What do you know about taurine and how it affects the wellbeing of your dog? Here are answers to the most common questions about taurine and dog health.
There’s been a lot of information online about taurine in the past year, but what is it, and what do pet owners need to know about it? Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions about taurine and how it affects the overall health of dogs.
- What is taurine, and why is it important? Taurine is an essential amino acid. It is a protein building block that supports the optimal functioning of the muscles, brain, eyes, and heart.
- How do I know if my dog isn’t getting enough taurine? Most dogs synthesize taurine on their own from other nutrients. However, some dog breeds, including boxers, American cocker spaniels, retrievers (golden and Labrador), English setters, Newfoundlands, and Saint Bernards, have a genetic abnormality that inhibits their ability to produce this amino acid. While taurine deficiency itself is not symptomatic, the conditions caused by taurine deficiency are. One of these medical conditions is dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Symptoms of this illness are fatigue, weight gain, fainting, coughing, excessive drooling, and excessive panting after mild exercise.
- Should I just give my dog taurine to be safe? Talk to your vet if you have a breed of dog that is known to have taurine deficiency, or if they exhibit symptoms of DCM. While giving your dog taurine supplements likely won’t have any adverse effects – your dog’s body will just eliminate it as waste material if it isn’t needed – you should always talk to your vet before changing your dog’s diet.
- Do dog foods have taurine in them? Dog food manufacturers are not required to include additional taurine in their formulas. Zignature taurine rich dog food, however, is a meat-focused product containing significant levels of naturally occurring taurine.
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