Taurine is an essential amino acid for healthy organ function in dogs, and yet your dog may not be getting enough of it. The following article discusses the importance of taurine in dog health, and how you can be sure your dog is receiving enough to maintain optimum wellness.
If you’re a dog owner, you can be forgiven for not giving a tremendous amount of thought to your dog’s taurine levels – most dogs synthesize their own taurine, so it’s not necessarily something you should be actively managing. However, if you have a breed of dog that is predisposed to taurine deficiency, making sure they get enough to support their heart, brain, eye, and muscle health should be a priority.
There are certain dog breeds – through deficiencies of selective breeding – that cannot produce taurine efficiently, and must get the necessary taurine through diet or supplements. These breeds include:
- Golden retriever
- Labrador retriever
- American cocker spaniel
- Great Dane
- English setter
- Saint Bernard
When dogs don’t get the appropriate amount of taurine, either through natural internal taurine production or diet, they can be vulnerable to serious illnesses, the most severe being dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). If your dog is one of the above breeds, check with your vet to make sure their taurine levels are where they should be (taurine deficiency itself is symptomless, so you may not realize your dog’s taurine levels are low until they develop an illness that does produce symptoms).
If your vet determines that your dog’s taurine levels are too low, you may want to put your dog on supplements, or give them taurine-rich pet food. Zignature dog food taurine levels are generally high enough to maintain diverse dogs’ nutritional balance, but your vet may give you a program specific to your dog’s health needs.