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says that feeding a nutritionally complete and balanced diet should prevent a nutrient deficiency, so supplementation for healthy dogs is not necessary. barks feature | abc-D HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH? Vitamin D is present in food in two forms: ˜ Vitamin D2 (found mostly in plant matter) ˜ Vitamin D3 (found in the soft tissue of mammals) Vitamin D3 is the form most commonly used in supplements and pet foods. While vitamin D is a good thing, it’s important that pets get the right amount. Dr. Young says that feeding a nutritionally complete and balanced diet should prevent a nutrient deficiency, so supplementation for healthy dogs is not necessary (or advisable, as you’ll read below). The best way to check if your pet’s food meets industry guidelines is to look for the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) statement on the bag. This statement tells you for which species and life stage the diet is formulated. For pet parents who want to customize or make their pet’s food in the home kitchen, be sure to work with a board-certified veterinary nutritionist to ensure your home-cooked diet provides all the nutrition your pet needs. Rely on a balanced diet to make sure your pet is getting all their essential nutrients — including vitamin D — and check with your veterinarian if you have any questions on making the best food choices for your furry friend. Dr. Young TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING Vitamin D is stored in fat and other organs, so it is not released from the body as readily as water-soluble vitamins. Too much of it can build up to toxic levels. Vitamin D intoxication is typically due to accidental ingestion of human medication or supplements containing vitamin D. Many rodenticides are made with vitamin D3, so rodenticide ingestion is also dangerous. Clinical signs can begin 12 to 72 hours after a large exposure. If left untreated, dogs and cats can go into acute kidney failure and calcification of soft tissues, possibly leading to death. If you have reason to believe your dog or cat has been exposed to products containing vitamin D, get to your veterinarian immediately. Quick treatment can and does save lives. 32 fun in the sun issue


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