Dog Food Myth Buster – Calcium

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Arnie milk (2)Myth: It’s commonly thought that extra calcium is good for bone growth in puppies and  supplementing a growing puppy’s diet with milk is a good idea.

However, this is not entirely true, although calcium helps to build healthy strong bones and calcium is also an essential mineral that is needed throughout the dog’s body to maintain general health. Their bones and teeth, blood clotting function, nervous and muscular systems all rely on calcium but like many nutrients, supplying too much can be as harmful as too little.

It’s best to avoid supplementing calcium to a growing puppy unless he or she has a specific calcium deficiency. The ideal way to ensure your puppy gets enough calcium to grow correctly is to feed the right amount of a growth food designed for your puppy’s breed or breed type. Of course with a blend, this is designed specifically for your puppy’s dietary requirements and contains all the bone minerals in the right amounts for him to grow and develop.

Giving cow’s milk to drink used to be a common practice with puppies and young dogs, but it can also be problematic as most dogs will lose the enzymes needed to digest the lactose in the milk as they grow, so milk can cause digestive problems and sickness and in a milder form, gas and stomach bloating.

Like puppies, adult dogs don’t need supplements either, if they are fed a good diet. One exception to this is during gestation when some mothers will need more calcium due to the large litter size. Too much calcium can often cause problems with adults, for instance excess calcium can lead to calcium oxalate bladder crystals so it is not recommended to supplement calcium unless your dog is deficient.

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