Vitamin D Benefits for Dogs
- Dogs can soak up vitamin D from the sunshine.Dackel_cool image by Hypper from Fotolia.com
Vitamin D plays an important role in the health of your dog, and many benefits are derived from its use. However, it is important to point out that in order for this this vitamin to be beneficial, there must be correct dosage. About 227 international units per pound of dry dog food is suggested on a daily basis. Also known as the ''sunshine vitamin,'' vitamin D is produced in the skin after exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Natural sources of vitamin D are sunshine, dairy products, and fish liver oil. Always consult with a veterinarian before supplementing a dog with any vitamins or minerals.
- Vitamin D regulates the levels of calcium and phosphorous in the dog's bloodstream. This makes vitamin D important for bone formation, encouraging the development of strong bones in dogs. Vitamin D deficiency causes bone demineralization, a condition prevalent in the past, known as rickets. However, too much vitamin D in a fast-growing puppy of large breed may alter the maturation of its cartilage cells, a condition known as osteochondrosis, explains Per Schonbeck, a Danish veterinarian.
- Vitamin D plays a large role in boosting your dog's immunity. Indeed, vitamin D can increase the production of antimicrobiological proteins, proteins responsible for fighting bacteria and viruses. This means that vitamin D may help prevent respiratory infections, such as kennel cough, in dogs, further explains Schonbeck. Consult your veterinarian if you are interested in using vitamin D to boost your dog's immunity.
- Vitamin D offers other health benefits. It plays an important role in promoting proper muscle and nerve control. It also regulates calcium in the dog's kidneys, ensuring a steady level throughout the dog's body, according to Vetinfo. While vitamin D offers many health benefits, it is important to point out that dry dog foods likely already come with an appropriate amount of vitamins. Vitamin D, therefore, may be necessary only if dogs are not obtaining enough through other means. Consult your veterinarian for proper advice to avoid oversupplementation.