Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for most animals, including humans and dogs. While humans and certain animals are able to synthesize Vitamin D from the sun via their skin, dogs mainly get Vitamin D from their diets. Although dogs need Vitamin D to survive and thrive, too much Vitamin D can be toxic to dogs.
Dogs and Vitamin D
Dogs need a certain amount of Vitamin D in their diets to maintain a healthy balance of calcium and phosphorus in their bodies. This helps keep their bones healthy and plays an important role in the functions of muscles, nerves and all cells in the body.
There are two predominant types of Vitamin D. Ergocalciferol (D2) is derived from plants. Cholecalciferol (D3) is derived from animal sources. Dogs are not able to synthesize a significant amount of Vitamin D from the sun the way humans and some other animals can and therefore must get it from their diets. Dogs in the wild likely get most of their Vitamin D from eating animal fat. Some may come from eating plants.
Most commercial dog foods are supplemented with Vitamin D, but their levels can vary. Additional supplementation of Vitamin D is not usually needed. Ask your veterinarian for advice about Vitamin D and your dog. If needed, your vet can check your dogs levels and help you make any necessary adjustments.
Ingesting Rat Poison With Cholecalciferol
There are several types of rodenticides out there, all of which can harm dogs. Because rat poison tastes good to dogs, it is relatively common for dogs to find it and eat it.
How is vitamin D poisoning diagnosed?
Most cases of vitamin D poisoning are diagnosed in pets 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.
Can one vitamin D pill hurt a dog?
What should I do if my dog ate a vitamin D pill?
CAN 2000 IU of vitamin D cause toxicity?