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When it comes to vitamin D, dogs and humans obtain sufficient amounts in quite different ways.
The fact is that people naturally produce it in their skin, but canines do not.
Many dogs are indeed lacking in vitamin D3. On the flip side, too much is also bad. Consider that before supplementing!
What’s the right approach regarding vitamin D when it comes to your dog?
It’s usually very simple! Feeding quality food almost always meets the requirement.
Your Dog May or May Not Need More Vitamin D
But only your veterinarian can accurately determine if extra is actually necessary.
It cannot be stressed enough:
Excessive vitamin D can damage the kidneys to the point of failure. At that point, death becomes a possibility.
It is not recommended that you give your dog a synthetic human supplement. That’d be a hit or miss approach which could do more harm than good.
A Known Deficiencies in Dogs
Here’s what the studies indicate:
Roughly half of domesticated dogs lack vitamin D to some degree. These pets are prone to Rickets which is basically unhealthy bones.
And there are other negative health consequences associated with vitamin D deficiency in dogs — one being increased cancer risk.
Getting D3 Increasingly Difficult
The sun makes it easy for people to receive vitamin D, but your dog is pretty hairy which makes this less true!
At the same time, food is increasingly lacking in this vital vitamin. You’ve got to be selective when choosing a diet for your dog.
Besides free-ranging fresh animal meat…
Cod liver oil is great for topping up on vitamin D. And your dog will benefit in numerous other healthy ways.
Be Careful Dosing Your Pet Dog
Giving vitamin D is tricky.
Again, poisoning is possible and especially with human-grade products.
Play it safe by sticking to conservative amounts. Here is a basic rule of thumb:
0.1mg for every 2 pounds of your dog’s body weight is the upper limit.
Get your vet’s help before providing vitamin D or go with a supplement that is designed specifically for dogs.
Consequences of Too Much Vitamin D
Make no mistake about it:
Excessive vitamin D can seriously harm your dog’s internal organs. The kidneys are at particular risk with wrong amounts of D3 as well as iron.
Hypercalcemia is a condition whereby there is too much calcium in the blood. Vitamin D can cause this and your dog would suffer.
Bring your dog in ASAP if you are concerned they have overdosed on vitamin D.
You can expect the following:
- Urine testing
- IV fluids
- An ultrasound
The Bottom Line
Sufficient vitamin D should come from wild prey animals or a quality dog food. Consumption of natural meat means your canine will have plenty.
In other words, feed a good and consistent diet and you won’t need to worry!
Involve your vet if you’re concerned about your pet’s levels.
Avoid giving human-formulated supplements. Overdosing your dog with vitamin D may cause serious medical problems.