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HomeExclusiveCan Dogs Take Vitamin D

Can Dogs Take Vitamin D

A Link Between Vitamin D And Cancer

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In 2014, researchers published a study showing that 2VitD was lower in dogs with various types of cancer than those dogs without. Heres what the researchers found:

As can be seen, the researchers determined dogs should have 100 to 120 ng/mL 25VtD in their blood to be protected from cancer and other immune-related diseases.

But theres more to it than that

Could Your Raw Fed Dog Be Lacking Important Vitamins And Minerals

Are you a raw feeder who worries your dog isnt getting enough nutrients? or maybe youre reluctant to switch your dog to a raw diet for fear he wont get the vitamins and minerals he needs?

Or perhaps youre spending a ton of money giving him synthetic vitamins and minerals out of a bottle. Ill tell you in a minute why thats not a good idea.

Ive got a great practical guide for you so you can make sure your dog gets the vitamins and minerals he needs from his food. And Ive divided it into two parts

Cod Liver Oil In Home

One of the pioneers of home-prepared dog diets is Wendy Volhard, whose book Holistic Guide for a Healthy Dog describes years of research she conducted with Kerry Brown, DVM, as they documented the effects of raw, home-prepared diets on hundreds of dogs.

Since 1984, when I first published my recipes, its no exaggeration to say that thousands of dogs have been fed the Volhard way, she says. My diet recommends 1 teaspoon cod liver oil daily for a 50-pound dog. This dose was established in 1973, when I started feeding my own dogs a raw, home-prepared diet, and the amount was based on guidelines from the National Science Foundation.

Volhards cod liver oil dose depends on the dogs weight . She says, We have found no need to adjust the diet to a dogs age or lifestyle. Puppies grow beautifully and old dogs thrive. She does not recommend a specific brand but prefers minimally processed, high-quality cod liver oil containing natural vitamins A and D.

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How Is Vitamin D Good For Dogs

According to the American Kennel Club , vitamin D is one of seven essential vitamins that all dogs require. Often known as the sunshine vitamin, the AKC explains how vitamin D allows your dogs body to balance minerals like phosphorous and calcium for healthy bone growth.

Vitamin D is essential for maintaining proper calcium levels in a dogs body.

If your dog does not receive enough vitamin D, they risk being unable to develop as they should and might struggle to keep their bones and muscles in healthy condition.

Dog Food With Too Much Vitamin D

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Some experts used to think that commercial dog food did not contain enough Vitamin D. However, several brands of dog food had voluntary recalls when it was found that their diets contained an excessive amount of Vitamin D. Fortunately, most reputable commercial dog food companies test their food for proper levels.

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How Should I Choose A Supplement

Here are tips from veterinarians and those who test supplements or work in the industry.

  • Look for a brand that specializes in one area, or that has commissioned clinical studies of their products.
  • Read labels. Know the name of the ingredient youre looking for, so you wont be deceived by sound-alikes.
  • Look for a lot number on the product, a sign that the company has set up quality control checks.
  • Look for a contact number for the company on the label. Call and ask who formulated the product, what expertise they have, and how long the manufacturer has been in business.
  • Be wary of claims that sound too good to be true, such as promises to alleviate diseases like parvovirus, cancer, and hip dysplasia.
  • Look for certification from an organization that has independently verified a supplements contents.
  • Be cautious about giving human supplements to dogs. Some products, such as garlic, can be dangerous for dogs.
  • Know the seller. Cooperman says has found fewer problems with supplements sold at vets offices, although they do occur.


How Is Vitamin D Poisoning Treated

As with any poisoning, early treatment allows the best chance for a full recovery. If your cat has eaten vitamin D supplements, medications or rat/mouse poison, contact your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline, a 24/7 animal poison control center, at 1-800-213-6680 immediately.

The type of treatment needed depends upon the amount ingested and time since ingestion. Early decontamination and treatment decrease the risk for serious toxicity. If ingestion occurred within a few hours of treatment, the veterinarian may induce vomiting. Inducing vomiting at home in cats should never be attempted because it may cause severe damage to the stomach lining. Once vomiting is controlled, activated charcoal may be administered. This can decrease absorption of Vitamin D from the gastrointestinal tract. Activated charcoal should only be administered by a veterinarian. Otherwise, aspiration into the lungs and life-threatening changes in blood sodium levels may occur.

Blood work to evaluate calcium, phosphorous and kidney function is necessary. If a low dose was ingested, outpatient care may be sufficient. When higher doses are ingested, hospitalized care including intravenous fluids, additional medications to prevent absorption of vitamin D, steroids, anti-nausea medications, antacids and medications to decrease calcium and phosphorus levels may be needed.

