What are the pros and concerns of giving my dog Vitamin D supplements?
Although it plays an important role in the health of your dog, it’s important to remember that Vitamin D is fat-soluble and can be stored in a dog’s body for awhile, the risk of toxicity is higher than with other vitamins. Therefore, correct dosage is critical. Never try to supplement without the guidance of a veterinarian.
First, the benefits:
• Healthy bones: This vitamin regulates the levels of calcium and phosphorous in the dog’s bloodstream, making it important for bone formation and encouraging the development of strong bones. A deficiency causes bone demineralization, a condition prevalent in the past, known as rickets.
• Strong immunity: Vitamin D increases the production of anti-microbiological proteins, responsible for fighting bacteria and viruses. This means that vitamin D may help prevent respiratory infections, such as kennel cough.
• Muscle and nerve control.
• Kidneys: Regulates calcium in this organ.
• Arthritis: Used in conjunction with extra calcium, vitamin D helps the body metabolize the calcium. Plus, vitamin D can help repair and protect the joints.
If your dog food has the AAFCO (American Association of Feed Control Officials), that means it must be completely balanced—and there will be enough vitamin D. Vitamin D is also called the “sunshine vitamin” for just that reason—a little time in the sun (30 minutes or so) means that it gets synthesized in the liver through the skin. It can also be found in a lot of foods, such as meat and dairy—but many dogs do not digest foods containing lactose well. If yours needs to have his diet supplemented with Vitamin D, she might be given supplements containing fish liver oil or a basic vitamin tablet.
Vitamin D is toxic to a dog that consumes more than 2,272 IU for every pound of dry food eaten. Vitamin D toxicity occurs rarely and, when it does happen, it is usually as a result of a dog accidentally consuming rat poison, toxic house plants (like Cestrum diurnum) or from being fed too many vitamin supplements by the pet owner.