Large Breed dogs-Understand their Calcium needs

Nutrition, last updated 12th, Jul 2011, Dr.Sri krishna Mishra

Dear All,

Growth rate of Large Breed dogs is more rapid compared to small breeds and so during this rapid phase of development nutritional requirements becomes more crucial to support their vital body growth system.

Calcium is one of the key minerals always been focussed so heavily that most of the times we supplement more than the recommended.

Calcium is an essential nutrient for bone structuring and formation,muscle contraction etc.Excess or deficiency both pose a detrimental effect in large breed puppies.

Excess calcium is a common problem in large breed puppies as their owner feed calcium supplement along with commercially available pet foods.

Calcium supplementation should never be recommended for dogs eating commercially available diets designed for growth.Excess Calcium supplementation results into developmental growth disorder(DGD) like osteochondrosis.

Unlike adult animals, puppies  appear to have inefficient mechanisms for regulating how much dietary calcium they absorb from the food.This can result in absorption and retention of more calcium,especially when dietary calcium is high.These excess Calcium may result in skeletal malformations.Excess calcium may also result in deficiency of other nutrient, especially Zinc that support healthy skin and hair coat. 

Commercially available pet foods like Hills, Royal Canin, Farmina Pet, Eukanuba, Pedigree etc are  scientific and balance diet for dogs.

If you are giving such food to your dog then dont give additional calcium in form of tablets. syrups etc untill and unless your vet has specified citing its need under certain health situation.

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Dr.SriKrishna Mishra



Dr Sri Krishna Mishra



Great blog!
Too many people are giving calcium suppliments to their puppies while already feeding comercial dog kibble.

I hope more people read this!


By: pennypup | 14 Jul 2011

Dr.Sri krishna Mishra
Yes Mr Pennypup and so as a vet its my ethical responsibility to educate dog owner.If you have your friend circle who have dogs then please educate them and say to visit my blog. I will be posting very informative blogs in future.So stay in tune.


By: Dr.Sri krishna Mishra | 22 Jul 2011

sandip halder
Thank you for your article

By: sandip halder | 26 Jul 2011

Santy Mike Harden
Hi Dr Sri Krishna,

I came to know you through Pennypup, I hv a dobberman who is 2 1/2 months old. One of my pet suggested to give him royal canin and caldipet (calcium suppliment). Will that be excess of calcium for him ??

Pls advise ur comments

By: Santy Mike Harden | 27 Jul 2011

Dr.Sri krishna Mishra
Nice to hear about your sincerity in dog nutrition.

It is suggested always that if you are feeding any commercial dog food then extra calcium supplementation is never recommended.

Your dog is doberman and it comes under large breed dogs so their growth is more rapid than medium and small breed dogs and during this rapid phase of growth, the bone and muscle development needs balance proportion of Calcium, muscle building components like L-carnitine and sufficients quantity of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Their body is very sensitive to excess calcium supplemetation and if done then it results into weakining of joint supporting cartilage, bony component and finally it end up with hip or elbow dysplasia, osteochodrosis and other associated skeletal problems.

It is suggested to feed your dog with Hill's Science Plan food Puppy large breed only.There is no need of any Calcium supplementation in form of syrup, tablets or powder.

It is a balance and complete food and luckily available in India now. you can see the detail information by logging~ or visit~ m~

Good luck Santy.

By: Dr.Sri krishna Mishra | 28 Jul 2011

Anil @ DoggiesDude
The Doberman Pinscher originated in the shadows of Germany's beer breweries. Today the Dobe is internationally renowned as a security dog. It has an extremely high degree of loyalty to its master and can be very territorial, yet its temperament also makes it good with children.

The Doberman Pinscher needs a special blend to receive good bio-nutrietive value from protein. When compared to other breeds of the same body weight, it requires higher amounts of certain amino acids. The protein should be high in Phenylalanine and Thyrosine. Since the bulk nutrients of the area where the Doberman Pinscher developed were high in these essential amino acids, this breed requires this same protein blend today. Food sources found in the Doberman Pinscher's native environment included grain crops used for brewing German beer with pork and beef meat sources.

