The importance of Vitamin D has gained a lot of focus in the human health sector, with mounting research proving that this vitamin is crucial to maintaining good health. In more detailed terms, a lack of Vitamin D has been linked to all types of inflammation in the body; i.e. multiple diseases, depression and cancer.
In basic terms, vitamin D and inflammation have an inverse relationship in the body. This means that when there are low or insufficient levels of Vitamin D, there is MORE inflammation in the body. Period. This is especially important as we now understand that ALL disease involves inflammation.
Humans can get Vitamin D from food sources and we can also manufacture Vitamin D through sun exposure on our skin. The issue for us is that modern diets and lifestyles have strayed us away from adequate Vitamin D intake and exposure.
Dogs and cats do NOT have the capability to create Vitamin D with sun exposure. In fact, our pets rely completely on food for all of their Vitamin D sources, and with modern processed pets foods, this has become a significant issue. Experts have estimated that 70% of dogs and cats have insufficient levels of Vitamin D.
At IVC, we have recently begun frequent testing of Vitamin D levels in our patients. Thus far, we are finding that approximately 90% of our patients are low! This is quantified in detail as either insufficient (mildly to moderately low) or deficient (severely low) and we are seeing both.
Therefore, our experience supports the fact that the majority of dogs and cats need Vitamin D supplementation. This can be done with a once daily dose of a liquid Vitamin D product, but it is safest to have levels tested first, in order to calculate proper dosing for each pet based on their current levels. Vitamin A & D differ from Vitamin B & C in the fact that they are stored in body fat vs urinated out - when excess intake occurs. For this reason, proper dosing of Vitamin D is important.
Although we do recommend having your pets tested for Vitamin D levels, we also recommend adding foods rich in Vitamin D into their diet on a daily or routine basis. You will not have to worry about excess levels with typical volumes of these great Vitamin D containing foods: raw milk/cheese, cod liver oil, free range (pasture-raised) eggs, and medicinal mushrooms (reishi, shiitake, maitake, cordyceps, turkey tail, etc).
Please contact us for more information on Vitamin D testing for your pet(s).