Due to the presence of receptors in the cells of numerous body tissues, vitamin D is associated with several physiological functions that go beyond calcium and phosphorus homoeostasis and control of bone metabolism in the body. In humans, several studies have associated lower vitamin D concentrations with numerous diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, autoimmune diseases and infectious diseases, and also with an increase in the total mortality rate of the population. Recently, this nutrient started to gain importance in veterinary medicine, and several articles have shown a correlation between low vitamin D status and diseases unrelated to bone metabolism. The present review aims to highlight the recent publications that investigated this relationship, bringing the evidence that exists so far in dogs and cats. © 2019 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.