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Taurine for Dogs (Uses, Benefits and Deficiency Symptoms)

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While Taurine is considered a dispensable nutrient for dogs, studies have shown that commercial dog food brands have significantly low amounts of Taurine and the deficiency of this nutrient can cause far-reaching health implications.

Sulfur-containing amino acids such as cysteine and methionine are the precursors for taurine synthesis in animals. Taurine is found in the highest concentrations in the brain, heart, and muscles. Because of its water solubility, taurine easily diffuses across cell membranes and has several important functions in the body, including regulation of electrolyte homeostasis, stabilization of cell membranes, and modulation of calcium signaling.

Taurine is an important antioxidant that helps to protect cells from damage. It also plays a role in fat metabolism and has anti-inflammatory properties. Taurine deficiency can cause problems with heart function, fertility, vision, and cognitive function.

What is Taurine in dog food?

Taurine is an organic compound that is widely distributed in animal tissues. It is a major constituent of bile and can be found in the large intestine. It is also found in fish and human milk. The highest concentrations are found in the muscles, heart, and brain.

In cats, taurine is essential for cardiovascular function, retinal development, and reproduction. Taurine is also important for the health of cell membranes, particularly in the brain and eyes.

In dogs, taurine supports cognitive development and can help prevent retinal degeneration. It also helps keep the heart muscle healthy.

Taurine is found naturally in meat and fish. It can also be synthesized in the laboratory. Pets that are not eating a meat-based diet may be taurine deficient. Taurine deficiency can lead to serious health problems including blindness, seizures, and heart failure.

Do dogs need Taurine?

Yes, dogs need Taurine immensely and the only reason AAFCO and NRC indicated that Taurine is a non-essential nutrient for dogs is because dogs have a way of synthesizing/obtaining this nutrient from other diets. Taurine is very important for your dog – especially for large-breed dogs. If your dog feeds on low-sulfur diets, you should consider giving taurine supplements as they are important nutrients dogs. Taurine deficiency can cause a number of problems including blindness, seizures, and heart failure.

Taurine plays an important role in the development and function of the retina. It helps to protect cells from damage and supports healthy cell membranes. Taurine also helps to regulate calcium levels in the brain and plays a role in fat metabolism.

Is Taurine good for dogs?

Yes, Taurine is good for dogs and dogs actually have a way of synthesizing Taurine from other amino acids in order to obtain this nutrient. While NRC and AAFCO did not indicate Taurine as a non-dispensable nutrient for dogs, some dogs that get fed exclusive commercial diets end up getting taurine deficiency.

Some of the benefits of Taurine for dogs include:

1. Supports cognitive development

2. Helps prevent retinal degeneration

3. Keeps the heart muscle healthy

4. Reduces inflammation

5. Helps with fat metabolism

Is Taurine bad for dogs?

No, Taurine is not bad for dogs. In fact, it is an important nutrient that supports several functions in the body. However, taurine deficiency can lead to serious health problems including blindness, seizures, and heart failure.

Taurine for dogs:

Taurine can be manufactured by dogs from the amino acids present in most pet foods and many dog foods are not supplemented with taurine. In other words, dogs can usually make enough taurine if they are eating a well-balanced diet.

Taurine inadequacy can develop as a result of sulfur-containing amino acids (methionine and cysteine) not being incorporated into the diet over time in the right ratios. This can occur in both homemade diets and commercial diets but is more common with homemade diets.

However, some breeds of dogs, such as Newfoundlands and Golden Retrievers, are more likely to be deficient in taurine and may need a taurine supplement.

Signs of taurine deficiency in dogs

#1. Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM

The most common sign of taurine deficiency in dogs is dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition that leads to an enlarged heart and eventually heart failure.

Blood testing and physical examination and other tests such as Chest X-ray and ECG are some of the diagnostic techniques would be utilized to determine and diagnose the DCM’s severity.

#2.Bilaterally symmetrical hyperreflective retinal lesions:

Dogs with low plasma taurine were found to have abnormal, bilaterally symmetrical hyperreflective retinal lesions.

The appearance of these lesions has been associated with dysfunction and eventual loss of the photoreceptors in the retina.

In a study of Newfoundlands, all dogs with the retinal disease had low plasma taurine concentrations and Backus (2003) concluded that low plasma taurine was the cause of the retinal disease.

Dogs with these lesions should have their taurine levels checked and may need to be supplemented.

