First, there are several nutrients that are essential for the vital functions of animals because they contribute to the formation of tissues, organs and maintenance of metabolism in general. And one of the main ones is precisely calcium.
However, as the animals went through the domestication process, they stopped ingesting satisfactory amounts of this mineral.
This is harmful, as calcium is very important at all stages of the animal’s life. Especially during growth, when bones and other structures are forming.
But vitamin D and Phosphorus are also essential for the absorption and utilization of calcium. Therefore, good nutrition is the best strategy to ensure the supply of this mineral.
And if you want to know more about why calcium is so important to dogs and how to provide this mineral to your pet, please continue reading this text until the end.
Why is calcium important for dogs?
Calcium is a very important nutrient for dogs because it helps in the optimal formation of their skeleton and also their teeth.
Although this is the main use of this mineral, it is also essential for the nervous, muscular and hormonal systems of animals.
But for a good use of it, it is essential to have a good balance between the amounts of calcium and phosphorus.
Therefore, it is necessary that the diet is well balanced and that the amounts of minerals are well controlled.
It is important to make it clear that excess is also very harmful. Therefore, it is necessary to learn to control the amounts well and supplement only when it is really necessary.
Understand the relationship between phosphorus and calcium in dogs’ diet
When analyzing a piece of bone-in meat, it can be said that the meat itself is rich in phosphorus, while the bone serves as a source of calcium.
A lot of people don’t know this, but phosphorus is also essential for an animal to have strong teeth and bones.
Furthermore, it is necessary for the body to be able to properly take advantage of sources of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
This is essential so that tissues can grow and remain healthy at all times. Cellular repair is also phosphorus-dependent.
Along with this, there is calcium, which is mainly in the composition of bones. In addition, it is essential for several functions of the body, such as cardiovascular, neuromuscular, endocrine and immune system.
Therefore, make sure your dog’s food has similar amounts of calcium and phosphorus, in a 1:1 ratio.
What is the recommended dose of calcium in the dog’s diet?
If you are concerned about the importance of calcium in your dog’s diet, you need to know what the most recommended amount of this nutrient is.
Therefore, the recommended amount of calcium for adult dogs is 120 mg/kg/day. That is, for a 10 kg dog, the intake should be 1.2 grams.
However, the calculation is quite different for puppies, as they have a requirement for calcium up to 3 times greater.
As such, they need at least 320 mg for every pound of body weight.
Despite these recommendations, the veterinarian is the best person to make the daily calcium recommendation for your animal.
Ideally, quantities should be calculated according to the individual needs of each animal.
How do you Can know if your dog is getting enough calcium or not?
Now that you know a little about why calcium is so important to dogs, you may be wondering how to make sure your pet is getting adequate amounts of the mineral.
Remember that both a lack and excess of calcium are potentially dangerous to your health.
Therefore, it is important to measure these levels. And the best way to do this is with a blood test ordered during your pet’s routine visit.
If you notice that your stools are white, this indicates that your body is eliminating excess calcium you have eaten.
In this case, the dog probably has a supply of the mineral much higher than his daily needs.
The mineral deficiency case is more difficult to detect, but you may notice that the dog starts licking or gnawing on the walls.
This is because in general the composition of the wall takes large amounts of this mineral.
But be aware that this behavior can also indicate that the animal is under stress, for example.
So, if you notice that your dog is ingesting pieces of wall, take him to the veterinarian for a blood dose of the mineral.
What are the most calcium-rich foods?
You already understand that calcium is so important to dogs, don’t you? But you also need to know which are the foods that have the most significant amounts of this mineral and that you can include in the animal’s diet.
However, before including any food in your pet’s diet, it is very important to consult your trusted veterinarian.
Remember that dry rations are the most suitable food for everyday use, and supplementation with other ingredients should only happen when it is really necessary and recommended by a professional.
Obviously, bones are the ingredients that have the greatest amounts of calcium, as they are the largest deposit of the mineral in the body.
