Hi, I became a new dog lover today! I have a 3 months old lab, and he is doing great on his dry food. I am also looking for good wet food as topping. Because lab is a large breed, I would like to buy wet food with low calcium, but many wet foods don’t show how much calcium is. I just e-mail some companies, and they told me the data. BUT, what I get is something like 0.3%. I guess I should do some calculation on it? Most wet food has 75% water, so I should do: 0.3%/25%=1.2%. Am I doing right?
Thanks for any help!
Hound Dog MomParticipant
Hi yevincent –
Yes – calcium needs to be converted to a dry matter basis for wet foods due to the high moisture content. Calculating calcium levels on a kcal. basis (versus percent of weight basis) is the most accurate way to evaluate the appropriateness of foods as it accounts for varying caloric densities between different foods. For a large breed puppy you’d want to feed a food with 3.5 g. calcium per 1,000 kcal. or less. I’ll walk you through the calculation. Let’s say the food comes in a standard 13.2 oz. can, has 400 kcal. per can and the company tells you there is 0.3% calcium on an as-fed basis.
1) Convert 13.2 oz. to grams (easier to perform calculations using grams): (13.2 oz.)(28 grams/1 oz.) = ~397 g.
2) Calculate how many grams of calcium are in the can of food: (397 g.)(0.003) = 1.19 g. calcium per can.
3) Calculate how many grams of calcium per 1,000 kcal.: (1.19 g. calcium per can)/(400 kcal. per can) = 0.00298 g. calcium per kcal. (0.00298 g. calcium per kcal.)(1,000 kcal.) = ~2.98 g. calcium per 1,000 kcal.
If you wanted the calcium level on a percent basis:
1) 100% – % Moisture = % Dry Matter
2) [(As Fed Calcium %)/(% Dry Matter)] X 100%
BTW – I’d highly recommend Tripett as a canned topper for large breed puppies. It’s not a complete and balanced food as it’s green tripe only but it makes a great topper if you’re feeding a balanced kibble. Green tripe is high in protein and naturally has a balanced calcium to phosphorus ratio but contains very low levels of each (only about 0.3% calcium on a dry matter basis if I recall correctly). The best part is dogs go nuts for it.
Thanks, hound dog mom!!! you are a life safer!-dog saver?;)
I know tripe is good food, but here is what I concern: if I mix dry food and trpe in meals, like 50% and 50%, my dog can definetely have enough calorie, but he may need more Vitamins and Minerals?(the 50% from tripe has more protein, but less other content) Like you said, “Green tripe is high in protein and naturally has a balanced calcium to phosphorus ratio but contains very low levels of each (only about 0.3% calcium on a dry matter basis if I recall correctly). ” Will my dog get less calcium and develop some health issue?
You can use up to 20% Tripett without worrying about the balance. If you want to use 50%, you need to find one that is already balanced.
I will try several food and find a perfect ratio!
By the way, Hound dog mom said “For a large breed puppy you’d want to feed a food with 3.5 g. calcium per 1,000 kcal. or less”. What does “less” mean? Can someone tell me a range?
Thank you all!
Hound Dog MomParticipant
As long as you’re feeding a balanced commercial food that meets requirements for growth or all life stages you won’t need to worry about there being too little calcium, you’ll only have to worry about there being too much. So any balanced commercial food with no more than 3.5 g. calcium per 1,000 kcal. is fine.
Thanks, Hound Dog Mom!
This thread got off topic basically immediately. How much calcium is in wet dog foods? I’m trying to avoid kibble but I have yet to find a balanced wet food that lists its calcium content. Are there any that list it?
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