Calcium is essential for your dog’s good health, but adding calcium supplements for dogs isn’t necessarily the best way to go about ensuring your dog is getting enough in their diet.
Not only does enough calcium need to be provided, but it should also be consumed in a form that’s most bio-available (easily absorbed and used by your dog) and in the correct ratio with other essential nutrients.
Calcium Alone Is Not Enough
We need to make sure to maintain an appropriate calcium to phosphorus ratio, something that’s just as important as providing adequate amounts of either mineral on its own.
Adding to the challenges of bioavailability, adequate supply and proper balancing of various nutritional elements, we also need to consider the dangers of over-supplementing with calcium.
Some of the side effects of over supplementation of calcium for dogs include hip malformation and other bone and cartilage problems.
Here at Rawmate, we believe the best option is to provide the right amount of calcium through an optimised feeding program by using whole, natural foods.
Being owned by 2 x German Shepherd Dogs already has us on high alert in terms of calcium intake. Responsible GSD owners are aware of the dangers and more importantly conscious of the potential for Canine Hip Dysplasia
Yes. This is a Russian Canine Skeletal Diagram. Pretty Cool, I thought...
Understanding the Dangers of Calcium Deficiency for Dogs?
Failing to provide a diet with a sufficient calcium intake can have serious health consequences for your dog.
Essential in development, growth and maintenance of your dog’s bones and teeth, calcium also plays a role in heart function, immune system health and hormonal balance.
A deficiency in calcium is obviously something we want to avoid in our dog’s diet.
Hypocalcemia (low levels of calcium) may be caused by several serious ailments including kidney disease or pancreatitis. Symptoms include muscle tremors or twitching, vomiting or a change in gait.
A consultation with your vet is always a good place to start when assessing exactly where your dog stands, nutritionally speaking and if extra calcium is required.
Should your dog exhibit symptoms like those above or excessive panting, fever or lethargy, a visit to the vet is necessary to determine what the root cause of the illness may be.
How Does Rawmate Ensure Your Dog Gets Enough (but not too much) Calcium?
At Rawmate, we use 100% natural ingredients in our premium raw dog food meals. Our raw dog food for dogs is complete and balanced according to AAFCO guidelines.
To make sure that your dogs are getting enough calcium we primarily rely on the following six ingredients, each of which is an excellent calcium rich food.
Raw, easily-chewed meaty bones like those found in chicken or turkey necks and wings, or pork or lamb ribs for example, are rich in calcium and go a long way toward providing what your dog needs each day.
These soft, meaty bones should make up at least 10% of your dog’s diet, which is exactly why we include them in every meal.
While your dog will also enjoy the treat of chewing on larger meaty bones (and should, in fact, be given these regularly), please, please, please do NOT feed your dog cooked bones!
Cooking changes the bones and increases the likelihood they will splinter and possibly cause serious medical problems for your dog! Nobody (trust me) wants the situation where your dog’s intestines have been lacerated by a bone shard.
Instead, raw, meaty bones are best. Make sure they are of an appropriate size and then let your dog enjoy the many benefits of providing them with this excellent supplement to their regular meal plan.
2. Egg Shells
Adding finely ground egg shells is another way we help ensure the dog food we produce meets your dog’s calcium requirements.
Egg shells are roughly 40% calcium making them an excellent, calcium-rich addition to your dog’s dinner.
For our range of naturally raw dog food meal plans here at Rawmate, we incorporate egg shells directly into our green vegetable blend, along with egg yolks.
The egg whites themselves are separated by hand and discarded.
3. Ground Sesame Seeds
Did you know that sesame seeds are a great source of calcium?
We grind them up to help make the calcium easily available.
The fact these little nutritional powerhouses also contain other nutrients like magnesium, zinc, copper and vitamin B1, makes it a no-brainer to add these nut-flavoured, fibre-rich seeds to our meals for dogs.
Fish like sardines and salmon are full of soft, calcium-rich bones.
Our Rawmate Original formulation contains a whole sardine and the main reasons for this are because of the contribution of protein, bone & calcium. All in one little fishy.
Sardines contain on average 208 calories and 25 grams of protein per 100g. Wow!
Should you go the DIY route, do your homework properly and keep in mind you need to provide protein from several different sources, mixing it up so your dog winds up getting exactly what they need consistently over time.
Headless Sardines On A Plate
Kale, lauded as a super food for humans, is also a great 100% natural source of calcium that we include into our Rawmate Green Vegetable Blend.
Packed full of antioxidants, Kale has been compared as a “Vegan Beef” because of the protein, iron and calcium contained within this green wrinkly vegetable.
One serving of Kale contains 121 milligrams of Omega-3 fatty acids and may even help the reversal of arthritis, heart disease and a few different autoimmune diseases.
We include Kale as an ingredient in our dog food range for the same reason we all should be eating it as humans.
While a great natural source of calcium, spinach is let down by the fact that only 5% of the calcium it contains is bioavailable and actually able to be used.
Despite the poor bioavailability of calcium contained in Spinach Leaf, it is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants.
Spinach Leaf contains only 23 calories per 100 grams and is 91.4% water and also makes an appearance in our green vegetable blend.
How Much Calcium Does My Dog Need Each Day?
If you are curious about how much calcium a dog needs each day, there’s a standard calculation used based on the dog’s weight.
According to the National Research Council or NRC, a medium-sized adult dog requires about a gram of calcium per day per kilogram of body weight (1000 mg of calcium along with about .75 grams of phosphorus).
Nursing or pregnant dogs need more calcium each day in order to support the needs of growing puppies. Vitamin D is also required to ensure that both calcium and phosphorous are properly metabolised.
Other Sources of Calcium
If you are preparing a homemade whole diet for your dog, you can’t get more whole than hard-boiling an egg (or if raw, use the yolk & shell only) and then, with the shell still on, putting the egg into a blender. Mix the result into your dog’s meal.
Adding some yogurt or small amounts of cheese can also provide a source of additional calcium. Just be sure to do a quick calculation to make sure you aren’t going overboard by providing excess calcium. Be careful when supplementing with dairy as not all dairy products are well tolerated by dogs. Generally, goat milk is easier to digest, though some dogs also do ok with lactose-free milk products.
We do NOT recommend adding these items to our Rawmate meal plans, which are individually tailored and complete and balancedfor your dogs needs.
How Rawmate Does It
At Rawmate we take feeding your dog very seriously.
We’ve formulated our meal plans carefully to make sure your dog is getting exactly the right amounts of all the macro and micro nutrients needed to achieve optimal health and vitality.
Check out our ingredients for yourself and you will understand the importance we place on 100% natural, real, whole food.
Yes, it takes a lot of time, effort and financial capital to source and prepare high-quality, fresh, whole food sources for the vitamins, minerals and nutrients your canine friend needs to thr1ve, but we say it’s well worth it. Don’t you?
Why Rawmate Does It
We are insanely passionate in our belief that Dogs Deserve Better!
Not to mention actually owning a dog has certain health benefits.
Did you know that owning a dog makes you healthier?
Why not help us in the fight against Canine Obesity. Our mission is to help you help your dog.
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What do you do to ensure your dog’s calcium needs are met?