SHOULD YOU GIVE A TAURINE SUPPLEMENT TO YOUR DOG?

Health consciousness has been on the rise in the past decade helping dietary supplements gain popularity. Thousands of clinical studies proving a wide range of health benefits have turned many sceptics into believers. Research has extended also to pet supplements, providing useful natural remedies for pet owners such as Taurine.

TAURINE AND DOGS

Taurine is an amino acid found in high concentration in dogs’ heart muscle, retina, and brain. It plays an important role for the health of those organs, regulates blood pressure, boosts immunity and acts as an antioxidant. Dogs use taurine for bile acid conjugation, leading to loss of taurine. 

CAUSES OF TAURINE DEFICIENCY

Although dogs can synthesize Taurine from cysteine and methionine, Taurine deficiencies can occur as a result of (1) diets rich in lamb, rice and fiber and protein-restricted diets, (2) metabolic factors interfering with Taurine absorption and (3) genetic predisposition in breeds like Golden Retrievers, Labradors, American Cocker Spaniels, English Setters, Newfoundlands and Saint Bernards.

CONSEQUENCES OF TAURINE DEFICIENCY

Taurine deficiency can cause dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), a condition of the heart muscle in which, typically the left heart ventricle becomes too weаk to function normally.  As the disease progresses the heart chambers become enlarged, one or more valves may leak, and signs of congestive heart failure develop (CHF). 

IS YOUR DOG TAURINE DEFICIENT OR HAS DCM?

The most common way to determine taurine levels in dogs is via blood plasma tests. Some authors argue that these are not very accurate, though, and a biopsy of the heart tissue is needed (not routinely performed on living dogs).

At an early stage of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) signs may not be detectable, or the dog may show reduced exercise tolerance. Sometimes, a soft heart murmur or irregular heart rhythm could be detected upon examination. Examination methods include chest radiographs (x-rays), an electrocardiogram (ECG), and echocardiogram.

SHOULD YOU GIVE TAURINE SUPPLEMENT TO YOUR DOG?

Research shows that higher taurine levels are linked to significantly lower rates of death from heart disease. The heart health of my dog is a really important matter to me, so I am not willing to take any risks with a potential Taurine deficiency. Taurine is safe with no side effects and any excess amounts, not needed by the dog’s body, will be excreted as waste. For these reasons I give Taurine supplement to my dog.

HOW TO SELECT THE RIGHT SUPPLEMENT?

The recommend daily amount is 500mg of Taurine per 25lbs. of dog weight. The problem with popular heart supplements sold on Amazon is that Taurine amounts are way lower than that. Dr. Oscar Taurine for Dogs provides the recommended daily amount of Taurine and can be purchased either from this website or Amazon.