Canine Calcium Needs

by Betty Lewis
Commercially prepared dog food diets meet a dog's calcium requirements.

Commercially prepared dog food diets meet a dog's calcium requirements.

Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

Calcium is one of 12 essential minerals your pup requires to maintain optimal health. People grow up learning calcium helps build strong bones and teeth, and it's no different for Sparky. If you cook for him, it's important he doesn't get too little or too much of this vital mineral.

Calcium Requirements

The Merck Veterinary Manual notes the Association of American Feed Control Officials, or AAFCO, recommends calcium comprise a minimum 1 percent of a dog's diet for "growth and reproduction" and 0.6 percent for adult maintenance, with a maximum allowable intake of 2.5 percent. Merck cites the National Resource Council's recommendations, which include 1 gram of calcium per 1000 calories of food consumed for an adult dog and 3 grams of calcium per 1000 calories for puppies after they're weaned. If Sparky eats a commercial diet, he should be getting sufficient calcium. If you're cooking for him, choose a diet approved by a vet or nutritionist and follow the recipe to ensure he doesn't suffer from too little -- or too much -- calcium.

Photo Credits

  • Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

About the Author

Betty Lewis is a writer and editor specializing in pet care, animals, careers and emergency management. She previously ran an animal shelter, where she also served as a kennel attendant and dog trainer. Lewis holds a bachelor's degree in journalism, an M.B.A. and a master's degree in professional studies.

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