What To Do If Your Dog Ate Vitamin D Pill

One of my dog’s favorite things to do is eat my vitamins. 

This morning, I picked my vitamins up off the counter and took a quick glance at my pillbox – only to realize that I had accidentally left my vitamin D pills in my coat pocket from last week. 

My dog must have seen me take them out of the bottle and then jumped on the counter to grab one for himself! 

After he ate it, I started wondering if I should be worried or not?

Read this article for my experience with my dog eating a vitamin D pill!

Can You Give A Dog Vitamin D?

sources of vitamin d kept together

It’s not recommended that you give your dog vitamin D, as it’s unlikely that they’ll get enough through their diet. 

Vitamin D is essential for dogs to be able to use calcium efficiently so they need some in their diet, but much less than in humans. 

Too much of this vitamin can lead to kidney stones and increased chances of hypercalcemia (too much calcium). 

Cats are more sensitive to high levels of vitamin D and may also develop complications like muscle weakness with excess intake. 

In both cats and dogs, too much exposure or ingestion can lead to kidney failure or calcification of the soft tissues.

Can Vitamin D Make A Dog Sick?

Vitamin D, or calciferol, is fat-soluble and can build up in a dog’s system. 

It becomes toxic when concentrations of vitamin D are too high… Veterinarians occasionally see toxicity from excess vitamin D caused by owners who believe that vitamins are “safe” because they are natural.

If this sounds like your pet, it may need medical attention. 

Too much Vitamin D usually causes the following symptoms: Lameness; tissue pain or tenderness; swelling with varying size and location; fever; joint stiffness (elderly pets); anorexia (older pets); vomiting and diarrhea in 1-2 days after starting medication for acute disease (one of the side effects). 

If these symptoms present themselves, contact your veterinarian.

How Much Vitamin D Is Safe For A Dog?

vitamin d pills

Symptoms of toxicosis from vitamin D can be seen with doses as low as 0.1 mg/kg, and a lethal dose is only 2mg/kg in mature dogs.

What Does Vitamin D Do For Animals?

Vitamin D is important for a number of cellular processes in animals, including the regulation of cell growth and division, bone metabolism, neurogenesis (the birth and development of neurons), blood coagulation (blood thickening and clotting), embryonic development, and immune function.

What Happens If A Dog Swallows A Vitamin D Pill?

If the dog swallows a vitamin D pill, it can make them sick. 

Vitamin D pills are intended for humans and not for dogs because their bodies cannot break down some of the chemical ingredients in an ordinary human vitamin. 

It’s best to avoid giving any medicines or vitamins that weren’t specifically formulated for our canine friends. 

Either way, if your dog spends a lot of time outside in areas with sunny weather, they may be able to get enough natural sunlight to supplement any deficiencies. 

There is also some disagreement as far as which type of vitamin D supplements are most suitable and what dosage is appropriate.

You should consult someone who works closely with animals if possible; but since it’s still difficult to determine exactly how much Vitamin D is necessary for dogs, it’s best to just stick with natural sunlight or food sources.

How Long Do Dogs Have To Be Outdoors For Enough Vitamin D?

dogs get their vitamin d from sunlight

The amount of time a dog needs to be out in the sun will depend on their fur color and how much they are exposed to during the day; but as long as they spend at least six hours outside on a sunny day, they should be getting enough Vitamin D.

What Is Vitamin D Poisoning In Dogs?

Vitamin D poisoning in dogs happens when a dog eats too much Vitamin D3, most often from dog treats containing high levels of it. 

Symptoms include vomiting and nausea so you should take your pet to the vet as soon as possible if they have eaten any high vitamin d food they are afflicted by vitamin d poisoning. 

Luckily, most dogs will not want to eat an entire bag or can of dog food that is rich in vitamin Ds if it doesn’t taste good to them which means it’s unlikely that they’ll be at risk for overindulging on this type of nutritional supplement. 

However, some manufacturers will increase the percentage with higher content per serving in order to cater more specifically to their target audience such as dogs with joint problems.

