the calcium unused.
- Phytic acid in foods
Grains, corn, soy, beans, rice, and quinoa contain phytates.
- Oxalates in Food
Oxalates are found in spinach, wheat bran, beetroot, rhubarb, Swiss chard, celery, and amaranth.
Dogs that you feed grain, therefore, have an increased calcium requirement.
What do you have to pay attention to when feeding?
Be sure to provide your darling with high-quality food. It must be a complete feed. This should have a very high meat content of over 70 percent.
The more naturally the manufacturer prepares the food and the higher the quality of the ingredients, the healthier it is for your dog. In good and species-appropriate feed, the amount of calcium must be right.
If you barf your dog, you have to think a lot more about optimal feeding. You can achieve an ideal supply of calcium with raw meat through meaty bones. These should be meat bones from young animals.
Feed bones properly
You must always feed your dog raw bones. Because cooked bones are brittle. They can cause serious internal injuries to your dog.
Do you have a small dog? Then you can grind the raw bones. Use ribs, wings, necks, and drumsticks.
You need to slowly get your dog used to feeding bones. Not every dog tolerates them equally well. Start with the smallest portions. Watch your pet’s digestion. If everything goes well, you can slowly increase the amount.
What happens with calcium oversupply?
Overfeeding bones can lead to bone poo in your dog. Ideally, the body directs the calcium through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream. However, if the dog’s body does not need any more calcium, it will excrete it.
The crushed bones remain in the dog’s intestines. The intestine thickens the leftover food into a thick porridge. The continuous removal of water creates a cement-like mass.
Your dog’s poop will become very hard. Bone feces are light brown to white. In the worst case, he can no longer pass the feces. There is intestinal obstruction. This condition can quickly become life-threatening.
Are calcium sources such as egg shells and algae lime suitable?
Dog owners like to use eggshell flour or algae lime. They want to use this to ensure their dog’s calcium requirements. Both remedies are not suitable because they neutralize stomach acid. This creates gas in the stomach. The dog begins to smack and belch.
In the long term, this leads to an increase in the production of gastric juice in your four-legged friend. This in turn leads to over-acidification of his stomach. Heartburn and burns of the mucous membranes in the esophagus and mouth occur. In addition, the acid permanently damages your pet’s teeth.
Algae lime also contains iodine and an increased proportion of magnesium. Iodine can be problematic in dogs with thyroid disease. The high magnesium content supports the formation of struvite stones in your four-legged friend. This is a special type of urinary stone.
Have your vet check your calcium levels
You must refrain from feeding your dog dietary supplements with calcium simply out of instinct. This applies to every situation and every age of your four-legged friend.
Before you reach for calcium products, get advice from your veterinarian. Maybe these are not necessary at all. If your vet sees a need, she will recommend an ideal product for your dog.
Frequently Asked Question
How can I give my dog calcium?
Since the dog can store calcium in the bones and can release it in the body when needed, it is sufficient to calculate the calcium requirement over e.g. a week and to feed it a piece of bone 1-2 times a week.
What is calcium deficiency in dogs?
Early clinical symptoms include wheezing and restlessness. Cramps, tics, muscle spasms, stiffness, and lack of coordination may also occur. The dog may become confused, hypersensitive, and aggressive, as well as howling and drooling.
Are egg shells good for dogs?
Can dogs eat eggshells? While the egg itself isn’t particularly high in calcium, the shells are rich in important nutrients. If you feed your dog with ready-to-eat food, supplementation with minerals is usually not necessary.
Is yogurt healthy for dogs?
Yes, dogs can eat yogurt! However, so that the yogurt is easily digestible for dogs, you should make sure that the yogurt is free of sugar and artificial additives.
How much calcium per day dog?
As a guideline, however, one can say that a dog needs about 50 mg of calcium per kg of body weight per day.
How much calcium is in dog food?
The experts’ requirement values for calcium and phosphorus are different and vary between 50 – 90 mg calcium/kg per body weight.
What vitamins does a dog need every day?
Your dog needs iron, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K. But since vitamins are sometimes not contained in sufficient quantities in daily food, specialized manufacturers have developed tablets and powders that provide your dog with the missing nutrients must.
Is vitamin D dangerous for dogs?
Too much vitamin D is life-threatening for dogs
An overdose of vitamin D is extremely dangerous for dogs. This can lead to symptoms such as vomiting, loss of appetite, increased thirst, increased urination, excessive drinking, and weight loss.