Crash Course on Calcium: When you feed a homemade diet, adding the right amount of calcium is vital.
No homemade diet is complete without calcium, yet many recipes overlook this important ingredient. Although a lack of calcium won’t cause immediate problems, a deficiency can lead to bone deformities, pain and even fractures over time.
Calcium-phosphorus balance is something that’s often discussed in both human and canine nutrition. There should always be more calcium than phosphorus. Recommended ratios for dogs range from 1-to-1 to 2-to-1 calcium to phosphorus. If calcium and phosphorus are not properly balanced in the diet, the body pulls calcium from the dog’s bones to make up for that deficiency, leaving them weakened.
When to add calcium – and when not to
You must add this essential mineral to all homemade cooked diets and to raw diets that do not include raw meaty bones. If you feed a combination of fresh and commercial foods, and more than about one quarter of your dog’s diet is fresh foods, it’s best to add calcium to balance out the phosphorus in the added foods. The more fresh foods you add, the more important it becomes to provide calcium.
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