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How Is Vitamin D Poisoning Diagnosed

Most cases of vitamin D poisoning are diagnosed in cats that have the expected signs and a known or suspected exposure to Vitamin D-containing supplements, rat/mouse poisons or psoriasis treatments. Blood work showing elevated levels of calcium, phosphorous, or markers of kidney damage increase the suspicion for vitamin D poisoning. A urine sample may be performed to help assess kidney function. In some cases, specialized testing to rule out other causes of elevated calcium may be necessary.

You May Not Need To Supplement

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Suppose youre already feeding your dog quality dog food. In that case, the dog is probably getting enough vitamin D. If you make your dogs food yourself, then the dog may not hbe getting enough vitamin D and may require supplementation. If youre making homemade food for your dog, they may also be deficient in the amino acid taurine. The biggest reason to supplement your dogs diet is if you dont buy good quality commercially prepared food.

Of course, if youre preparing your dogs food on your own, then vitamin D isnt the only thing you need to worry about. Its essential to account for the ratio of calcium to phosphorus and a wide range of other vitamins and minerals which may not be in the correct proportions in your dogs diet. While you look for a better one with a licensed vet, a good temporary solution is a childs multivitamin with vitamin D not exceeding 400IU. If youre going to make homemade dog food, you will need to purchase a precise laboratory-grade scale to measure supplements. This kind of scale easily costs more than $200, and measuring and adding vitamins one by one is difficult to fill out the dogs nutritional requirements. You wont be able to buy all of the individual vitamins if you look for ones only marketed towards dogs, and it may be cheaper to buy the human versions in some cases. This is only the case for individual vitamins and minerals like magnesium, iron, vitamin E, etc., not for multivitamins.

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Excessive Vitamin D In Pet Food May Be Making Dogs Sick

A number of brands, including Nutrisca and Natural Life, have issued recalls of certain products

The Food and Drug Administration is warning dog owners to keep a close watch on their furry friends, after several brands of dry dog food were found to contain potentially toxic levels of vitamin D.

According to NPRs Amy Held, the FDA has received reports of dogs falling ill after eating certain foods, which are made by an unnamed manufacturer and sold under at least eight different brands. Nutrisca and Natural Life issued recalls in early November, reports Shelby Lin Erdman of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and several other brands have followed suit. The full list, which includes products by Sunshine Mills and ELM Pet Foods, can be seen here.

The FDA says the situation is developing, and its scientists are still working to definitively link the dogs illnesses to their diet. But when the agency sampled some of the questionable products, it found that the foods contained as much as 70 times the amount of intended vitamin D.

As it does in humans and other mammals, vitamin D helps dogs maintain calcium and phosphorus levels in their bodies, which is essential for bone formation, along with heart, muscle and nerve function.

Pet Food Fads To Avoid

Finally, try to avoid pet food fads. For example, theres recently been a large movement in pet stores towards grain-free diets. However, nutritional scientists havent found a lot of evidence that dogs and cats need a grain free diet. In fact, in recent months there actually have been reports of grain-free diets being linked to heart disease in some dogs. Research continues to be conducted on this topic and we will surely be learning more in the coming months.

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Consequences Of Too Much Vitamin D

Make no mistake about it:

Excessive vitamin D can seriously harm your dogs 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

To Build Their Immune Systems

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In the Whole Dog Journal article, California-based veterinarian Dr. Stephen Blake points to research showing that sunlight can lower human susceptibility to colds and viruses, and says the same principle may apply to dogs. Lack of sunlight doesnt often cause acute disease, but it can cause chronic disease, he notes. Its usually a gradual process. Its like not getting enough calcium youll see the results of that deficiency over time.

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How Much Vitamin D Does Your Dog Need

Every dog is different, so its important to discuss your individual dogs needs with your Vet. Your dog might need more or less Vitamin D on a daily basis than his friends at the dog park or the pup down the street. Your Vet can run blood tests that dictate how much Vitamin D should be added to your dogs diet.

This is especially key to bring up to your Vet if youre considering feeding your dog a food that contains added Vitamin D or youre hoping to add it to his diet as a multivitamin or targeted topper. While Vitamin D is an essential nutrient your dog needs to consume, there is a limit to the amount of Vitamin D that is safe for your dog to consume.

There have been some recent scares with pet food recalls involving dog food that contained too much Vitamin D then is recognized as safe for dogs.

Is Your Dog Or Cat Getting Enough Vitamin D

Many people take vitamin D supplements nowadays, and for good reason. Research has found that low levels of this vitamin are associated with a variety of serious health issues, including cardiovascular disease and hypertension, cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, asthma, infectious diseases, rickets and other problems.

