Calcium is one of the macro supplements of the body. Calcium is required in large amounts for essential growth, development, and everyday functions of the body. Calcium, along with other minerals, is pivotal for the healthy development of bones, muscle functioning, blood pressure, heart functioning, development of teeth, and maintaining a healthy nervous system.
A balanced dog food contains the optimum amount of calcium required for your furry friend. Due to some reasons, your furry friend may need calcium supplements to avoid serious health problems. In this article, you will learn a comprehensive guide on calcium supplements for dogs.
What are calcium supplements?
Calcium supplements include various forms of calcium that you can offer to your furry friend. Your furry friend may need calcium if he is suffering from hypocalcemia. Hypocalcemia is the deficiency of calcium in blood that can result in serious implications.
To counter hypocalcemia, calcium supplements from various sources can be offered to dogs. Calcium supplements contain calcium combined with ascorbate, gluconate, lactate, phosphate, or carbonate. Another source of calcium is bone meal.
Under normal circumstances, a dog does not need calcium supplements. Good quality dog food contains enough calcium to fulfill the body’s needs. However, if your dog is on a homemade diet or suffering from a medical condition, he may need calcium supplementation.
There is one thing to keep in mind Don’t use calcium supplementation without the approval of your veterinarian. Your veterinarian is responsible for checking the medical condition of your dog and telling you if your dog needs calcium supplementation or not.
Functions of calcium in the body
Calcium is one of the most important minerals in the body. Calcium is required throughout the body of your dog. Without calcium, even the most important systems of the body e.g. digestive system, skeletal system, and cardiovascular systems won’t work.
Some of the most important functions of calcium are described here.
- Calcium is essential for every muscle movement in the body. The contraction and relaxation of muscles depends on the availability of calcium.
- Heart muscles work on the same principle as skeletal muscles. They also need calcium for contraction. The rhythmical contraction of the heart, blood pressure, and normal blood flow depend on calcium availability.
- Calcium assists in wound healing. The healing cascade, a normal physiological sequence of wound healing, requires the availability of calcium.
- Calcium is a part of signal transmission in the body. Several functions that require signal transmission need calcium. One of those functions is the release of hormones. Calcium plays an essential role in the release of hormones in the body.
- Bones are a rich source of calcium in the body. Calcium provides the necessary strength to the bones. The skeletal formation and bone strength depend on calcium.
- Digestion and absorption of food from the digestive tract are greatly affected by the presence of calcium. Calcium aids in both processes and is essential for the muscular contraction of the digestive tract or peristalsis.
Foods that are good sources of calcium
Good quality dog foods contain a balanced amount of calcium. However, there are a lot of food sources that contain calcium. Your dog can easily benefit from these food sources of calcium. These sources of calcium include the following.
How can you identify calcium deficiency in your dog
A pet parent needs to pay attention to the low calcium symptoms. If your dog is suffering from low calcium or hypocalcemia, his body functions will not work properly. Calcium is an essential component of milk. If your dog is nursing many offspring and producing milk in large amounts, he is at greater risk of suffering.
As a pet parent, you can easily identify certain symptoms that relate to hypocalcemia in your dog. Symptoms include,
- Muscle tremors
- Unusual behavior or agitation
- Excessive drinking and urination
These symptoms may also be seen in other diseases. Laboratory tests are required to differentiate hypocalcemia from other diseases.
Best Vet-Recommended Calcium Supplements for Dogs
Calcium supplements are available in various forms. You can have calcium supplement powder, chewable, or tablet. There are many sources of calcium but eggshells and seaweed are the most common. Starting your dog on a calcium supplement should be at the discretion of your veterinarian. Too little calcium and too much calcium both are problematic for your dog. Here are some reputable calcium supplement brands for your dog.
Animal Essentials Seaweed Calcium Supplement
Red seaweed is a rich source of minerals. Seaweed contains many essential minerals that your dog needs. The mineral composition of this supplement contains calcium, zinc, magnesium, and boron. The source of seaweed is Iceland. Seaweed is first harvested, cleaned, and then heat processed. The supplement is converted into powder form. The supplement is made odorless to avoid disliking.
NaturVet Calcium-Phosphorus For Dogs Plus Vitamin D
This supplement contains vitamin D which is essential for the absorption of calcium from the digestive tract. The absorption of calcium from the digestive tract depends on the availability of vitamin D. In the absence of vitamin D, calcium can’t be absorbed. This powdered supplement ensures the absorption of calcium and thus building and maintenance of healthy bones.
Nutrition Strength Calcium Phosphorus Supplement
This calcium supplement ensures enough supply of calcium needed for optimum growth, development, and metabolic needs. Calcium and phosphorous are the two main minerals present in bones. This supplement ensures healthy bone development and maintaining strength.
Calcium is the primary mineral essential for growth, development, and maintaining normal physiological functions. Calcium should be an essential part of your dog’s diet. You should provide good quality dog food containing an optimum amount of calcium. If your dog is unable to get calcium from food, calcium supplements become essential.
How calcium supplements are given?
Calcium supplements can be given in tablet, injection, or food. Most of the calcium supplements are spread over the food just before eating.
What if I miss one dose of supplements?
If you miss any dose of supplement, you can give it whenever you want. If the next time of dose is close, you can skip it and give the next dose.
Are there any side effects of calcium supplementation?
If given at optimum, calcium supplementation does not cause any side effects. However, too much calcium can cause deficiency of other nutrients.
Is there something that I need to be cautious of?
While supplementing your dog with calcium, your veterinarian should monitor the blood profile and urine profile of your dog. Blood profile monitoring may include monitoring of mineral blood levels and parathyroid hormone.