For a long time I wondered why my huskies who are subject to overheating at the drop of hat, would choose to sunbathe in a fur coat? I never could quite figure out why they would sometimes choose to lay in the hot sun and bake.
I found the answer a few years ago and thought I would pass it along to those of you who also wonder about things like this.
“Cats and dogs naturally acquire vitamin D nutrient from UVB sunlight. Unlike humans and reptiles, cats and dogs do not make vitamin D in their skin. When UVB rays strike an animal’s fur, oils in the fur are activated to produce vitamin D. Cats and dogs consume vitamin D when they lick or groom their coats.
The College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University published a landmark study of vitamin D and canine congestive heart failurein the January/February 2014 issue of the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. The Cornell research team concluded that vitamin D deficiency may be a risk factor for congestive heart failure in dogs. Lead author Dr. Marc Kraus stated, “…supplementing with vitamin D [in dogs with congestive heart failure] in addition to conventional therapy may increase survival time [in these patients]. This should be determined with future studies.”
In another study, Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine examined the association between vitamin D blood serum levels and cutaneous mast cell tumors (MCT) in Labrador retrievers. (Mastocytoma, or MCT, is a disorder caused by excess mast blood cells produced in the bone marrow. MCT may lead to the development of certain cancers. The researchers selected Labrador retrievers because this particular canine breed is predisposed to MCT development.) Published in the October 2011 issue of the British Journal of Nutrition, the research findings suggested that low vitamin D levels may be a risk factor for MCT in Labrador retrievers.” http://smilinsuepubs.com/pets-need-vitamin-d/