What Causes Vitamin D Poisoning In Dogs?

Vitamin Poisoning is a condition in which a pet has an excessive amount of vitamin D due to either too much being consumed from food or supplements, too much coming from their diet (such as an animal living exclusively on fish oil), or other causes.

Signs And Symptoms Of Vitamin D Poisoning In Dogs

Symptoms of vitamin D poisoning include vomiting, excessive drooling, abdominal pain, muscle tremors, and seizures. 

Other symptoms are weakness, depression (feeling sad), constipation (not going to the bathroom regularly or having a hard time passing stool) loss of appetite, and increased thirst with an increase in urination. 

Symptoms may also include blood visible in vomit as well as tarry feces that contains blood.

Diagnosis Of Vitamin D Poisoning In Dogs

Typically, an animal will be tested for elevated levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood. 

Once these numbers have been checked, their “normal” values are calculated and a veterinarian can compare the dog’s current numbers to its normal readings. 

If there is a significant difference, it may be that non-coated dietary supplements have caused your dog some problems. 

These extra coats work by blocking any vitamin D that enters into the body from outside sources such as soybeans or beef liver from being absorbed by the body. 

Treatment Of Vitamin D Poisoning In Dogs

If your dog has eaten something that may have contained vitamin D, or if they are exhibiting any of the symptoms listed above in conjunction with a recent increase in their Vitamin D intake, it is best to take them for medical attention.

There is no antidote for vitamin D poisoning, so the first step with a dog exhibiting symptoms of this condition is to get him to vomit. 

The vet will need to admit the dog and start blood work and treatment. 

If there has been a recent exposure (usually within 24 hours), having activated charcoal available can be helpful for ingestion cases, by acting as an intestinal decontaminant and binding with any unabsorbed poison before it enters the bloodstream.

Note: Activated charcoal powders are not recommended in cases where vomiting cannot be induced (such as esophageal obstruction). It should only be used by veterinarians or emergency personnel trained in its use. Never administer activated charcoal orally without instruction from your veterinarian, unless instructed to do so by a veterinarian or emergency personnel trained in its use.

What Is The Best Vitamin For Dogs?

There is no best vitamin for dogs.

All vitamins on the market have pros and cons, some contain too much of one type of vitamin while lacking in another. 

Trying to find a ‘best’ depends on the individual dog’s needs rather than any particular product. 

It is important that each person carefully read labels and consult with their vet or pet nutritionist to see what nutrients are required for their dog’s specific health goals if they cannot look it up themselves. 

For example, senior dogs may need an extra dose of calcium and phosphorus because bones become brittle as they age; puppies eat more energy-rich foods, so they require dietary fats like omega 3s and 6s; pregnant dogs need choline (especially when gestation begins) for fetal development; some breeds have a genetic predisposition to Type II Diabetes and may be sensitive to high glucose levels, so they may need more Vitamin B12.

I Feed My Dog A Prescription Diet Because He Has Joint Problems. Should I Still Give Him A Vitamin?

It is not recommended that you supplement your pet’s diet with additional vitamins if they are getting a complete and balanced diet. 

Most pet foods have all the necessary nutrients, including vitamin D in it so you should not need to supplement your dog’s food or treats with any extra vitamins.

However, some brands of prescription diets may be lacking in certain key dietary elements that can lead to deficiencies and therefore supplementation may be necessary. 

If you feed your pet a prescription diet and they are still experiencing problems, consult with their veterinarian about supplements that may help fill in the gaps left by the food or speak to a veterinary nutritionist who can analyze their food’s nutritional content for you.


I am so sorry to hear about your dog. 

The first thing you should do is confirm that the pill was actually a vitamin d supplement and not some other medication or tablet. 

If it was, then consult your veterinarian for further testing of liver enzymes in order to determine if there are any side effects from this happening. 

Fortunately, most dogs don’t have problems with taking vitamins – they just need their owners to be aware of how much they’re giving them!

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