Large Breed Pup, Raw Diet, too much calcium?

Tomorrow my one of my 2 pups, a 6 month old male New Zealand Huntaway is going for X-rays to determine why he’s a little stiff and has pain in his hips.
His growth rate has ben extremely rapid (He’s 28 kilos already) and he’s incredibly gangly and bum high. His breed is not known for hip dysplasia and are certainly not overbred in this country (yet) so I’m hoping it’s just growth related and will get better on his own.

However, I have been doing some reading hip dysplasia and all the other possibilities and I see research shows that fast growing, large breed pups should not be fed too much calcium as this can lead to problems such as this.

My question is this, is it likely that a raw diet will have too much calcium? My pups are fed Natural Instinct complete raw food supplemented by chicken wings and ribs and chicken sections. I have extensively researched this diet and felt I was giving them the best possible non processed start but now I’m beginning to worry. I have also been feeding them the adult ones as the puppy option is limited and I wanted them to have variation, plus both pups weren’t so keen on the puppy one.

I then read that feeding natural eggshell membrane is recommended for this type of dog, which presumably is a calcium supplement?
I feel thoroughly confused and don’t know who to turn to for reliable advice.

yes IT IS TRUE that calcium rich foods are not good for large breeds.

there are puppy foods especially designed for large breeds, they should have been on those.

you can check it with your vet.

I’m really keen to keep with the raw diet because I believe it to be the most natural option for dogs and I’m not keen to feed dried or processed dog food.
I’d just like to know whether it is likely to be too high in calcium for a large breed or not. I’m really not sure how to check this.

There is a thread here in which David talks about the problem of too high a calcium level in food for puppies. There is also a link within that post to The Dog Food Advisor website which might be helpful. I cannot comment on the food you are currently giving but I would advise you to have a word with the staff at Natural Instinct. I have a feeling that supplementing with the chicken could well be increasing the calcium and is probably not necessary as NI is a complete food anyway.


I agree with Dottie, if you’re in a premium dog food, supplementing more might be counter productive.

Yes dogs with an adult weight of around 25kg+ need a slower and longer growth rate or risk skeletal problems. The problem doesn’t just restrict levels of calcium but also phosphorus. Protein supplies the body with muscle and tissue growth but shouldn’t be restricted but fed as per the size of the dog and a reduction can cause malnutrition.

Large Breeds
dietary calcium is 0.7 to 1.2% DM
phosphorus is 0.6% to 1.1% DM

Smaller dogs
calcium is 0.7 to 1.7% DM
phosphorus is 0.6% to 1.3% DM.

I would always promote a diet made by an expert for reasons like this