The signs of taurine deficiency can vary depending on the severity of the deficiency. Some of the more common signs include:

1. Blindness

2. Seizures

3. Heart failure

4. cognitive problems

5. Infertility

6. Muscle weakness

7. Exercise intolerance

8. Gastrointestinal problems

9. Growth retard

Are some breeds more pre-disposed to DCM?

Recent studies linked the following breeds to DCM:

  • Golden Retrievers
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Newfoundlands
  • Saint Bernards
  • English Setters
  • Irish Wolfhounds
  • Portuguese Water Dogs

How Taurine deficiency is diagnosed:

  • Complete blood count (CBC): May be normal or may show low white blood cell counts (WBCs)
  • Biochemical profile: May be normal or may show elevations in liver enzymes
  • Urinalysis: May be normal or may show proteinuria
  • Cardiac ultrasound: Enlarged heart with a decreased ejection fraction
  • Doppler echocardiography: Abnormal blood flow across the valves

Health issues caused by Taurine Deficiency:

Heart problems(DCM):

Taurine is important for cardiovascular function. A taurine deficiency can lead to dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), a condition that causes the heart muscle to weaken and enlarge. DCM can eventually lead to heart failure.

Eye problems:

Taurine is important for retinal development and health. Crystals or cysteine stones found in urine analysis is an indicator that amino acids are not being broken down and this leads to retinal degeneration and blindness.

The following breeds are more prone to Cystinuria, the eye condition brought by taurine deficiency.

  • Newfoundlands
  • Scottish Terriers
  • Basenjis
  • Basset Hounds
  • Chihuahuas
  • Australian Shepherds

Urinary problems:

Taurine is important for urinary tract health. Taurine deficiency can lead to the formation of cysteine stones in the urinary tract. These stones can cause obstruction and may lead to kidney damage.

Reproductive problems:

Taurine is important for normal reproductive function. Taurine deficiency can lead to reproductive failure, including infertility, miscarriages, and birth defects.

Behavioral changes:

Taurine is important for the proper brain. Taurine deficiency can lead to blindness.

Reproductive problems: Taurine is important for reproduction. Taurine deficiency can lead to reproductive failure.

Treatment of taurine deficiency:

Taurine supplementation is the only treatment for taurine deficiency. Pets with taurine deficiency should be given a supplement by mouth, either in their food or as a treat, every day for the rest of their lives.

How is Taurine given?

According to VCA Hospital blog, taurine is available as a tablet, liquid, capsule, or powder. It can be taken with or without food, but it is easier to administer when mixed with food. If vomiting occurs after being given on an empty stomach, subsequent doses should be administered with food. Carefully assess the number of liquid preparations.

Is there Taurine toxicity in dogs?

No, there is no record of taurine toxicity in dogs and cats. Taurine is safe for both dogs and cats when given at recommended doses. Even at high doses, there are no records of the vitamin being harmful to pets. In fact, AAFCO has not set a maximum amount that pet food manufacturers should adhere to.

Side effects of Taurine dosage:

However, your pet may experience side effects after dosing with taurine, such as vomiting or diarrhea. If you notice any of these side effects, contact your veterinarian if they do not disappear after 24 hours.

What are the benefits of Taurine for dogs and?

Taurine has many benefits for both dogs and cats. Some of the most important benefits include:

  • – Heart health: Taurine is important for cardiovascular function and its deficiency can lead to dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). DCM is a condition that causes the heart muscle to weaken and enlarge. DCM can eventually lead to heart failure.
  • – Eye health: Taurine is important for retinal development and health.
  • – Urinary health: Taurine is important for urinary tract health. Taurine deficiency can lead to the formation of cysteine stones in the urinary tract. These stones can cause obstruction and may lead to kidney damage.
  • – Reproductive health: Taurine is important for normal reproductive function and its deficiency can lead to reproductive failure, including infertility, miscarriages, and birth defects.
  • – Behavioral changes: Taurine is important for proper brain development. Taurine deficiency can lead to blindness.

Sources of taurine:

Taurine is found in animal-based proteins, including meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products. It is also found in some plant-based proteins, such as soybeans and legumes.

Dosage:

The recommended dose of taurine for dogs and cats is 1-3 mg per pound of body weight daily. This can be given as a supplement or added to the food.

This is about 0.1% of their diet if extruded or about 0.2% of their diet if canned. These are the minimum recommendations by AAFCO.

