Can vitamin D hurt dogs?

We’re living in strange times. There have never been so many requests to “stay home” for so long in recent memory. The more significant drawbacks of spending so much time indoors—mental, physical, social, and so forth—are frequently highlighted. Recent news reports have made us aware of a less obvious side effect of lockdown: vitamin D deficiency. Health professionals worry that a lack of exposure to sunlight is causing a large number of people to become deficient in this essential vitamin. They advise specific populations to take vitamin D supplements to top up because Britain doesn’t always get a lot of sun. Naturally, as an animal-loving nation, concerns have been raised about whether our canine companions, who may also spend more time indoors than usual, should also receive vitamin D supplements. Therefore, we will address the query “Do dogs need vitamin D supplements?” today.

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Dogs who consume pet food high in vitamin D risk developing vitamin D toxicity. It can also happen if a household member’s vitamin D supplements are accidentally consumed by a dog. Another frequent cause of vitamin D toxicity in dogs is accidental consumption of substances known as cholecalciferol rodenticides, which are used to kill rodents like rats and mice. Cholecalciferol is the chemical name for vitamin D3.

Dogs with too much vitamin D may lose weight, drool excessively, have little appetite, drink and urinate more, and/or vomit. Diet-related toxicity typically manifests more gradually over time, depending on the amount of vitamin D present in the food. Rapid onset cases of vitamin D rodenticide or supplement poisoning manifest symptoms within hours or days.

Take your dog to the vet right away if you believe they are exhibiting symptoms of vitamin D toxicity.

Only a veterinarian can diagnose vitamin D toxicity. He or she will assess your dog’s symptoms, inquire about the food your dog consumes and potential entanglements, and possibly draw blood to check calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D levels or collect urine to check kidney function. A veterinarian will choose the best course of action based on the findings of their examination.

The course of treatment will depend on how each case is evaluated by a veterinarian, but it will generally involve removing the vitamin D source to prevent further exposure (e. g. , stop feeding recalled dog food) and to remove excess vitamin D from the body. The veterinarian may determine that a change in diet may help to resolve the problem within weeks to months in less severe cases of vitamin D toxicity that are detected early, or he or she may decide to prescribe medication. Additionally, a veterinarian may keep track of blood calcium and phosphorus levels until they normalize to their baseline values.

Contact a veterinarian right away if your dog exhibits symptoms of vitamin D toxicity, such as vomiting, loss of appetite, increased thirst and urination, excessive drooling, and/or weight loss. Give your veterinarian a thorough account of your pet’s diet, including the foods you (or other family members) give him as well as any other foods or objects he may have ingested. Take a photo of the pet food label, including the lot number, if you think it would be helpful. Having the lot code available assists the FDA in pinpointing the exact time the contamination occurred and what other products may also be impacted if your veterinarian suspects the food is the cause of excessive vitamin D. Save Your Pet Food Lot Number! for information on how to find and save pet food lot code details, which can help keep other dogs from getting sick. Do not give the products to any animals, including your pets.

Dog owners can contact the FDA’s consumer complaint coordinators in their state or submit a suspected illness report electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal. Working with your veterinarian to include a dog’s medical records in the report is most beneficial. Please refer to How to Report a Pet Food Complaint for a description of the details and information that should be provided to the FDA.

Additionally, keeping the food in its original packaging is beneficial in case testing calls for it. If testing is not required, speak with the business listed on the package for more information or dispose of the products in a way that keeps kids, pets, and wildlife from getting to them.

The FDA urges veterinarians treating vitamin D toxicity linked to diet to request a thorough diet history from their patients. We also remind doctors that vitamin D toxicity may manifest as hyperphosphatemia, renal failure, or hypercalcemia. We welcome case reports, especially those supported by diagnostic evidence, if you believe that the pet food is the source of the excess vitamin D. Instead of telling the pet owner to throw away the leftover food, we ask that you instruct them to keep it in a secure location and not give it to their pet or any other animal.

You can contact your local FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators or use the Safety Reporting Portal to submit reports to the FDA. Please choose “A private citizen/business submitting a voluntary report” on the selection screen when asked “Who are you” for submissions through the Safety Reporting Portal in order to be guided through a veterinary submission. How to Report a Pet Food Complaint provides an explanation of the details and information that should be included in a complaint to the FDA.

Dogs and Vitamin D

To maintain a healthy balance of calcium and phosphorus in their bodies, dogs must consume a certain amount of vitamin D in their diets. This plays a crucial role in the health of their bones as well as the health of their muscles, nerves, and all of the body’s cells.

There are two predominant types of Vitamin D. Ergocalciferol (D2) is derived from plants. Cholecalciferol (D3) is derived from animal sources. Dogs must obtain their Vitamin D from their diets because they are unable to synthesize a sizable amount of it from sunlight the way humans and some other animals can. The majority of the vitamin D that dogs in the wild consume comes from eating animal fat. Some may come from eating plants.

The majority of commercial dog foods contain vitamin D supplements, but the amounts can differ. Additional supplementation of Vitamin D is not usually needed. Consult your vet for advice regarding vitamin D and your dog. Your veterinarian can assess your dog’s levels if necessary and assist you in making any alterations.

How is vitamin D poisoning treated?

Early treatment is crucial for the best chance of a full recovery after any poisoning. Contact your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline, a 24-hour animal poison control line, at 1-800-213-6680 right away if your dog has consumed vitamin D supplements, medications, or rat- or mouse-poison.

The amount consumed and the amount of time since ingestion determine the type of treatment required. Early decontamination and treatment decrease the risk for serious toxicity. The veterinarian may cause vomiting if ingestion occurred shortly after treatment if it was within a few hours. Once vomiting is controlled, activated charcoal may be administered. This may reduce the intestinal tract’s ability to absorb vitamin D. Activated charcoal should only be administered by a veterinarian. Otherwise, life-threatening changes in blood sodium levels and aspiration into the lungs could happen.

Blood tests are required to assess calcium, phosphorus, and kidney function. A low dose may only require outpatient treatment. When higher doses are consumed, hospitalized care may be required, including intravenous fluids, additional drugs to block vitamin D absorption, steroids, anti-nausea drugs, antacids, and drugs to lower calcium and phosphorus levels.


How much vitamin D is toxic to a dog?

It only takes a dose of 0 to cause vitamin D poisoning in dogs. 1 mg/kg to cause vitamin D poisoning. That’s about 0. 45 mg per 10 pounds of body weight. The lethal dose is approximately 2 mg/kg, or 9 mg in a dog weighing 10 pounds.

What happens if my dog ate a vitamin D pill?

Dogs with too much vitamin D may lose weight, drool excessively, have little appetite, drink and urinate more, and/or vomit. Diet-related toxicity typically manifests more gradually over time, depending on the amount of vitamin D present in the food.

Will a vitamin D pill hurt a dog?

As a result, many people take vitamin D supplements (often listed as vitamin D2, vitamin D3, cholecalciferol, or calcipotriene) as a supplement. Although vitamin D in small amounts is very safe, it can be extremely poisonous if consumed by dogs or, less frequently, cats.

Can I give my dog human vitamin D?

Dogs are still at risk for vitamin D toxicity despite being more resistant than herbivorous animals. As a result, we urge you to never give your dog human vitamin D supplements (which frequently contain far too much vitamin D), and to only increase their dietary vitamin D in response to a veterinarian’s recommendation.