Your Pet’s Need for Calcium

If you are one of the growing number of pet owners who are feeding their pets a raw meat or homemade diet, it is vitally important that your pet gets the proper amount of calcium.

Calcium is a very important mineral for your pet’s overall strength and good health. Of all the minerals, calcium is required in the greatest amount. It is essential in the body for many functions including bone formation, blood coagulation, muscle contraction and nerve impulse transmission.

If you are feeding a quality dog food then calcium is probably not a concern. Most good, natural foods contain more than enough calcium even for large breeds. Which animals need calcium supplementation? Animals on a muscle and organ meat based diet; animals on a home cooking diet, especially when the animal is a finicky eater that refuses to eat the entire diet; animals on food trials for allergies; animals on limited antigen or hypoallergenic home cooked diet; birds; reptiles; lactating mammals.

So, after consulting your veterinarian, you’ve determined that your pet needs calcium supplementation. Dr. Pitcairn, in his Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats has several suggestions for adding calcium to your pet’s diet. He recommends using powdered bone meal specially formulated for supplementation of animals. You can use that sold in natural food stores for human use, but it will be less convenient and more expensive. NEVER use bone meal sold in garden centers. It is toxic for animals (and humans).

A very pure form of calcium is that derived from seaweed off the coast of Ireland. It has the advantage of not coming from an animal source and provides many excellent trace minerals.

Calcium tablets or powder is another source of supplementation. It comes in different forms such as calcium carbonate, chelated calcium, calcium gluconate or calcium lactate. Avoid products that also contain phosphorus or magnesium. If you buy tablets, use a mortar and pestle or pill crusher to grind them to a powder before mixing with food.

Eggshell powder is an all natural and very inexpensive way to provide calcium in your pet’s diet. You can make it yourself from eggshells which are very high in calcium carbonate. Wash the eggshells right after cracking and allow to dry. After accumulating a dozen or so, bake at 300 degrees for about 10 minutes. This removes a mineral-oil coating sometimes added to keep eggs from drying out. The shells are now dry and brittle enough to grind into a fine powder with a nut and seed grinder, blender or motar and pestle. Eliminate any sharp pieces.

Calcium is one of the most important nutrients our pets need for good bone and overall health. Supplementation is the best way to see that need met for a balanced and healthy diet.

Calcium Sources – Learn about Some Healthful Calcium Sources

We are often told by health specialists to introduce calcium-rich foods to our diet if we want to develop strong bones and teeth. Calcium not only helps in developing a strong skeletal system, but it also helps in protecting it from various diseases including degenerative disease. Calcium sources are broadly categorized as animal and plant sources.

Green leafy vegetables like broccoli, mustard greens, and Brussels are rich plant sources of calcium. One of the widely-known animal calcium sources is milk. Doctors normally advise to intake more vegetables than dairy products because in addition to useful nutrients, they also contain some contaminants, cholesterol and fat.

These substances might be dangerous for obese people and those who do not like to exercise on a regular basis. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid animal sources of calcium as much as you can. Red meat, eggs and other dairy products are rich in protein and may cause calcium loss in your body.

Another source of obtaining calcium is to consume supplements rich in coral calcium. Coral calcium is essentially a salt mainly composed of calcium carbonate and has many health benefits associated with it.

If you have adequate amounts of calcium in your body you will be at a reduced risk of developing osteoporosis. Since calcium sources in food are hard to find and consume, doctors now suggest taking calcium-rich supplements. These are easy to consume and provide all the benefits of developing strong bones, and improving posture and strength. These products also contain other minerals and vitamins, for example vitamin D and K2 for the enhancement of your bone health. They are easily available online and most of the time these products don’t require a doctor’s prescription as they have already been approved by health specialists.

Some rich and easily digestible calcium sources are orange juice, spinach, oatmeal, beans, sweet potato, sesame seeds and raisins. In addition to increasing your intake of calcium you also need to reduce your consumption of protein-rich food, especially the ones that come from animal sources. Proteins tend to increase calcium loss through urine just like sodium. That’s why health experts tell us to reduce our intake of salt as much as we can.