If you think your pet may be deficient in taurine, please consult your veterinarian. They will be able to perform a blood test to confirm a deficiency and recommend the proper dose of taurine for your pet.

Taurine Supplements:

You can get dietary supplements or prescribed medications for your pets from your veterinarian.

Dietary supplements are not regulated by the FDA in the same way that medications are. They include vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbs, botanicals, enzymes, and probiotics. This means that the manufacturing process is not as closely monitored and there is no guarantee of potency, safety, or efficacy.

Taurine supplements are also available as prescribed capsules are a solid form of medication that is taken orally. They are usually made up of a powder that is enclosed in a hard or soft gelatin shell. The number of capsules that your pet will need to take will be based on their weight and the severity of their deficiency.

Which Dog breeds need Taurine most?

The following breeds need taurine most due to their high risk for developing taurine deficiency-related dilated cardiomyopathy:

  • American Cocker Spaniels,
  • Golden Retrievers, 
  • Labrador Retrievers,
  • English Setters,
  • Newfoundlands,
  • Saint Bernards,
  • Portuguese Water Dogs,
  • Great Danes,
  • Boxers,
  • Irish Wolfhounds, and
  • Doberman Pinschers.

Taurine for dogs anxiety

Studies have found taurine to be helpful in stabilizing dogs’ anxiety-related disorders, including fearfulness. Anxiety issues with dogs are common and leading welfare problems worldwide.

Taurineourced from animal meat, taurine is an organic compound that’s abundant in the central nervous system. It plays several important roles in the brain, such as acting as a neurotransmitter and neuromodulator.

It’s thought that taurine’s anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects are linked to its ability to increase GABA levels. GABA is a neurotransmitter that has calming effects on the nervous system.

Taurine has also been shown to help decrease stress hormone levels, which can further reduce anxiety.

While more research is needed to confirm taurine’s effectiveness in treating anxiety in dogs, it’s generally considered safe to give to dogs in their diet in moderate amounts.

Taurine dosage for dogs with heart disease

Taurine has been found in studies to be beneficial for treating taurine deficiency diseases and retinal deterioration. Taurine’s efficacy as an add-on treatment for general heart disease has only recently been investigated, but preliminary research suggests it may help.

I am not a vet and recommend visiting your vet who can diagnose and recommend dosage to treat taurine deficiency.

According to VCA Hospital, Taurine supplement brands such as Dyna-Taurine may start showing positive effects after taking the pill 1 or 2 times. However, it might take a few weeks for you to notice all the results or to determine its effectiveness. The medicine’s effects may not be immediately apparent, so laboratory testing may be required to see if the drug is working.

Taurine 1000 mg for dogs

The recommended dose of taurine for dogs is 1-3 mg per pound of body weight daily. This can be given as a supplement or added to the food.

For a 1000 mg supplement, the dosage would be 1/4 teaspoon for a 10-pound dog, 1/2 teaspoon for a 20-pound dog, or 1 teaspoon for a 40-pound dog. These dosages can be given once or twice daily.

As always, please consult your veterinarian before giving any supplements to your pet. They will be able to advise you on the proper dose and frequency based on your pet’s individual needs.

Best Taurine Supplement for Dogs:Taurine Supplement for Dogs by Dr. Oscar

Looking for a taurine supplement that actually provides the recommended daily amount? Look no further than Taurine Supplement for Dogs by Dr. Oscar. Based on studies in Taurine deficient dogs at the Universities of Minnesota and Georgia, researchers recommend a daily amount of 500mg of taurine per 25lbs. of dog weight – unlike most competitors, who offer 50-250mg. Better dog heart health and significantly lower rates of death from heart disease can be yours when you provide your pup with the right amount of taurine – thanks to Taurine Supplement.

Best Taurine Supplement for Dogs:Taurine Supplement for Dogs by Dr. Oscar
Best Taurine Supplement for Dogs:Taurine Supplement for Dogs by Dr. Oscar

Conclusion:

Taurine is an essential amino acid for dogs and cats that helps with a variety of functions in the body including vision, heart health, and muscle development.

Taurine deficiency can lead to serious health problems, so it’s important to make sure your pet is getting enough taurine in their diet. Supplements are a convenient way to ensure your pet is getting the nutrients they need.

When choosing a taurine supplement, look for one that provides the recommended daily amount of taurine based on your pet’s weight.

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