How much taurine does my dog need? Is it really necessary? What does taurine do? What happens if they doesn’t get enough? The following article addresses common questions about taurine and dog health.
There’s been a lot of discussion about how taurine (and the lack of it) can impact the health of dogs, but is this a legitimate health concern, or a marketing strategy of the supplement industry?
Well – it’s certainly a legitimate concern for many pet owners. While most dogs can synthesize taurine from other nutrients that are legally required to be included in commercial pet foods, a subset of dog breeds have a genetic defect that prevents them from producing taurine on their own. Here’s what you need to know about taurine and your dog.
What is taurine?
Taurine is an amino acid – a protein building block that supports healthy functioning of the heart, muscles, brain, and eyes.
Is taurine a necessary nutrient for dogs?
Taurine is essential – long-term taurine deficiency can lead to major health problems. However, you may not have to administer taurine to your dog. Most dogs can produce sufficient amounts of taurine on their own, but certain breeds need to be given taurine regularly. There are also some inherited medical conditions, such as cystinuria, that prevent taurine synthesis. However, if your dog is healthy and isn’t taurine deficient, giving them more taurine won’t benefit them, though it isn’t harmful
Dogs breeds that are known to suffer from taurine deficiency include:
- Golden retriever
- Labrador retriever
- American cocker spaniel
- Saint Bernard
- Great Dane
- English setters
What if my dog doesn’t get enough taurine?
Long-term taurine deficiency can have an adverse effect on dog health and can lead to serious conditions such as dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). If you have a breed of dog that may be vulnerable to taurine deficiency, consult your vet to see if taurine supplementation is a recommended option. Zignature dog food taurine content is naturally high enough to meet most dogs’ nutritional requirements, but check with your vet before making any changes to your dog’s diet program.
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