If you have a dog in your family, you already realize that they are prone to some quirky behavior. You may even come to love that behavior, along with appreciating the fact that we never know what they are going to do next.
Then again, there are certain things that we can expect from our dogs, including the fact that they love laying in the sun.
If you have ever watched your dog laying in the sun or, perhaps, if you’ve ever tried doing it as well, you realize that it gets hot very quickly. Considering the fact that dogs have limited options for getting rid of body heat, you may wonder why they choose to spend their summer days getting overheated in this way. It seems counterproductive, but there are reasons why it is beneficial.
Even though dogs can experience various issues as a result of exposure to heat and the sun, there are also benefits to doing so.
For example, dogs benefit from exposure to the sun, including being able to turn fats into vitamin D. Like in humans, that vitamin helps with the production of bone and also assists in using various minerals. Dogs get the same benefits from it as humans do.
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There is a difference between dogs and humans when it comes to the formation of vitamin D, and that is where it is formed. In humans, it happens in the skin, but in dogs, it takes place on the fur, where we see a heavy concentration of oils. That also is why many dogs will lick themselves after laying in the sun, as they are ingesting vitamin D. Think of it as a natural supplement.
More than likely, you’ve heard that humans could use a little more vitamin D and it seems as if that is also the case with dogs. They may get a lot from laying in the sun, but they might also benefit from supplementation.
This isn’t always going to be the case, so you would want to speak to your veterinarian before you provide them with any vitamins. It may be necessary in some cases if you have windows that block UV radiation.
More than likely, your dog is going to get all of the vitamin D that they need. Whether they are laying in the sun coming through the window or hanging out in the backyard, they are able to regulate this behavior naturally.
That being said, it’s also a good idea to provide them with shade and clean water and you would never want to place their bed directly in the sun, especially if they stay in a crate and don’t have the ability to get away from the sun.
If you would like to ensure that your dog gets enough vitamin D and that you get plenty of it as well, why not take your dog for walks regularly in the sun? Just make sure it’s not too hot outside during some of the warmer seasons.
If you live in a part of the world where the sun is not quite as conveniently available or if it is cold outside, you could also choose some indoor UV lighting. Exposure to this lighting can help your dog and it can help you as well.
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