A calcium intake adapted to the animal's size and physiological condition prevents diseases caused by nutritional calcium deficiency (osteofibrosis) or excess (anarchistic calcification). The growth and lactation periods require a high calcium intake.
Calcium is a major mineral element, known in nutrition as a mineral macro element because of the large amounts needed by the body. Calcium (Ca) and phosphorus (P) intake ratios must be perfectly balanced at a ratio of 1:2 in the food to ensure optimal health.
Calcium plays two fundamental roles in the body. 99% of the body’s calcium is retained in the bones where it is responsible for making the skeleton solid together with phosphorus. Together they form the ‘cement’ of the bone. Calcium also allows the transfer of information between the cells and the transmission of sensory impulses. Young puppies are unable to adapt to excess calcium in the diet and will continue to absorb 30 – 40% of calcium ingested. This excess can lead to abnormal skeletal development.
Calcium is found in the bones of mammals in the form of mineral salts, as well as in the mineral sources such as calcium carbonate (chalk) and calcium phosphates.