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Is Your Dog Deficient in Taurine?

Updated on May 4, 2012

Taurine anyone?

Although it’s not quite a household name, taurine deficiency is on the rise. Lack of this essential amino acid can lead to cardiomyopathy, or rather “heart muscle disease,” which ultimately leads to heart failure and death. Taurine has been supplemented in cat food for years but until recently scientists didn’t realize dogs also need this in their food. There are eight breeds most affected by taurine deficiency:

1.Cocker Spaniel

2.Golden Retriever





7.Great Dane


Unfortunately there is so no way to tell if your dog is deficient before this hideous disease strikes. Taurine is just now gaining recognition but it may responsible for many unexplainably young canine deaths.

Before you completely panic, most dogs produce taurine naturally from B-6 and the amino acids methione and cysteine. A smaller percentage though, for reasons still unknown, do not- or if they do produce it it’s not in efficient qualities. Taurine is vital because it helps cells cling onto necessary potassium, managing this in the tissue of the heart along with helping to control heart beat makes it one of the most important amino acids in heart health. Taurine is found in meat, fish, eggs, milk and sea veggies; kelp being the best source.

One theory gaining support is that since we are feeding livestock unnatural food, they are no longer producing the amino acids and nutrients that turn them into a nutritious meal once packed into dog food. Keep in mind, taurine is not supplemented in meat meal or by-product feeds.

Because of this studies fresh nature, it’s difficult to find taurine supplements specifically for canines. Instead, purchase the powdered capsule from a variety of grocery stores, break them open and sprinkle into their regular food. The recommended dosage is 500mg, two to three times a day.

If you happen to love one of the eight most susceptible 8 breeds, do some research, talk to your vet, do some Google searching! But for the sake of your buddies health, do not let this valuable information slip your mind.


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    • christollesseb profile image

      christollesseb 5 years ago from UK ME ASIA

      Goodness what a shocking news! Thank you for highlighting this urgent matter. You certainly do write some remarkable Hubs. Will pass this information around to the many dog owners I know. Voted across & Up!



    • Carmen H profile image

      Carmen Beth 5 years ago

      Gosh...I was not even aware of such a thing as taurine deficiency and I'm sure many out there are oblivious about it too. With some of the most popular breeds on the list of breeds most affected, it's crucial that people should be more educated about this deficiency. Voted up and useful, and sharing around.