Benefits of Vitamin D for Dogs
Your pooch needs as much Vitamin D as you do. He needs it for his strong bones among other things. There is one problem though, he cannot get the vitamin directly from the sun like humans.
Humans have an ability to turn vitamin D from the sun into its active form via the skin. Unfortunately, all your dog gets from the sun is a nice shine on his coat or heat stroke if he stays out for too long. This means that you have to find a different way to help him get his vitamin D.
Sources of Vitamin D for Dogs
Luckily, vitamin D for Dogs is readily available in meat and plants. Vitamin D from meat is converted into its active form D3 which is beneficial for your dogs. If you cook for your dog or have him on a raw diet, possible sources of vitamin D are in beef liver, egg yolks, sardines, salmon, and mackerel. In addition, he will also get vitamin D from dairy products like goat milk and yogurt.
In plants, vitamin D is converted into its active form D2. Any vegetable you feed your dog should contain ample traces of vitamin D2. The vitamin will also be present in fruits and seaweed. As long as the plant grew out in the sun, it contains enough vitamin D2 for your pooch.
Benefits of vitamin D for Dogs
Vitamin D3 and D2 are said to have anti-inflammatory effects when consumed. In dogs, this will help alleviate inflammatory symptoms from diseases such as congestive heart failure and kidney disease. In addition, Vitamin D serves the important function of regulating the amounts of calcium and phosphorus in your dog’s blood.
Speaking of calcium, vitamin D3 or D2 also helps your dog to preserve calcium levels in his body. This ensures he always has the right bone density in his skeletal structure at the same time staving off diseases like osteomalacia and osteoporosis. For puppies, vitamin D is an integral mineral that helps in bone formation and general body growth.
Vitamin D deficiencies in Dogs
Dogs experience the same health risks of inadequate vitamin D just like humans. For puppies, not having enough vitamin can lead to rickets. For older dogs, vitamin D deficiency reduced bone density and exposes your pooch to bone diseases like osteoporosis.
Vitamin D Dosage
It is important that your dog gets enough vitamin D in his food to stay healthy. For puppies, a dosage of 200 IU per 12 oz. of dog food is enough. For smaller dogs, like toy breeds, about 300 IU per one pound of dog food will suffice. Larger dogs will benefit from a healthy diet that contains 400 IU of vitamin D per pound of dog food.
Some dog owners worry about giving excessive vitamins to their dogs. The safest bet is to first visit a vet clinic and have your dog’s blood tested. If he is found to have small traces of vitamin D in his blood, then his vet will have him on vitamin D pet supplements.
Vitamin D in dogs is necessary for healthy bones and optimum physiological processes. While your pooch cannot get his vitamin D from the sun, he will gladly consume it through pet food and supplements.