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What Are the Best Sources of Calcium for Dogs?

Dry dog food is sometimes enriched with calcium.
Salmon is a good food source of Vitamin D and calcium.
Fish, bones, cheese and yogurt can be used to supplement the calcium found in canned and bagged dog foods.
Yogurt can be a source of calcium for dogs.
Some fish are acceptable for consumption and a good source of calcium for dogs.
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  • Written By: Soo Owens
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 17 August 2014
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Calcium deficiency is a common problem among domesticated canines. Dogs need calcium to ensure good health, facilitate proper bone development, and prevent health complications. Calcium is found in enriched products such as canned and bagged dog food. Incorporating dairy items like cheese and yogurt into a dog's diet can also provide a substantial amount of calcium for dogs. Fish and bones are other sources of calcium, but these foods should be properly prepared by the owner before the dog consumes them.

Prepackaged dog foods found in most supermarkets usually contain at least small amounts of calcium from their numerous ingredients. These ingredients, however, undergo processing that results in a significant loss of essential vitamins and minerals. Adding other foods to a dog's diet is recommended to ensure that it consumes enough calcium. Dairy products, like yogurts, cheeses, and cottage cheese, are a great source of calcium for dogs and can be mixed in with dry dog food.

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Vegetables and legumes such as broccoli, spinach, and beans are rich in calcium, but many dogs will refuse to eat them, finding their taste unappetizing. Some fish are also acceptable for consumption and a good source of calcium for dogs. Tuna and salmon contain high levels of calcium nutrients and are affordable options for dog owners. Sardines and trout also provide essential vitamins and minerals, are high in protein and calcium, and taste great to dogs. Raw fish can cause stomach problems in dogs, so the dog owner should thoroughly cook the fish prior to feeding.

Bones are another healthy source of calcium for dogs but require some preparation before they can be fed to them. For their safety, dogs should not chew on small or large bones. Most veterinarians agree that bones should be processed with a blender into a fine powder and then added to the dog's food. Whole bones can splinter as a dog chews them and cause internal puncture wounds and bleeding. Some dog owners avoid bones altogether, choosing to grind up eggshells instead.

Calcium supplements are an option reserved for when other methods fail. Most vets recommend supplements if a dog is unable to maintain recommended calcium levels from a balanced diet or if a calcium deficiency has been diagnosed. Dog owners do not require a prescription to obtain the supplements. They can easily purchase supplements at local and online pet stores.

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Discuss this Article

burcidi
Post 4

@fBoyle-- My dog had the same issue. I mentioned it to my vet and he told me to giver her milk with water in it. I mix water and milk at a 1:1 ratio. She doesn't get diarrhea anymore, you should try that.

If your dog likes plain yogurt, or egg whites, you could give him those as a daily snack as well. The good part about yogurt is that it contains beneficial bacteria so it regulates the digestive system. If your dog regularly has diarrhea or constipation, yogurt will help a lot.

Especially pups need to be given a lot of calcium rich foods since their bones are still developing. Calcium deficiency in dogs can be detrimental when they are older as they can easily suffer from fractures and osteoporosis.

fBoyle
Post 3

@Instion-- I tried giving my dog milk and he likes it too but milk gives him diarrhea so I stopped doing that. Now I give him a dog vitamin with calcium.

donasmrs
Post 2

Bones are probably the best source of calcium for dogs. I give my dogs bones whenever I cook chicken or meat at home. I don't worry about processing the bones though. I give them medium sized, boiled bones and let them chew on them. They eat the cartilages on both ends and then chew on the rest. They consume the soft stuff inside the bone too. If I make meat stew or beef broth, I also give them some of the broth. They love broth and guess what, calcium from the bones are also found in broth.

There is also calcium in their dry dog food, so I think we have calcium covered.

Instion
Post 1

What about milk products? Are they good for dogs with calcium deficiencies?

Are certain breeds more susceptible to this deficiency than others? Is it less common in mutts as they usually don't have the health issues that purebred dogs have?

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