Adult dogs require a regular dose of calcium, phosphorous and vitamin D along with exercise for them to develop strong bones. Due to advances made in veterinary sciences and pet food industry, pet parents are now making informed choices with regard to their pet’s nutritional requirements
Yet there are many types of dogs whose bone health should be looked at with grave concern by their pet parents. Large breeds and growing dogs are more prone to develop bone disorders and osteoarthritis. So, here is how you can help to strengthen your dog’s bones!
- Feed them a good quality commercial food – If you feed your pet commercial dog food then it is a sound idea to choose the type that fulfills your pet’s nutritional requirement for their bone health. So, choose the type that has adequate amounts of calcium and phosphorus.
- Home cooked meals recommended by your vet – If you are the type who has the time and energy to cook food for your pet regularly then you need to ensure that you include food items that help your pet get their regular dose of calcium and phosphorus for a healthy bone growth. It is quite a challenge for you to cook a complete balanced meal for your pet. Keep in mind that giving too little or too much of calcium, vitamin D and phosphorus to your pet can lead to further health complications. So, it is a good idea to take your vet’s advice in formulating the perfect home cooked meal for your pet breed and type.
- Do not feed them too much or too little – Dogs who overeat put on weight and will develop joint and bone problems as they grow too fast and the additional weight puts more pressure on their joints. Feeding your dog too little can also pose problems as they will be nutritionally deficient. So, the best thing for you to do is to follow the food serving according to your pet’s breed and weight and ensure they eat their food.
- Exercise – Exercise is the key to good health and once you take your pet out for their walks during daytime where there is adequate sunlight they will get their dose of natural vitamin D. Be it a walk around the park or a quick run down the block, make sure your pet is healthy enough for regular exercises. Giving them rigorous exercises will only be pushing them to develop joint and bone problems. So, be patient and start with slow and gentle exercises and quicken the tempo only when they are ready for it.
- Avoid supplements, except one crucial one – There is no need to pump your pet with additional supplements if they are getting their regular dose of it in their daily meals. Giving your pet additional supplements along with a well balanced diet will only create unwanted health problems. Pets that are suffering from joint and bone problems can benefit from omega-3 fatty acid supplements. While choosing an omega supplement ensure it has EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) in adequate amount and not alpha-Linolenic acid which is ineffectively metabolized to EPA and DHA in dogs. This also means that water based sources such as algae must be used instead of land based plant sources such as the flaxseed oil.
It is always a good idea to contact your vet for their professional advice.