Calcium Supplements for Dogs - The Best Sources
We have all heard about calcium and how it gives us humans strong and healthy bones and teeth. We supplement our calcium intake with calcium supplements, which begs the question, does it apply to dogs too? Do calcium supplements for dogs really work?
We explain the nitty gritty of calcium supplements for dogs in this article.
What does calcium do for dogs?
Calcium is an essential mineral, even for dogs. It lends support to our furry friend’s teeth and bone strength. Calcium also helps your dog’s blood clot in the proper manner. Other benefits of calcium for dogs include helping your dog’s muscles lengthen and contract.
There are serious consequences to a calcium deficiency in dogs so it is important to ensure your dog is getting sufficient calcium in their diet.
How much calcium does my dog need?
The Association of American Feed Control officials (AAFCO) has recommended that adult dogs have at least 1.25 mg calcium/kcal. This means for every 1,100 kcal of food, 1.25 grams of it must be calcium.
To determine how much calcium your dog needs, factor in your dog’s weight and size to first determine how many calories are needed to find out the amount of calcium.
Best sources of calcium for your dogs
Now that you roughly know how much calcium is needed for your buddy, there are a few main sources of calcium that you can add to your dog’s diet.
Yoghurt is a great source of calcium for your dog. You can add a spoonful of yoghurt (depending on your dog’s size) to your dog’s food and most dogs love it!
If your dog is overweight, go for low-fat yoghurt for it’s calcium benefits.
Many dogs prefer the taste of cottage cheese although all types of cheese are great sources of calcium. With that being said, you need to be careful about which types of cheese you feed your dog as you do not want to include cheese with herbs as it may be toxic to your dogs.
Safe types of cheeses for dogs are:
- Cottage cheese
- Goat cheese
- Plain low-fat cheese
Add a slice of cheese or break it into bite-size pieces to your dog’s meals.
Some dogs love vegetables and some don’t. Add a cup of vegetables to your dog’s food or as a snack so that it receives adequate calcium.
Vegetables that are high in calcium content include:
- Bok Choy
Bones are a rich source of calcium for your dog. However, allowing your dog to chew on bones comes with its own risk, such as hurting your dog’s mouth or causing stomach issues if bones are not adequately chewed. Be careful.
It is better to choose bones that are safer for dogs and incorporating ground bone into its diet is better.
Ground bone for dogs
Ground bone is just like what it is - bone grounded into powder form. Dogs and bones have been associated with each other for centuries because dogs love bones. Ground bone allows your dog to get all the nutritional benefits from it without any of the risks that come from chewing on dog bones.
Can my dog drink milk for calcium?
Milk is a good source of calcium. However, it is not the best choice for your dogs. Many dogs are lactose intolerant and may not react well to milk. Your dog may experience a stomach upset, have an excess amount of gas or bloating if it drinks milk.
Do dogs need calcium supplements?
As dogs rely on calcium for growth, healthy bone and teeth maintenance, proper functioning and building of muscles, and maintaining a strong heart and nervous system, it is essential to ensure dogs have enough calcium. Dogs have to consume calcium as their bodies are unable to produce this mineral naturally.
Most types of dog food are balanced and already meet all your dog’s calcium needs.
When to give your dog calcium supplements?
With that said, should you give your dog calcium supplements? There are times that dogs with specific health concerns may benefit from calcium supplements such as having symptoms of calcium deficiency. Known as hypocalcemia, symptoms include loss of appetite, weakness, muscle twitching and seizures. If your dog has rickets, it is also a symptom of a calcium deficiency.
The best calcium for dogs is the ones that meet the nutritional requirements of your dog such as Petcubes’ Sea Coral Calcium which is made from a natural source of calcium from the Caribbean.
Consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog a calcium supplement. Your vet can help you determine the best course of treatment for your dog.