Calcium & Phosphorus Requirements for Puppies—What to Know!

The formula below in Table 15-2 sets the National Research Council (NRC) Metabolizable Energy (ME) Requirements for puppies. The ME value is then applied to another simple calculation to find the NRC Recommended Allowance (RA) of nutrients per day. 

Daily MERS for Puppies past weaning

Using this example: the ME required for a 4-month old large breed puppy, with a current weight of 37lbs (17kg) and an expected mature weight of 78lbs (35kg) = 1934kcal

The NRC makes available Table 15-3 for puppies which lists the Daily RA for nutrients such as Calcium and Phosphorus. The Daily RA from Table 15-3 is 3.0g of Calcium and 2.5g of Phosphorus. These values must then be converted to Daily RA for the breed size, age, current weight, and expected weight of the puppy.

To accomplish this, the ME value of 1934kcal is multiplied by the table value for Calcium and Phosphorus and then divided by 1000.

               Therefore:           (1934kcal x 3g)/1000       = Calcium RA

                                          (1934kcal x 2.5g)/1000    = Phosphorus RA

               Calcium RA         = 5.8g (5,800mg) per day

               Phosphorus RA   = 4.8g (4,800mg) per day

To put this into perspective (using the example puppy):

An ME correct (meets the 1934kcal daily requirement) homemade diet (using chicken as the primary meat source, and other ingredients made up of: broccoli, sweet potato, carrots, apple, peas, cheese, cottage cheese, and egg…. and without the use of additional supplements) contains less than 1000mg of Calcium and less than 1700mg of Phosphorus. A daily RA deficiency of (4,800mg) of Calcium and (3,100mg) of Phosphorus, unless daily supplements are used.


This is just one example of how important it is to understand the procedures used to formulate nutritionally balanced food for your puppy. The same process is used for adult dogs but with different formulas for their life stage and life circumstance.

So what are we left with? We are left with a basic understanding that puppy food formulation and adult dog food formulation is not a “guessing game.”

The Rawproconcepts® Program takes the “guessing game” out of formulating a homemade diet for your dog or puppy. The Complete Nutrition Workbook For Dogs provides the diet formulations, and Rawproconcepts® and Rawproconcepts® Puppy provides the supplements.

What an incredible combination! FEED THE DIFFERENCE™!

By: Alan Anderson