Linda Arndt ~ Canine Nutritional Consultant

Dog Calcium Supplements

Calcium, Do I Or Don't I Supplement?

When feeding a commercial dog food to a growing puppy, a pregnant or lactating bitch or an elderly animal, you should NEVER supplement with calcium or a vitamin/mineral supplement. The reason is this, is each type of commercial food has a balanced vitamin and mineral premix formula added on the processed food, at the end of cooking once the food has cooled. This is a requirement by law and by AFFCO regulations for the industry. This premix of vitamin and minerals are very delicately balanced and it is designed on a matrix system. When you alter one thing you have to readjust every other nutrient on the package in order to have a balanced diet. That is the reason we should never supplement calcium to our dogs diet, it will disrupts this fragile balance of the minerals and can cause bone disease as well as predispose a dog to bloat due to excessive gastric secretion.

The premix that is put on all dog foods MUST, by AFFCO regulations be "balanced" in the proper amounts and ratios. When you supplement growing animals with supplements that have calcium, phosphorus or magnesium in them, it can disrupt this balance and cause serious developmental diseases such as HOD, OCD, Pano, Wobblers, Hip and Elbow Dysplasia. On pregnant or lactating bitches you can throw them into eclampsia (milk fever) and on elderly dogs, it is early arthritis.

This is also true when you are using meats/poultry (which are not balanced in calcium and phosphorus ratio) or using a meat/poultry and rice mixture which is also not balanced and therefore can cause problems.

I know of three commercial kibbles (Eagle, Wysong, PHD), that are calculated so they can be used with straight raw meat. That is because the calcium content on these foods is calculated to compensate for the addition of up to 20% raw or cooked meat to a diet.

So, to be on the safe side do the following:

  • Select a better quality food from my list of better foods on the Blackwatch Feed Program at this site.

  • Do not use any vitamin/mineral tablets or powders or bone meal. I do not recommend any powdered supplements for growing dogs. Products such as powdered whole food supplements, should be saved for after the growth stages.

  • Use only canned dog foods (which are balanced) or Steve's Real Food or Country Pet (which are balanced) along with your kibble if you want the addition of real raw meat to a diet.

  • Fruits and veggies are just fine to use at all ages.

  • Do not use rice/meat or rice/poultry combinations with your kibble during growth stages, they are very unbalanced in calcium/phosphorus ratios.

  • If using only raw meat or poultry with kibble, use only Eagle, PHD or Wysong dog foods.

  • If using meat and bone (ground) with a kibble, this is a balanced combination and it is normally not a problem when used with any balanced kibble. (Use Oxy-Drops if using raw meats to prevent problems with pathogens).

  • Probiotics -friendly bacteria (Daily Greens Plus)Vitamin C, digestive enzymes and dietary enzymes (Nzymes), MSM, and Oxy-Drops are fine to use in any diet, they do NOT disrupt the mineral balance of any BARF or commercial diet.

Home |About Us | Album | Interview | Articles | Links | Breeders Showcase | GREAT Great Danes | Linda's Artwork | Email:

Copyright © 2002-2003 GREATDANELADY.COM