Calcium Needs for Dogs Who Eat Raw Food

by Lori Corrigan
    Supplementation restores the calcium deficiency typically found in raw food diets.

    Supplementation restores the calcium deficiency typically found in raw food diets.

    Chris Amaral/Photodisc/Getty Images

    Some dogs, like their human counterparts, require nutritional supplements to stay healthy. If you feed your dog a raw diet, you already realize he needs certain nutritive additions for complete nutrition. Calcium is particularly important. Consult your vet before making changes.

    Supplementation

    Calcium levels are significantly low in most raw diets; unless your dog receives raw bones as natural supplementation, alternative sources are necessary. For example, a 75-pound dog typically requires a daily dose of 1,840 milligrams of calcium yet might be getting less than 1,700 milligrams from his varied food sources. If fiber is added to the diet, the dosage he consumes drops even more due to absorption. Increasing the daily amount to 2,000 mg in this case effectively counteracts the deficiency.

    Sources

    Your first thought may be to add yogurt to your dog's raw diet, but he'd have to consume 40 cups to meet his calcium needs. Recommendations include commercially available calcium citrate or calcium carbonate; bone meal, if your dog also requires additional phosphorus; or a finely crushed egg shell. After rinsing well, bake the shell at 300 degrees F for 10 minutes, then grind it to powder. Each teaspoon is equivalent to approximately 2,200 milligrams of calcium carbonate.

    Photo Credits

    • Chris Amaral/Photodisc/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Based in Arizona, Lori Corrigan is a social media collaborator with more than 25 years of experience in research writing and editing. Her work has appeared in "Ladies' Home Journal," "Woman's Day" and "Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul," covering topics such as business, psychology, animal welfare and academia.

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