Canine Calcium Needsby Betty Lewis
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.
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.
- Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images