calcium levels in dog food

Dog Food Advisor Forums Canine Nutrition calcium levels in dog food

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  • #121531 Report Abuse
    Reese B

    Hi everyone,

    Does anyone know what the NRC or aafco state the maximum calcium levels should be in dog food?
    On a whim I picked up a new dehydrated dog food for my dog to try (lifeforce dehydrated raw beef), but I just noticed that the calcium is listed as 1075 mg per 25g.
    A serving for my dog would be about 75g, which would have 3225 mg of calcium?!?!
    That seems like an awful lot of calcium for 1 meal, doesn’t it?
    She’s only 50lbs, so I think her recommended daily intake is only supposed to be 1250mg.

    Can anyone help? Am I totally off with how much calcium she should be getting? Or is this food really really high on calcium?

    I know excess calcium in puppies can cause a lot of problems, but what about adults? I’ve only given her 1 meal of this food, and I’m not sure I should continue. Any thoughts? I know there are a few members on here with superior knowledge on nutritional levels.

    Here is the complete nutrition profile of the food:

    Guaranteed Nutritional Analysis

    Protein (%) 43.27
    Calories (kcal/100g) 412
    Fat (%) 7.52
    Iron (mg/25g) 14.38
    Calcium (mg/25g) 1075.2
    Zinc (mg/25g) 8.3
    Phosphorous (mg/25g) 80.03
    Potassium (mg/25g) 2790.9
    Magnesium (mg/25g) 0.5
    Sodium (mg/25g) 490.2
    *based on dehydrated amount

    #121839 Report Abuse

    Hi Reese,

    In regards to the diet, the company reports 1075.2mg Ca/25 grams = 4301mg Ca/100 grams food.

    We also know that in 100 grams of food there are 412 kcals. Putting that together 4301 mg Ca in 412 kcals of food. Nutrients are usually reported as amount /1000 kcals. In this case there are 10,438 mg/1000kcals of 10.43 grams Ca/1000 kcals.

    AAFCO Max Ca is 6.25/1000kcals.

    #125394 Report Abuse
    Dinamul D

    Regarding calcium levels: For canine growth diets, AAFCO (American Association of Feed Control Officials) has established calcium levels of 1% minimum to 2.5% maximum, for both growth and maintenance. The NRC’s (National Research Council) recommended allowance for growing puppies is 1.2% minimum to 1.8% maximum.

    #125399 Report Abuse

    Hi Dinamul D,

    To your post I’d add that the AAFCO has set the upper limit at 1.8 % calcium for growing large breeds, which they define as above 75 lbs mature weight, and that for both the AAFCO and NRC calcium percentages the energy density of the diet is defined as 4000 kcals/kg DM. Adjustments based on energy density should be made for diets that vary from this.

    In regards to NRC levels, the min. calcium for growing pups is 0.8%, the recommended level is reported as 1.2% and the safe upper limit is set at 1.8 %

    #125656 Report Abuse
    mo a

    How much calcium is too much in dog foods? In 2007, the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) convened a panel of experts from academia and industry to, in part, make recommendations for revision of the AAFCO Dog and Cat Food Nutrient Profiles. These profiles, which were last revised in 1995, serve as one means by which the nutritional adequacy of dog and cat foods can be substantiated in the US.

    Now, seven years later, the recommendations of the panel have yet to be put into place. There is agreement as to recommended levels of nutrients with one major exception; that is, the maximum calcium concentration that should be allowed in dog foods for different life stages and breeds.

    The charge to the expert panel when it was formed was to consider the newly released (at the time) publication Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats (2006) by the National Research Council (NRC), as well as other scientific information available since the last revision of the AAFCO Profiles. The safe upper limit as recommended by NRC for dog foods intended for growth is 1.8% dry matter (at 4000 kcal ME/kg).

    There is no differentiation as to breed of dog in the NRC tables; i.e., it applies to all dog foods intended for puppies. However, in looking at the supportive text, NRC notes, “Thus, excess dietary calcium has been shown to cause clinically recognizable bone abnormalities in growing dogs, but these effects appear restricted to puppies of large breeds.”

    The AAFCO expert panel did make a breed-based distinction in its tables when they were first released, though. It recommended a maximum 1.8% Ca DM for foods intended for large/giant-breed growth, but the status quo (i.e., 2.5% Ca DM, as in the current AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles) for smaller breeds of puppies and for adult dogs (maintenance and gestation/lactation) regardless of breed.

    For more details :

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