Myth #5 Calcium supplementation prevents Developmental Bone Disease in large and giant breed dogs.
Actually, calcium excess has been clearly shown to be one factor responsible for Developmental Orthopedic (Bone) Disease in large and giant breed dogs. Great Dane littermates fed 1%, 2%, and 3% calcium, both with and without adjusting phosphorus intake, painfully demonstrated that puppies fed calcium levels greater than 3% have more severe bone deformities than littermates fed less than 2% calcium regardless of the calcium to phosphorous ratio.
Large breed growth diets contain a little less than 1% calcium and more than adequately meet the growing puppies’ calcium requirement. Giving calcium supplements to growing puppies is not necessary and is more likely to make bone deformities worse if there is more than 3% calcium in the total diet.
Please see the excellent article written by Dr. Andrea Fascetti in Veterinary Surgery 2006 vol 35 pg 211-213 titled: Food for thought on Canine Developmental Orthopedic Disease