Is Your Dog Vitamin D Deficient?

Is Your Dog Vitamin D Deficient?

Did you take your dog to the vet and get told that he was vitamin D deficient? This might be confusing because you take him outside for long walks daily which means that he is getting plenty of sunlight. Cases of vitamin D deficiency in dogs is actually more common than expected because many dog owners are misinformed about how their pets actually get vitamin D. Over 75% of dogs are vitamin D deficient!

Where Does Vitamin D Come from?

Most people probably know that the way humans get vitamin D is from sunlight, so for us it's important to spend enough time outside. Dogs need vitamin D as well, but they can’t get it from the same source as us. A human’s skin is able to absorb sunlight to create a precursor of vitamin D. Our kidneys and liver then take this precursor and convert it into its active form that our bodies can use. Most likely due to the foods they ate during their evolutionary processes, dogs’ and cats’ skin don't have the ability to produce this vitamin D precursor from the sun. Therefore, they get the vitamin D they need from their diets instead.

Why Do Dogs Need Vitamin D?

Dogs need vitamin D to balance minerals like calcium and phosphorus in their bodies. These minerals mainly support healthy bone growth and development. Two diseases that can occur in dogs with vitamin D deficiency include rickets or osteomalacia for example. Osteomalacia is a disease characterized by the softening of the bones which makes your dog more prone to life-threatening injuries, and rickets causes bone deformities. Dogs with vitamin D deficiency are also more likely to develop cancer or experience congestive heart failure. That’s why it's important to always monitor your dog’s vitamin D levels and check what is in their diet.

How Can Chew’ems Help?

Chew’ems is a great way to supplement your dog's meals in order to provide them with that needed amount of Vitamin D that they might not be getting from simply eating the typical commercial dog foods. A study was conducted at Tufts University by veterinary scientist Claire Sharp, BVMS, and colleagues at the University of Missouri’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital and the Veterinary Diagnostics Institute in California on 320 dogs. More than 300 of the dogs were being fed commercial dog food from 40 different brands. The majority of dogs were fed store bought food, while 20 were being fed a strictly homemade diet. The remaining 10 have been eating a combination of commercial and handmade. It was found after their blood was tested, that the majority of dogs, regardless of the orientation of their food, had insufficient blood vitamin D levels. This suggests that their diets contain little Vitamin D. Chew’ems are packed with Vitamin D and can help prevent Vitamin D deficiency in your dog!

 

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