More recently, researchers have uncovered similar findings in dogs and cats. Most of the studies involve dogs, but the findings are applicable to cats as well. Congestive heart failure, neoplasia, renal and infectious diseases, IBD, feline oral resorptive lesions , rickets and other conditions are all connected to a deficiency of vitamin D in these animals.

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How To Read A Dog Food Label

The best place to begin is by taking a look for something called the AAFCO Statement. The Association of American Food Control Officials is a consortium of officials from the federal, state, and local level who set nutritional standards for complete and balanced pet foods for animals at each stage of lifefrom puppy to old dog. However, compliance with their guidelines is voluntary. So, only pet food companies that truly care about their customers will perform the feeding trials according to the AAFCOs recommendations.

The place to look for the AAFCO Statement is on the nutritional label, generally printed directly above or below the ingredients list. Its important to read what the statement says, as it contains important information about whether the product in your hands meets the dietary requirements specific for your pets age.

Why Dog Food Contains Vitamin D

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Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for the optimal health of dogs and cats. It enhances the absorption of calcium in the intestines, as well as enhances the retention and bone deposition of calcium and phosphorous. Unlike humans, dogs and cats cannot produce the majority of the necessary vitamin D from sunlight, and thus need vitamin D added to their diet.

However, just like any other substance, too much vitamin D can be harmful. There is a set standard for the amount of vitamin D added to commercial dog and cat food sold in the United States. If an animal ingests too much, their internal biology begins to malfunction.

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What If My Dog Ate Vitamin D3

How is vitamin D poisoning treated? As with any poisoning, early treatment allows the best chance for a full recovery. If your dog has eaten vitamin D supplements, medications or rat/mouse poison, contact your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline, a 24/7 animal poison control center, at 1-800-213-6680 immediately.

The Truth About Vitamin D For Dogs

Vitamin D is one of the seven most essential nutrients every dog needs to consume daily. But dosing is important and your dog can consume too much of the sunshine vitamin if youre not monitoring his vitamin and mineral intake each day. This post is all about Vitamin D for dogs and what you should keep in mind before adding a vitamin D supplement to your pets diet.

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Vitamin Deficiency In Dogs

Limitations stemming from lack of research on vitamin D and dogs prevent the development of a clearer definition of canine vitamin D deficiency. However, research has shown that low vitamin D levels in animals are linked to cases of rickets and osteomalacia.

Laboratories conducting blood tests for vitamin status in animals may also have varying definitions of vitamin D deficiency. In a 2015 VDI-funded Tufts University study on the effects of diet on vitamin D levels, researchers looked at serum vitamin D levels in 320 dogs represented by three breeds of dogs: Golden Retriever, German Shepherd and White Shepherd.12 Most dogs were fed commercial diets from 40 different manufacturers. Some dogs were fed homemade diets or a combination of commercial and homemade diets. Differences in vitamin D content among manufacturers were statistically significant.

The study found that dogs that ate homemade diets had the largest range of serum vitamin D levels. They also found that some dogs on home-prepared diets had the most deficient vitamin D levels. According to VDI, raw diets are more likely to show near sufficiency.

A Useful Predictor Of Survival

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However, the researchers are positive about one thing: If your cat is sick, then knowing if they have high or low levels of Vitamin D could predict how likely they are to survive.

A simple blood test looking at Vitamin D levels could help the vet know if a seriously ill cat stands a fair chance of pulling through.

This has many implications for decision making and balancing whether or not its fair to put a cat through a lengthy or invasive treatment. Any information that can help you reach a balanced decision about your pets health must be good.

All of this makes it tempting to consider giving your cat a Vitamin D supplement as a health insurance policy of sorts.

Well, the vets at Edinburgh advise against this. They argue 2 points:

  • A balanced diet provides plenty of Vitamin D.
  • Too much Vitamin D is toxic to cats.

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Why Is Vitamin D Important

Vitamin D is crucial for maintaining the health of humans and canines alike. Vitamin Ds most prominent role is to regulate calcium and phosphorus absorption, which is necessary for growing and maintaining healthy bones.

If your dogs diet is deficient in Vitamin D, he may experience poor muscle activity, heart disease, and weakened bones or bone disorders, and other conditions.

Before mixing some precautionary Vitamin D supplements into Fidos food bowl, make sure hes eating a healthy, well-rounded diet. The most common sources of Vitamin D for dogs are liver, fish, egg yolks, beef, and dairy most commercial pet foods also contain Vitamin D. If your pup is eating a healthy diet, chances are hes also getting a healthy dose of Vitamin D.

If youre worried that your furry friend may be deficient in Vitamin D, consult your vet. When it comes to this vitamin in particular, its incredibly easy to have too much of a good thingin fact, too much Vitamin D can be incredibly toxic to dogs.


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