The protein sources would be the best for this breed of dog are a blend of beef, corn, wheat, and horse meat. Conversely, the worst blend would contain high amounts of poultry, ocean fish, or white rice.

By: Anil @ DoggiesDude | 28 Jul 2011

Dr.Sri krishna Mishra
Dear Anil,

Great to know the information you have provided about Doberman.
Phenylalanine and Tyrosine are essential amino acids and so their supplementation should be external and if you are talking about Doberman then premium food like Hill's Science Plan large breed have essential blend of these essential amino acids and not only this it also contains omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, L-carnitine and superior antioxidant formula.
The best ever food formulation.
You can check it log:~ , In india availablity log:~ m~

Keep updated/

By: Dr.Sri krishna Mishra | 29 Jul 2011

Anil @ DoggiesDude
I am a bit amused that every kibble brand mentions its a COMPLETE FOOD for dogs but then too why supplements are needed? Its a glimpse that something is SURELY missing. Why add anti-oxidants if the kibble is made from fresh and pure source.? Many dogs are taken to the vet, suffering from nutritionally related problems, and the vet bills can be huge. i.e. dry/itchy/flaky skin, hot spots, yeast infections in the ear, thyroid - liver - kidney problems, just to name a few.Surely something is missing in the kibbles. Couple of years ago . Its Physical Differences = Nutritional Differences. If the Nutritional Needs of Dogs vary among the different breeds - How Can One Food Claim to Be "Complete & Balanced" - For All Dogs? Like Dane and Bernard. Both are gaint breeds but Bernard needs 10 times more Omegas/Amino than Dane to keep its coat good.This difference in the nutrition causes Oxidants and that is why anti-oxidants are added.
I am not advocating homemade or kibbles. Its just a deeper study inside the diet.

By: Anil @ DoggiesDude | 29 Jul 2011

Santy Mike Harden
Hi Dr Sri,

Thanks for your advise will feed him Science plan food as you told, also I would like to get clarified on one more thing which is abt the surface.

The surface at my home is made up of tiles which is quite slippery so basically that is the reason I started to give Calcium supplement to overcome this. Anyway would like to know whether this kind of surface will lead into a trouble for him in future ? As there is no hard surface at home Iā€™m bit worried whether his legs will turn into bad condition

By: Santy Mike Harden | 29 Jul 2011

Anil @ DoggiesDude
avoid slippery surface. no supplement will help if joint displaced. toes will become spread out. dog will need more energy to get up from a sitting position. have a carpet spread on the area dog lives. to compensate this take the dog out for longer walks and also play on loose soil. will firm the toes.

By: Anil @ DoggiesDude | 29 Jul 2011

arvind singh
Hi All,
I have 4 months old female rott pupp, due to lack of knowledge, I kept my pupp at slippery surface for around 1 month. After that I came to know that problem with the legs of my pupp.
As anil mentioned the toes are speared out.
Now I am keeping her on slippery surface & take her to morning walk (around 3 km 1.5 kms on concrete road & 1.5 kms in field). Walk includes normal walking & running (running depends on pupp's mood as she is still young for running so i don't push her for running).

Please suggest me if any supplement can work in this situation.

I am sure Anil or Dr. Mishr have some solution.


By: arvind singh | 05 Aug 2011

Anil @ DoggiesDude
look for loose soil or sand n let her play..that should help regain the toes firm.

By: Anil @ DoggiesDude | 05 Aug 2011

Santy Mike Harden
Hi Dr.Mishr/Anil,

My dobberman puppy all of a sudden is having heavy hairfall also i notice there are white patches spreading on his body. When i bathed him those white patches went off and bleeding started from that. I was scared seeing that so I took him to the vet they told me it is because of nutrition defeceincy (though i give RC but he does not like) so my VET suggested to give him beaf rice daily which would help him to recover.