Exercise is mandatory for proper absorption of calcium in bones. Don’t let proteins and other substances cause calcium loss in your body. If you are not used to doing physical exercise a lot, then take a walk or simply indulge yourself in household chores. Don’t sit idle for long periods of time. Vitamin D helps in controlling the amount of calcium in our body, therefore introduce vitamin D supplements to your diet after consulting a physician.

Calcium In Your Dog’s Diet – What’s Its Function?

It is every pet owners dream to have a healthy pet. For that to be realized, you should ensure that your pet’s diet is fully loaded with all vital nutrients to guarantee a good health. Calcium is one example of these essential nutrients that must be present in a good and well balanced dog diet. Most of us think of calcium in terms of strong bones and teeth, which is very true because calcium has to be present in your dog’s diet for it to develop strong and healthy bones and teeth.

So what difference does too little or too much calcium levels make in your dog’s diet make? Remember that too little level of calcium in your dog’s diet is the major cause of a condition called rickets in pets. Rickets is any pet owner’s nightmare, because it causes your pets bones to be soft and easily bendable under your dog’s weight. Who likes to see that happen to their dear furred friends? Put you hands up.

Contrary to the above condition, excessive levels of calcium in your pets diet could easily result to abnormalities of the bone. This has been witnessed in large dog breeds. Puppies of such breeds tend to develop low density large bones which lack strength due to the high presence of calcium.

Proper levels of calcium in a dog’s diet prevent such abnormalities from occurring. This is one of the many important reasons for selecting proper well balanced diets for your dog. Consult with a dog’s nutritional specialist
In order to properly establish the correct amount of calcium to be included in your pets diet.

Calcium is a very important mineral in your dog’s diet. Calcium belongs to the interdependent class of mineral nutrients that work together with other nutrients and vitamins.

Calcium works well with phosphorus. A proper balance of the two mineral nutrients, calcium together with phosphorus should be present in a proper ratio to guarantee a dog diet that will boost the potential merits for your pet friend. Animal nutrition studies have revealed that calcium mineral ratio parts of 2.0 and 1.0 coupled with 1.0 part phosphorus. When there is a wide variation in phosphorus and calcium ratios from this listed range, bone result will likely occur.

A dog diet composed of meats only will not yield the required amount of phosphorus and calcium necessary for proper formation of healthy and strong bones. That kind of diet could result to a ratio of about 18 parts phosphorus to 1.0 parts calcium. The main problem here occurs in absorption of these minerals into the pet’s body.

The absorption of calcium and phosphorus is influenced by the presence of Vitamin D. if a pet’s diet lacks the appropriate quantity of vitamin D, other mineral nutrients will not be of maximum benefit to the pet. Remember that too much of anything is poisonous and the same applies to vitamin D. try to maintain correct amounts of vitamin D in your dog’s diet. Purchasing your dog’s food supplies from a respectable dog food manufacturer is a good way to ensure that your pets diet is healthy.

When a dog is nursing or during pregnancy, high calcium levels in the dog’s diet is much recommended. Such periods require you to feed your dog on additional amounts of well balanced dog food. Supplements are not mandatory under such circumstances.

Eclampsia or milk fever in layman’s term cannot be prevented with calcium supplements. Milk fever is a metabolism condition that affects the mummy dog after her puppies’ birth and nursing has began. It does not result from nutrients deficiency.

Do not supplement your pets diet with calcium or any other nutrient without expert advice from your vet or animal nutrition specialist. A pet’s health can be severely affected when calcium is out of balance. Giving your dog a well balanced diet is important. Well respected dog food manufacturers always devote time and resources towards research on animal nutrition to make sure that they offer your dog good quality products. They do this by formulating dog food preparations that are well balanced and healthy.