What does Vitamin D do? We all know it as sunshine Vitamin D right? It is a hormone as well, and our dogs need it just like we do. Find it in these Vit D rich foods.
Vitamin D is actually a hormone and is needed for many activities at a cellular level in the body. Ultraviolet rays on the skin activate Vit D, which then increases calcium uptake for bones and joints. This helps keep away arthritis, hip dysplasia and other inflammations. It is needed for the growth of bones, muscles and teeth. Vit D assists with the regulation of blood pressure and cardiovascular health, regulation of insulin and blood sugar.
The problem with getting sunshine Vitamin D, is that with our current lifestyles many of us are away from home during those hours while our dogs snooze on the couch.
I know folks who avoid the sun like the plague, believing they will get skin cancer. They lather on sunscreen that their skin eats up (remember skin is an organ) and prevents needed absorption of D.
What does vitamin D do? This vitamin actually helps protect against cancer. The real problem is burning under the sun.
The point being, because of this ritual, they don't get out much and neither do their dogs.
A Human Problem Without the Sun
At a health seminar led by an MD and hormone specialist, I was shocked to learn 78% of us humans are severely short of Vitamin D!
Good grief, if we are so are our dogs!
Get outside with your dog! Just 15-30 minutes a day is beneficial with face and arms exposed. Think of yourself as a solar panel. The more of your skin exposed to the sun, the less time it takes for your D fix. Also darker skin and older folks take longer exposure.
And ladies, remember that face makeup has sunscreen, so take it off before you walk with your dog or get your sun time in the back yard before you put it on, like I do. (Well, at least I admitted it.)
One more thing I've got to share about sunshine? It makes me happy! Reminds me of John Denver's song lyrics, "Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy". Stop laughing at me. I don't know if it's the Vitamin D or serotonin created by the light absorbed through my eyes. The days I'm lucky enough to drag a chaise lounge into the sun and spend an hour writing, are the evenings I feel the most happy and calm. Plus I sleep like a baby. (As long as I don't celebrate the sun with a margarita or other alcoholic libation.)
The highest concentration of Vitamin D is present in fish oil for dogs. Wild caught salmon, mackerel, sardines are at the top of the list. It's nice that those oils are also the best sources of Omega 3 fatty acids as well.
While I do sell supplements, I do not recommend supplementing with a single source vitamin. In general it's a waste of money because the vitamins in whole foods have just the right amount of phytonutrients to help the body absorb the vitamins.
My favorites for Lulu? Beef liver and eggs! Not everyone eats liver so let's go with eggs. Even if you feed a commercial diet, adding a couple of eggs a week can only help ...everybody!
Share some with your dog today. Those pasture raised chickens lay nutrient packed eggs and your dog can eat them raw. If you must cook, leave the egg yolks runny so the lovely Omega 3 isn't killed by the heat.
P.S. The cholesterol thing about eggs is an old husband's tale and the fat in that egg yolk helps with many functions, including brain power. (You didn't think I'd actually say old wive's tale did you?)