I kindly request your suggestion as I am very much concerned abt his health and seeing all these am more worried.

By: Santy Mike Harden | 09 Aug 2011

Anil @ DoggiesDude
can be hot spots or parasites. its basically shortage of Omega 3. Omega 6 is abundant in animal n plant protein. start giving his Omega 3 fish oil capsules. abt 300-500 mg. once a day.One teaspoon of organic coconut oil once a day in his food is also suggested that it has cured many dogs.
But first have the vet diagnose the root cause. Adding the above in diet will NOT do any harm. Some antibiotics would also help better which the vet can suggest n administer. Also cut the hair around that spot area and keep away from water/mositure. You can apply any dog dusting powder to make it dry faster.

By: Anil @ DoggiesDude | 09 Aug 2011

Santy Mike Harden
Ok Anil as suggested by u, i wil give him Omega 3 fish oil capsules and lets see

By: Santy Mike Harden | 09 Aug 2011

Dr.Sri krishna Mishra
Dear Arvind,

Sorry for replying you late.
As per your information, since your puppy now developed bend in leg bone so it is because of lack of Calcium, Phosphorus and Vitamin D and even may be due to L-carnitine.
It is suggested to keep your puppy in rough and grippy surface and try feeding Hill's Science Plan Puppy large breed.
This food will take care of all these deficiency. Excellent result. I used to recommend for all my patients.
Log on to~ m~ you will get the required contact information to get the food.

Let me know the condition.

By: Dr.Sri krishna Mishra | 10 Aug 2011

Dr.Sri krishna Mishra
Dear Santy,

The skin condition and lesions what you have mentioned indicate the cause of sudden..if a dog have certain vitamins or mineral or essential fatty acids deficiency then the symtoms will appear slowly and not of sudden.
You said once you washed your dog then there is immidiate bleeding.
Such symptoms may direct an origin of food hypersensitivity or allergy. More correctly food intolerance.
Please tell me if you have fed any new food to your dog?
If there is something like above then immidiately stop feeding that food.

By: Dr.Sri krishna Mishra | 10 Aug 2011

Navjot Singh
Hello Dr krishna,its very nice to read this article. I just want to say i have a five month old labrador whom i feed Pfizer's canobites two times and curd two times a day.My vet recommends calcium supplement. Considering he's small and undergoing rapid growth,would u endorse the idea of feeding food supplement or you would rule out feeding the supplement.

By: Navjot Singh | 11 Aug 2011

Anil @ DoggiesDude
150 gm of curd contains 240 mg of Calcium. Hence i do not feel supplementing further calcium. Try some other feed than Canobits. Yea i guess for skin supplements needed.

By: Anil @ DoggiesDude | 11 Aug 2011

Navjot Singh
yes,i also feel this is leading unnecessary intake of calcium.any reason why u insist substituting canobites with another brand? What do u think is the best skin supplement for labrador,keeping in mind he is tick free yet tends to itch a lot. My vet recommend using RIDD but ive put off the application for 2 months thinking a puppy must not be subject to chemicals.

By: Navjot Singh | 11 Aug 2011

Anil @ DoggiesDude
well heard not that good about Canobits. For skin use nutricoat. Itching in this season maybe due to humidity.

By: Anil @ DoggiesDude | 11 Aug 2011

Navjot Singh
ive found number of times he goes for potty has reduced from 4 to 2 or maximum 3.No more dark and stinking stools.this is the result after changing from eukanuba to canobites.

By: Navjot Singh | 11 Aug 2011

Santy Mike Harden
Hi DrAnil I didn't give anything new to him but I do not know how it came...!! Now a days he doesnt like to have pedigree / RC so now I started give him chicken/beef rice

By: Santy Mike Harden | 12 Aug 2011

Anil @ DoggiesDude
@Santy : Keep the home made diet if you are giving in the ration 70:20:10 (Meat/Veggies/Rice) . About 200 gms of cooked rice is enuf for carbohydrates. Meat should should be poultry only as its best suited for labs. Beef is bad for them.