Raw bones are the biggest source of calcium. It is important to say that it is not recommended that they be cooked before offering them to the animals.
It is relatively simple to find these bones in meat houses. Their price is also low and in some cases butchers give away free.
Egg shells are great sources of calcium
Egg shells are excellent ingredients for the health of animals because they have high levels of calcium, in addition to magnesium and zinc.
Therefore, this is a great ingredient to be used to complement the dog’s diet.
If you prefer, you can purchase the powdered eggshell natural supplement. But it is also possible to prepare this at home easily.
Just remove the hard-boiled egg shells and let them dry very well. After that, just crush them with your hands or with a food processor or blender.
The important thing is to leave the husk well ground, almost in powder form, to avoid digestion problems or bruises on the stomach mucosa.
Natural yogurt without sugar
Plain yogurt is one more calcium-rich food you can give your pet when recommended by a veterinarian.
In addition to providing considerable amounts of calcium, this food also provides beneficial bacteria for the intestinal mucosa.
However, here it is important to point out that you should only offer your animal yogurt if recommended by a professional.
Milk and cheese as sources of calcium for dogs
Milk is also an excellent source of calcium, but not all dogs can properly tolerate and digest food.
In general, goat’s milk is better tolerated as dogs can digest it properly.
Lactose-free milk is also a viable alternative, but it should preferably be diluted in water to reduce the likelihood of causing diarrhea in the animal.
For most dogs, cheese is better accepted. In this case, it is possible to add small pieces to the ration every day.
You can also use cheese as snacks. But remember to always select those that have the lowest salt content.
Some fish such as salmon, sardines and trout have considerable amounts of calcium in addition to other important nutrients.
Therefore, you can substitute fish for beef once or twice a week to ensure the dog gets an extra dose of calcium.
How to strengthen the dog’s bones?
Calcium is very important for dogs, especially as it enters the animal’s body composition.
Low intake of this mineral can lead to bone problems, but there are also other ways to prevent them from happening.
So, here are some very important tips to avoid the appearance of bone problems in your pet.
Good nutrition is essential for the health of dogs
There is no doubt that food is the fundamental factor to guarantee the supply of essential nutrients for the animal.
It is through a balanced diet that the dog will have everything he needs for the development of his body, including cells, tissues and organs.
In the case of calcium, adequate amounts contribute to the health of bones, joints, muscle function and maintenance of metabolism in general.
Offering a high quality feed that has a balanced and adequate formulation is essential.
In this case, it is important to select a food suitable for the physical size, breed and age of your animal.
Following this recommendation, it will hardly be necessary to supplement calcium in the animal’s diet.
Despite this, in some cases this can happen and you will need to follow the recommendations of a trained veterinarian.
Top Vitamins for Dog Bone Health
Calcium is very important for the bone health of dogs, but not just calcium. There are several other nutrients that are essential for this.
Here are some of the main nutrients for a dog’s health:
- Vitamin A:powerful antioxidant, it is essential to eliminate free radicals, reducing the incidence of health problems caused by them. It is essential to avoid movement problems and ensure the dog’s joint health;
- Vitamin C:is a fundamental component for the formation of cartilage, as it helps in the proper maintenance of this type of formation;
- Vitamin D: itis essential for the adequate absorption of calcium and correct use by the animal’s body.
Physical exercise and bone strength
If you care about the health of your pet’s body and the strength of its bones, it’s important to maintain a physical activity routine with your pet.
Frequent movement is important to ensure that nutrients reach the dog’s bones and also improve joint lubrication.
Therefore, when the animal becomes very sedentary, it can end up having the health of the body compromised.
Taking daily walks is the best way to encourage your dog’s physical activity. And it helps you stay active and keep your bones and joints healthy too.
But not only that. It is possible to do even more fun activities, such as playing balls, running, riding a bike, or any other game that encourages movement.