Ingredients A to Z: Calcium Carbonate in Dog Food
Before we begin today’s “C” entry in our Ingredients A to Z series, we wanted to share a statistic on out previous “B” post on biotin. We ran the numbers searched for “biotin” in our food database and found that biotin was an ingredient in 79% of all dog foods! That is one popular ingredient.
Today we are on the letter C and are featuring calcium carbonate as our ingredient.
What is calcium carbonate?
According to Wikipedia, calcium carbonate is a chemical compound with the formula CaCO3. It is a common substance found in rocks, and is the main component of shells of marine organisms, snails, coal balls, pearls, and eggshells. It is commonly used as a calcium supplement or as an antacid.
Common names for calcium carbonate
The common names for calcium carbonate, although not often used on dog food labels, include limestone, calcite, aragonite, and chalk.
Why is calcium carbonate included in dog food?
Calcium carbonate is added to dog food for 3 primary reasons. First, it is an inexpensive source of calcium, which is an essential mineral for dogs. Second, it is used as a preservative. Thirdly, it is used as a color retention agent.
Common benefits or risks of calcium carbonate
Calcium itself is a mineral that provides many health benefits including the building and maintenance of bones and teeth. Calcium is helps to maintain a regular heartbeat and helps muscular growth and normal blood clotting.
Despite the many benefits of calcium carbonate, too much calcium can cause health problems. Other key minerals, such as iron, magnesium and zinc can become depleted in the body. There is also a linkage between excessive calcium supplementation and the development of canine hip dysplasia. Check with your vet if you are considering a calcium supplementation over and above what is provided in your dog’s food.
Miscellaneous facts about calcium carbonate
Calcium needs magnesium in order to be absorbed in the body. Low magnesium levels could also lead to calcium deficiency.
Calcium carbonate is often used in toothpaste as a mild abrasive.
Sources and further reading