By: Anil @ DoggiesDude | 12 Aug 2011

Hi every body,

I have a female Great Dane and she is 5 months old and i follow the diet schedule. I would be thank full if you can let me know weather this is sufficient.
Three days in a weekin mornings i give him home made porridge with Ragi , Kumbuas their main ingredients which is made into powdered form mixed with milk with egg and next three days i give him chicken soup.Apart from this i give taste of wild 500 grams daily. . Is this sufficient. Kindly advise me in this regard.

By: Sai | 21 Aug 2011

Hello Dr Mishra ,I have a 4 1/2 mth LAB and I feed him Venkys's best in show once a day which is poultry based .Other two meals are home cooked comprising ragi chappatis and milk/curd.I give him one multivitamin (pet tab)and caldipet daily.Am I giving him more calcium than required
We live in a penthouse with Marble flooring but my terrace has stone flooring.
He likes to play around the house (even on the marble floor)Should I make sure that he runs only on the stone floor.
Apart from that he likes to get wet at any given opportunity.He loves sitting in the bird bath when no ones watching and likes to wash his paws in bucket full of water.I know labs love water but is it going to be harmful for his coat ?
Pls advice

By: Anita | 10 Nov 2011

Hello, I am buying a st bernard 70 days old puppy.. i had questions regarding the food i should buy for him? please suggest. in case i give him chicken/mutton- should i boil it.. or add spices?? is rice better or roti?? milk ? dry diet? fluids.. should i be giving him water? this is my first dog.. pls suggest.


By: priya | 28 Dec 2011

Ashwani Pandey
Hello Sir,I hve a female 5 months lab m giving him pedigree(chicken n milk for pups) n curd n a peto vet calcium serup sugested by a doc is it good for her or not as it is my first dog so kindly sugest me what kind of food 'll b given to her n amount to......thnx n regards.

By: Ashwani Pandey | 29 Jul 2012

Navjot Singh
You can feed him non-veg. Feed him boneless chicken as boiled bones are said to be harmful for them. You shouldn't add spices, salt and sugar in his meal. This is because unlike humans, dogs don't sweat. So spices, salt and sugar can exert undue pressure on their liver. You can give either rice or roti. Milk can't be digested by dogs as they don't have enzymes to break down milk lactose. Thus, milk causes loose stools in them. You can instead feed curd and panner. Both are good from the nutritional point of view. You can also feed boiled eggs.Water is indispensable for dogs just like for humans!!

By: Navjot Singh | 29 Jul 2012

Ashwani Pandey
thnx a lot for the information i had given her boiled eggs but she started doing loose stools

By: Ashwani Pandey | 30 Jul 2012

Navjot Singh
To a 5 month old, you shouldn't feed more than one egg. One egg is more than enough for a puppy. Mash a boiled egg with some pieces of bread and serve it. He won't have problems in digesting it.

By: Navjot Singh | 04 Aug 2012

Rupinder Chandel
Hello sir..!!! my saint bernard is two months old .can i feed him curd with boiled rice or roti. and boiled egg.???. also what all fruits and veggeis can i give him... i hv heard that apples,carrot,beans and banana are really good for him... is it so..???? and when he completes 3 months, am i supposed to give him raw chicken..,i mean is it safe for him???

By: Rupinder Chandel | 22 Apr 2013

Manav Kukreja
Dr.I am giving my 11 months old German Shepherd Drools with Chapati and milk, sometime "Rayal Canin German Shepherd 30" and also Beaphar Calcium Kalk Tablet. Is there any problem? Suggest a balanced diet?

By: Manav Kukreja | 03 Jul 2013

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