Great Pyrenees Puppy

Calcium Is Not Your Puppy’s Friend

Great Pyrenees PuppyExcessive calcium in a puppy’s diet is harmful for the large breed puppy skeletal growth. While the milk mustache commercials were beneficial as an alternative to pop for children this is not such a concern for puppies. In fact, excessive calcium will contribute to a limping puppy that can lead to the diagnosis of several musculoskeletal disorders found in large breed puppies.

Large breed puppy food has been formulated with reduced calcium when compared to the smaller dog breeds. This between 0.8 to 1.2% on a dry matter basis.1 Adding in extra calcium in the form of dog treats, bones, vitamins, or regular puppy food with increase these calcium levels. Excessive calcium with accelerate bone growth which will place more stress on the joints through longer bones. This will also create lower density bones surrounding the joints which will contribute to joint injuries.

Here’s the Up North Pyrenees recommendation.

  1. Feed only Large Breed Puppy food according to the instructions on the bag. Our recommendation is Nutrisource Large Breed Puppy food. Maintain a trim puppy body until they are fully grown.
  2. Allow uncooked bones to be eaten only after your puppy is fully grown. This will allow plenty of time to allow muscle growth to protect the joints.
  3. Bones are not bad but the right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing.

Excessive calcium in a puppy’s diet is harmful for the large breed puppy skeletal growth. Maybe you have a story that you’d like to share. Tell us your thoughts on this subject. Blessings from Up North Pyrenees!


  1. Bassert, JM, John Thomas. McCumin’s Clinical Textbook for Veterinary Technicians, E-Book. 8th ed. 2014. (Atlanta, GA, Elsevier Health Sciences): 319.

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