Just as it is for humans, dogs need calcium too. Whey your dog gets a sufficient amount of calcium in its diet, the dog will have stronger, healthier teeth, bones, nails, and coat. Calcium for dogs also improves their nervous system.
But what are the best sources of calcium for dogs? What are the symptoms of calcium deficiency in dogs? And what’s a healthy daily amount of calcium a dog should have? We’ll cover all these questions and more so that you’ll be able to improve your dog’s health.
What’s a Healthy Daily Amount of Calcium for a Dog’s Diet?
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) recommends that adult dogs get at least 1.25 mg calcium/kcal, which is 1.25 grams for every 1,000 kcal. You’ll need to factor in your dog’s weight and size to determine how many calories they need a day, which will determine the amount of calcium.
Related Link: Are the Calories on Your Dog Food Label Correct?
The Very Best Sources of Calcium for Dogs
These sources shouldn’t surprise you, but working them into your dog’s diet can be more difficult. The best sources of calcium for dogs:
Yogurt is the most significant source of calcium for dogs. Yogurt contains 450 mg of calcium in 1 cup. Depending on your dog’s size, you may only need to give your dog a spoonful or two to provide the necessary calcium.
How to Incorporate Yogurt into Your Dog’s Diet:
Add a dollop of plain yogurt to your dog’s meal, and they will be so excited.
Cheese is high in calcium because it is a dairy product. Hard cheeses, like cheddar or jack, contain 200 mg of calcium for 1 ounce of cheese.
How to Incorporate Cheese into Your Dog’s Diet:
Add a slice of cheese, broken into bite-size pieces to your dog’s meal. Many dogs prefer cottage cheese, which has 65 mg of calcium in a half-cup. Just add a 1/2 cup to your dog’s food.
3. Chicken and Fish
Chicken is an excellent protein source that contains an adequate amount of calcium. Salmon, trout, mackerel, and sardines also have high calcium content from 170 mg to 370 mg.
Because both proteins have sufficient calcium, these meats are often in many types of dog food. If you buy chicken or fish infused dog food, you should check the label for calcium content.
How to Incorporate Chicken and Fish into Your Dog’s Diet:
You might not need to do a thing if your dog food already contains enough chicken or fish. If not, you may want to switch to a higher calcium dog food that contains more chicken and fish. You can also supplement their diet with chicken and fish food scraps.
They’ll love you for it.
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Related Link: 5 Reasons Why Whole Fish is Good for Your Dog
Some vegetables are very high in calcium. These vegetables are highest in calcium:
- Acorn squash
- Bok Choy
- Collard greens
- Mustard greens
Spinach and broccoli contain the highest amounts of calcium. Spinach has 240 mg for one cup, and broccoli has 180 mg for one cup.
How to Incorporate Vegetables into Your Dog’s Diet:
Some dogs love vegetables and some don’t. This is where you’ll have to know your dog. Vegetables are also great because they are low fat. For dogs that struggle with their weight, this may be a healthy option for calcium.
Cut up a cup full of vegetables into bite-size pieces and add them to your dog’s meal or as a snack or treat.
Bones are often a rich source of calcium. And dogs love to chew on bones but be careful. Some bones can hurt your dog’s mouth or cause stomach issues. And if your dog is a gulper, then bones that aren’t adequately chewed can cause internal organ damage. Know your dog.
How to Incorporate Bones into Your Dog’s Diet:
You can give your dog raw or cooked bones as a treat. However, cooked bones are best for digestion. If you’re worried about your dog choking on a bone, a safe way to add bone to your dog’s diet is to crush the bone into a powder and add it to your dog’s food.
6. Calcium Supplements
Probably the easiest way to add calcium to your dog’s diet is a calcium supplement. Supplements take the guesswork out of giving your dog the right amount of calcium to boost their immune system and strengthen bones and teeth.
How to Incorporate Calcium Supplements into Your Dog’s Diet:
Calcium supplements for dogs are usually food toppers, dog treats, or powders that are easy to add to your dog’s food.
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What are the Symptoms of Calcium Deficiency in Dogs?
Calcium deficiency can cause several disorders including, inflammation of the pancreas, kidney failure, parathyroid gland failure, and hypocalcemia. The symptoms of calcium deficiency in dogs are:
- Lack of appetite
- Muscle twitching
If you think your dog has a calcium deficiency, you should contact your veterinarian. They’ll want to see your dog to diagnose properly. If your dog does have calcium deficiency, your veterinarian will probably prescribe a calcium supplement.
Add Calcium to Your Dog’s Diet to Improve its Health
By adding calcium to your dog’s diet, you’ll improve your dog’s overall health while strengthening bones, teeth, and coat. And your dog will love the extra treat, whether it’s yogurt, cheese, vegetables, or meat.
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Related Link: Adding Vitamins Vs. Real Food to Your Dog’s Diet