Calcium in homemade dog food

Many owners feed their dog’s homemade food. But if they don’t contain the right amount of calcium, they can do more harm than good.

If you ask me about the most common mistake people make when feeding their dogs home food, I have to say that it doesn’t add calcium. This error is not only common but also dangerous, especially for puppies, but also for adult dogs if too little calcium is given in the long term. The wrong amount of calcium (too much or too little) can cause orthopedic problems when raising puppies, especially large breed puppies in the first six months when they are growing their fastest. However, too little calcium can cause bone disease and more in adult dogs.

It doesn’t surprise me that many people don’t realize the importance of adding calcium to their home diet. Most of the homemade diet recipes I’ve seen online don’t mention added calcium. I reviewed more than 30 books on the homemade diet for WDJ several years ago. 1 Of the 24 books I reviewed, not all of them were about raw diets, only 10 contained adequate calcium guidelines!

Why is calcium important in dog food

I understand that some people who choose to eat homemade food rely on annual blood tests to see if their dog is getting enough calcium. They believe that when the calcium levels in their dogs’ blood are normal, they should get the right amount of calcium in their diet. Unfortunately, this is not true.

For dogs and humans, the body needs to keep blood calcium levels within a certain range to avoid serious health problems such as muscle loss, seizures, and even death. Adult dogs can control blood calcium levels by getting a higher or lower percentage of calcium from food, depending on the amount consumed. However, this can also be affected by the amount of vitamin D in the diet as vitamin D increases calcium intake. Note that puppies cannot control their calcium intake before puberty and therefore the negative effects of too little or too much calcium and vitamin D are overwhelming. can quickly tolerate.

Dogs (and humans) also control blood calcium levels by storing calcium in their bones and then withdrawing it when needed – when they don’t have enough calcium in their diet. When adult dogs don’t receive enough calcium for long periods of time (for example, months), they develop a condition called secondary hyperparathyroidism. In this situation, the body overproduces parathyroid hormone to take the necessary calcium from its bones, which can also lead to an increase in the level of phosphorus in the blood.

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