What is calcium?
Calcium is a mineral essential in developing and maintaining a healthy dog. It helps in the development and maintenance of strong bones, teeth, nails and coat.
It also aids in digestion, enables blood clotting, assists with the release of hormones and helps facilitate heart and nerve function.
Calcium supplementation for dogs
If you feed your dog on mass-produced commercial food, you don’t need to worry about supplementing his or her diet with calcium. That will have been done for you. With synthetic calcium phosphates or carbonates. And if you oversupplement a dog’s diet with calcium, that can cause problems. Particularly later in life.
Natural calcium supplementation for dogs
If on the other hand you make homemade food for your dog, you will need to supplement his or her diet with calcium.
Animals (humans included) are unable to produce their own calcium. Where supplementation is necessary, nothing but nothing beats supplementing with the bountiful produce of nature. Vitamins and minerals which are far better absorbed and digested into a dog’s body than with any synthetic supplement.
A certain amount of calcium can be provided by feeding your dog the likes of leafy green vegetables. Likewise eggs, dairy products such as yogurt and cheese, and fish such as tuna, salmon and sardines.
But the bulk of it is likely to come either in the form of bones, crushed eggshells, or a combination of the two.
Calcium from bones
Raw, uncooked, meaty bones are great for dogs. They’re just not very convenient sometimes. And they can, on occasion, even cause your dog health problems in terms of constipation or even intestinal blockages. They’re messy apart from anything else. And, if you’re making homemade food for your dog and choose to supplement his or her calcium intake with bones, you will need to provide a regular and consistent supply.
Dog calcium from ground eggshells
Next to uncooked bones, ground eggshells are the richest source of calcium on the planet. Not only that, they’re readily available, easy to store, clean to handle and simple to apportion. And, well, they’re just pretty darned wonderful considering the fact they’re made from a part of an egg we would normally confine to the waste bin. And in addition to everything else, eggshells contain phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, zinc, manganese, iron and copper.
How much calcium is required?
A healthy adult dog normally requires about 50mg of calcium per kilogram of bodyweight per day. So, a 5kg dog needs 250mg of calcium a day. A 25kg dog needs 1250mg a day. And a 50kg dog needs 2500mg a day. Simples!
So there you have it. If you feed your dog a commercial kibble diet, you can do more harm than good by supplementing with extra calcium. If on the other hand you make homemade food for your dog, nothing is better than my Dog Chef Calcium, previously known as Essential Calcium for Dogs. Especially as it’s made in the UK from the eggs laid by my own free-range chickens.