Taurine deficiency is a very common condition among certain dog breeds. Here’s how to know when your dog has it, and what you can do about it.
Taurine is probably the most important nutrient for dog wellness that you’ve never heard of. You’ve likely never thought about this amino acid because most dogs synthesize it naturally from other nutrients, so there’s no need to focus on supplementing your dog’s diet with it – your dog just makes it.
But what if they didn’t make it?
Certain dog breeds, due to a flaw in their genetic makeup, are physically incapable of producing taurine. When this is the case, and the dog doesn’t get taurine from their food supply, they are susceptible to taurine deficiency-related illnesses, the most common being dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM. This is a fairly serious condition, that if left untreated, can compromise the quality of your dog’s life, and even shorten it.
So, what is taurine, anyway?
Taurine is an amino acid and a protein building block that supports the proper functioning of the muscles, brain, heart, and eyes. Taurine deficiency doesn’t present identifiable symptoms, but the breeds that are predisposed to it include:
- American cocker spaniel
- Golden retriever
- Labrador retriever
- English setter
- Saint Bernard
If you have one of the above breeds, you should talk to your vet about potential taurine deficiency, and possible dietary programs that will enable your dog to get the taurine they need from dietary sources. Zignature taurine rich pet foods use all-natural, meat-forward formulas that help dogs maintain their proper nutrient balance. However, you should talk to your vet before making any changes to your dog’s diet, so that any other underlying health concerns aren’t exacerbated.
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