The Benefits of Calcium for Dogs

Calcium for dogs is essential for maintaining healthy bones and teeth. Your dog needs to get a balanced diet that is rich in calcium. Calcium is highly mportant during and after pregnancy, and in the production of milk for the newborn puppies.

Healthy Teeth and Bones

Dogs need calcium to develop and maintain strong teeth and bones.

A deficit of calcium may lead to a medical condition known as rickets. The bones become soft and are not strong enough to maintain the weight of the dog, and this may lead to fractures or other complications.

On the other hand, calcium in excess may lead to bone abnormalities, especially if the dog is in his growth period. The dog may develop large bones, but these will be low in density.

Blood Coagulation

Calcium is a mineral that plays an important role in blood coagulation. A lack of calcium may lead to blood coagulation disorders.

Muscle Contraction and Nerve Impulse Transmission

Calcium is essential in muscle contraction and nerve impulse transmission. If calcium is in deficit, the dog will have slow reflexes and may also have trouble in moving.

Preventing Eclampsia

Eclampsia, also known as milk fever, is a condition that can occur in lactating mothers. Eclampsia is due to a calcium deficit; the mother needs more calcium to produce milk and if supplements are not administered, the dog will be highly agitated and may have seizures, fever and muscle tremors.

Calcium Absorption

Calcium can be properly absorbed if taken together with the right amounts of phosphorous and vitamin D.

Calcium must be in a healthy balance with phosphorous so that it has the best health benefits for your dog. The calcium-phosphorous ratio should be about 1 or 2 parts of calcium and 1 part phosphorous. A diet prevailing in meats may lead to an imbalanced ratio (i.e., 1 part calcium to 18 parts of phosphorus) and cause bone deficiencies.

Vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium. However, if in excess, vitamin D can be toxic for dogs. The necessary amount of vitamin D depends on the dog’s age, breed and health condition. Talk to your vet about the optimal amount of vitamin D and provide supplements if needed.

Calcium and Pregnancy

Supplementing calcium during pregnancy is not recommended, as it may lead to delivery complications, soft tissue calcium deposits in the newborn puppies or joint abnormalities. After birth, the mother should get extra calcium.

Sources of Calcium

Calcium may be found in dairy products, bones, legumes, grains or meat. Commercial dog food typically contains calcium, but you can check with your vet to make sure your dog gets the correct amount of calcium. Supplements of calcium are also available.

It is essential that calcium is administrated in the right amounts in your dog’s diet. Calcium should be taken in conjunction with phosphorous (in the optimal ratio) and vitamin D.