Does Your Dog Need a Calcium Supplement?

Us humans are no strangers to multivitamins. Calcium is definitely on the list of important supplements that we take. It’s known to promote and maintain bone strength as well as muscle, heart, and nerve function. But what if you find that your dog needs it too? Do calcium supplements make sense for your dog? It’s always important to consult with your vet before taking action. If you do, however, find that your dog could do with some calcium supplements, here’s what you should know.
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Calcium is an essential part of your dog’s diet as it promotes growth and healthy bones and teeth. Things like eggs, marrow bone, fish and chicken, dairies, and veggies like spinach, broccoli, sweet potatoes are all rich in calcium. According to Dr. Gary Richter, award-winning vet “All dogs are of the species Canis familiaris and as such have very similar nutritional needs.” Commercial dog food is specifically formulated to meet those needs. If your dog is eating a well-balanced diet, it’s likely that they’re getting the necessaries.

Health Concerns

While the average healthy dog may be getting a sufficient amount of food, there are dogs who suffer from specific health concerns, meaning that the formulated dog food might not be enough. Dogs with specific health issues may benefit from calcium supplements. These conditions can be quite serious with symptoms resulting in loss of appetite, muscle twitching, weakness, and seizures. Rickets, though rare is another disease that occurs from lack of calcium.

Too Much Calcium?

If you find that your dog does need a calcium supplement, be very careful to control the dosage. Too much calcium in the bloodstream, called hypercalcemia, can cause weakness and loss of appetite, and even kidney or bladder stones. Richter has some broad guidelines on picking supplements for dogs:  Stick to brands that have commissioned clinical studies of their products and always read labels carefully. Whatever the case, always consult with your vet.