Dogs enjoying sun is as natural as chasing a ball or running in a field. We know that not every dog wants to run around all day. Our guests love our sun loungers and are happy to lie in the sun all day. We always make sure there’s plenty of water outside to quench a dog’s thirst, and they can always take a dip in our dog pool to cool off if they want to.
Do your dogs love laying in the sun? Do they have a favourite spot to sunbathe in front of the window? Dogs love laying in the sun because it feels good and because it’s a good source of Vitamin D.
As humans, we love sunbathing, whether it’s at the local beach or in our own back garden. Sunglasses on, sun tan lotion applied, and a nice warm towel on the ground. It’s one of the simple pleasures of summer. The warmth of the sun feels nice on our skin, and it’s a nice healthy dose of vitamin D – in moderation, of course.
Dogs seem to love laying out in the sun just as much as we do. On sunny days you will find our dogs lounging and napping in the our back garden or on our sun lounger for hours.
The sun certainly feels good to our dogs, and that extra warmth does help regulate their temperature. But lounging around in the sun does more than just feel nice, it’s beneficial to our dogs. Our dogs are getting vitamin D from sunbathing just like us, but it’s obtained in a much different way.
The Importance of Vitamin D For Dogs
Vitamin D is considered a pro-hormone which means it’s more of a hormone than a vitamin. It’s still considered a vitamin because our dogs can’t absorb calcium without it, but it’s also considered a hormone because our dogs body manufactures it in response to direct sunlight.
Vitamin D is kept in the fatty tissues of the body and liver. It helps regulate the calcium and phosphorus balance in our dogs bodies. Vitamin D for dogs is important for bone formation, and muscle and nerve control.
Vitamin D stimulates the kidney conservation of calcium and therefore helps the body to retain it. Because of its interplay with calcium, Vitamin D is extremely important in bone formation and nerve and muscle control.- Pet Education
Most of the vitamin D our dogs receive is obtained through their diet, although they create it when enjoying the sun, just like us.
When we lay out in the sun the ray’s help break down the oils in our skin that creates vitamin D. When we stand in direct sunlight the oil in our skin reacts to the UV rays by breaking down the chemical bonds and creating vitamin D3. After it’s broken down it’s absorbed back into the body and into our blood stream through dermal absorption. The process takes about 15-20 minutes.
Dogs enjoying sun have that same chemical on their skin that converts to vitamin D under direct sunlight. But due to their fur vitamin D3 can’t be efficiently absorbed back into their body. Vitamin D3 remains on their fur and gets ingested orally when they lick and groom themselves.
Even though dogs can create their own vitamin D in direct sunlight their absorption is quite inefficient. Our dogs get the majority of their vitamin D through their diet. Next time your dog is grooming himself remember that he’s not just doing it to look pretty, he’s also getting some vitamin D.