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Vitamin D3 for Dogs

| Updated September 26, 2017

Most pet owners want assurance that they are feeding their dog the best diet possible. Good health is contingent on proper nutrition. There are certain vitamins and minerals that dogs need to stay healthy; vitamin D3 is one your dog needs.


Vitamin D is important for all animals. The vitamin helps the intestines absorb calcium to regulate blood levels. Dogs and cats are unable to synthesize vitamin D. For this reason, it’s important that either vitamin D2 or vitamin D3 is introduced directly into the diet. If a dog has healthy kidneys, vitamin D2 will become D3.


Owners should not add extra vitamin D to their dog’s diet if the dog’s pet food already contains the correct amounts. Reviewing the ingredients list on pet foods will inform an owner to how much of the vitamin the dog is receiving.

Kidney Problems

When a dog is exposed to excessive amounts of vitamin D3 this can cause abnormally high levels of calcium in the blood. The consequence of higher calcium levels is kidney malfunctioning.


In 2007, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals blamed excessive amounts of vitamin D in pet food for the health problems and deaths of dogs across the country.


According to the Pet Center, when dogs are not receiving proper nutrition they can develop health problems that manifest in a number of ways. For example, when a dog is not receiving too little Vitamin D, this can lead to rickets. Dogs that develop rickets will experience bone pain and tenderness in their legs.