Do dogs need sunlight and how much? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-16-2019, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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Do dogs need sunlight and how much?

Hello guys,

Do dogs needs sunlight? Internet is wishy washy on the subject.

Do you expose your dogs to sunlight? How much of it and when?

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-16-2019, 10:40 AM
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In what capacity? For Vitamin D?




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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-16-2019, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jax08 View Post
In what capacity? For Vitamin D?
Yes. Some sites said if the food is not fortified with D, then a supplement is necessary. Mine eats raw, which I guess has D via daw meat bones. Some said the dogs needs a total of an hour or so spread throughout the day and that they get the D off the fur when they groom themselves....
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-16-2019, 11:42 AM
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It's a little bit more complicated than just getting vitamins off of their fur.

There's a precursor to Vitamin D that exists on the skin of the animal. Exposure to UV light allows the body to convert it into Vitamin D. Commercial dog foods are fortified with Vitamin D - Canines don't synthesize it as efficiently as humans do, and they don't need as much, but it's still a natural physical process.

I'd probably focus on the dietary numbers and make sure the food itself it isn't deficient in D.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-16-2019, 02:15 PM
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I have never heard of this before. Most of my dogs rarely lick or groom themselves and lots of mammals live in the far north where sunlight is virtually or even completely absent for several months.

Seems like something of a myth perhaps?

I experience mild seasonal affective disorder and one of the ways I combat it is to make sure to get my dogs out for a long hike/run in the full daylight at lunch break, particularly in the winter. This has done wonders for my mood and energy at the end of the day, and the dogs love it, too. But us humans are almost completely diurnal in our habits, unlike dogs.

Leaving any animal locked away in a dark room without sensory stimulation or access to the outdoors is very bad for their mental status. I'm not entirely sure, however, that sunlight has anything to do with it. Plenty of wild canids are mostly nocturnal, including our dog's cousins the coy-wolf-dog, and seem to be coping just fine.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-16-2019, 02:28 PM
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Reputable sources say they need it from food. They get very little from the sun.

https://www.dsm.com/markets/anh/en_U...vitamin_D.html

http://colovma.org/wp-content/upload...e-Solution.pdf

I'm curious on this hair theory thing and where someone came up with that.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-16-2019, 03:03 PM
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Well, I am not a scientist, a doctor or even particularly bright but here is what I can tell you from personal experience.
I own a dog that has bad skin. She itches incessantly in the winter, though much improved after our move. I am in Canada so long winters. And the province we previously resided in is notorious for crazy, unpredictable weather. Think 37 above to 17 below with 15 inches of snow within a few days. Just some background for you.

In any weather that permitted I made a point of getting her outside just to soak up the sun for at least an hour. Coat would improve, bald spots from scratching healed and grew in within days, she slept better, her eyes brightened up and her appetite improved. This is aside from her regular exercise and outside time, this was time I freed up during the sunniest part of the day to simply let her lounge in the sun, in all 12 months of the year.

To state that wild canids are nocturnal is misleading. Wolves and coyotes are frequently out and about during the day, hunting or just touring about, and have been seen sunning themselves. Dingoes are also active during the day, as are African wild dogs.

Hunting takes place when prey are about, it has little to do with time of day.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-16-2019, 03:14 PM
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Here's an interesting article on how wildlife becomes more nocturnal when they are in areas of busy human activity: https://theconversation.com/to-avoid...ht-shift-98135
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-16-2019, 04:11 PM
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Another can of worms is if too much sunlight reflecting off of clean white snow can be bad for their eyes. As with all things, some sunlight and fresh air has got to be good for all of us. Extremes in temperature, light or darkness, can't be optimal.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-17-2019, 03:08 AM Thread Starter
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The first two links mention the fur thing.

Our Pets Need Vitamin D, Too!

https://www.canidae.com/blog/2016/09...ep-in-the-sun/

This one talks about deficiency and link to cancer and recommends Salmon and Cod Liver in diet

https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.co...sk-for-cancer/

Link below is of recalls of dog foods fortified with too much D

https://www.king5.com/article/news/l...e-7f8e9523bc31
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