If you thought calcium deficiency is a shortcoming only humans face, you are highly mistaken. Calcium deficiency or low calcium levels are common in domesticated dogs too. Given that this mineral plays a crucial role in determining the optimal health of the dog, tending to this condition proactively is quintessential.
From supporting proper bone development to preventing chronic health complications, there are a lot of things that dogs need calcium for. Most of the canned and bagged foods we find in the market are enriched with calcium, but every dog’s diet is different.
So, the question that most dog owners have is wondering about the best home remedy for low calcium in dogs. We will discuss more on that and the meaning of hypoglycemia in dogs in this article.
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What are the Symptoms of Low Calcium in Dogs?
Before we walk you through the remedies, you must know about the symptoms too. The parathyroid glands in dogs regulate the calcium levels in your dog’s bloodstream. So, any significant dysfunction of the parathyroid glands could contribute to low calcium levels.
Some of the symptoms that indicate hypoglycemia in dogs include:
- Muscle tremors
- Behavioral changes
- Sudden loss of appetite
- Convulsions or seizures
- Panting, etc.
If you notice your dog behaving a little differently than usual and not eating as it should, it could be a sign that the calcium levels in the body are significantly low.
What are the Causes of Low Calcium in Dogs?
Unlike humans, low calcium levels in dogs are generally a direct consequence of an underlying complication. In most cases, it isn’t a direct issue of the diet your dog is eating. But, it could be an undiagnosed condition causing them to have low calcium levels in their body.
Some of the most common causes include:
- Gastrointestinal malabsorption of calcium
- Ethylene glycol intoxication
- Kidney disease
- Trauma to soft tissue
- Decrease in the mobilization of calcium in the bones
- Tumor lysis syndrome
- Failure of the parathyroid gland
- Removal of the parathyroid gland, etc.
These could be some of the potential causes, and in other cases, it could be a temporary issue due to their diet. Getting a thorough analysis and testing is crucial to reach a conclusive diagnosis.
How is Low Calcium Diagnosed in Dogs?
Now, once you have an overall understanding of the causes and the symptoms, chances are that you have rushed your pup to the vet.
The first basis of diagnosis is to tell your vet about the symptoms. Your vet needs to understand all the complications your dog is experiencing to reach a conclusion and run the tests needed for a diagnosis.
Following listening to the symptoms, your vet will do a physical examination to gauge if any injuries or physical abnormalities contribute to the symptoms.
The best way to determine whether or not your dog has low calcium levels is by doing a thorough blood test. The blood test will determine not just the calcium levels in the blood but also check for any underlying complication that could be causing the dog to have hypoglycemia.
How are Low Calcium Levels Treated in Dogs?
Once your vet gets a confirmed diagnosis of low calcium in your dog, the next step is to start the treatment. Keep in mind that a home remedy for low calcium in dogs is secondary.
The first step is to analyze how severe the issue is. If the calcium levels are drastically low, your dog might have to be admitted to the hospital for a complete and immediate line of treatment. However, on the flip side, if the calcium level is moderately low, your vet might prescribe fast-acting oral medications.
Home Remedies for Low Calcium in Dogs
Besides the ongoing treatments that your vet has prescribed and suggested, there are a few additional home remedies and dietary adjustments that can optimize the calcium levels in your dog and nurse them back to health.
Following are the top foods that you need to pay close attention to. Also, keep in mind that you need to switch things up based on what your dog likes and is allergic to.
Dogs need to have a small portion of vegetables in their diet. Not only are they rich in fiber and great for your dog’s bowel movement and digestion, but vegetables like kale, spinach, broccoli, beans, etc., are also rich in calcium, which can combat the low calcium levels that many complain about. If your dog doesn’t like eating raw vegetables, you can always blanch or boil them in hot water.
Dairy products are rich in calcium, and very few dogs in this world don’t like yogurt. It is rich in calcium and probiotics, which are great for your dog. It will keep your dog healthy and regulate the calcium levels too. We’d recommend you give yogurt as a treat to your dog now and then.
3. Sardines and Salmon
Fish is an excellent source of calcium, especially fish like sardines and salmon. They are easy to source and packed with nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, which are suitable for your dog’s overall health.
Much like yogurt, even cheese is an excellent remedy if your dog is suffering from low calcium levels. You need to give clean cheeses like mozzarella to your dog. Avoid heavily processed cheese since it can be harmful when given in excess.
There is a high chance that your dog is already eating eggs. If not, it is time you start giving them eggs now and then. Not only are they healthy, but they are also great for your dog’s overall well-being.
The chicken’s meat and bones are suitable for your dog and necessary to keep their calcium levels in check. Giving your dog a good portion of chicken with their meals will ensure that they are getting their much-needed source of protein and calcium throughout the day.
These are some of the beneficial food sources you can give your dog to regulate and optimize its calcium levels. Ideally, we’d recommend keeping a check on their health and behavior too.
Also read: 7 Home Remedies to Treat Paw Injuries in Dogs
Low calcium levels in your dog are much more common than you think. If you notice sudden changes in their behavior or physical symptoms like tremors and seizures, it is time to consult a vet about it. We have sorted you out with the best home remedy for low calcium in dogs that you can check out.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are calcium supplements suitable for dogs?
There are calcium supplements specifically designed for dogs. If your dog is suffering from low calcium levels, your vet might prescribe calcium supplements to make up for that loss in the body.
How can I get calcium in my homemade dog food?
You might not realize this, but adding eggshells is a great way to add some extra calcium to your dog’s diet. However, ensure that you clean the shell thoroughly.
Is milk suitable for dogs with low calcium?
Cow’s milk isn’t ideal for your dog at all. It can lead to various digestive complications, which is the last thing you want. Milk has high calcium in it, but it isn’t suitable for your dog.
What vegetables are high in calcium for dogs?
If you want to introduce vegetables to your dog’s diet to increase their calcium levels, spinach and broccoli make the best option.
Can dogs recover low calcium?
Yes, recovering from low calcium levels in dogs is possible after the diagnosis. We’d recommend that you consult your vet and get a confirmed diagnosis first.
Can I give curd to my dog?
Curd or yogurt is safe for your dog. Not only is it rich in calcium, but yogurt also has a high level of probiotics, which keeps your dog’s digestion in check.
Which feed has the highest calcium?
For the best diet rich in calcium, feed your dog a diverse feed rich in greens, beans, and fortified foods.
Can dogs drink calcium?
Several liquid calcium supplements and syrups are available in the market that can help your dog restore their low calcium levels. We’d recommend consulting your vet before starting any of these supplements.
Can I give human calcium to my dog?
Avoid giving calcium supplements meant for humans to your dogs. Always consult your vet when you are considering giving store-bought calcium supplements to your dog.
Are bananas high in calcium?
If you plan to give bananas to your dog for calcium, we’d recommend not bothering them since bananas don’t have very high calcium content in them.
Can dogs drink water with calcium?
Giving hard water for consumption to your dog isn’t detrimental to your dog’s health, but it can result in other complications down the road. So, we’d recommend talking to a vet about it first.