Dogs have been a lot of people’s best friends or a lifetime companion. With some dogs lived up to 10 or even 20 years, it is impossible for people to not love them and make them as pets or the house guardian. Taking care of a dog is not an easy job and probably costs a lot of maintenance in terms of time, attention and money. However, with much love and sincerity, many will agree that dogs are definitely a keeper.
Dogs, like human’s species, are susceptible to diseases when the body’s immune system is low or when daily nutrition is not achieved through everyday meals. Hence, supplements have been created to help cover what is lacking from food and boost body function. Taurine supplement for dogs has been widely promoted to help support dog’s health in general. Although taurine is not an essential amino acid and can produce its own taurine, it plays a lot of important roles for the dog’s body to function properly and taurine deficiency can jeopardise their health. Among the taurine functions are:
1- Taurine is important for the development of the dog’s brain cell to work well by sending signals throughout the body. Aside from a healthy brain neuron, taurine can protect brain cells from inflammation damages caused by the ageing process.
2- Taurine improves heart health by blood flow regulation that strengthens the heart’s walls. A weak heart or blood vessels can lead to heart diseases. A common heart disease associated with taurine deficiency is dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). DCM in the past was considered a disease that only affects cats but the past 5 years has shown an increase in DCM cases in dogs associated with commercial diets that contain ingredients that are unusual in manufactured dog food in the past. These unusual ingredients are called BEG (Boutique, Exotic and Grain-free) diets.
3- A dog’s reproductive health can be enhanced with taurine. Since taurine is abundant in almost all cells in the dog’s body, it can help with fertility issues by making the male dog’s sperm healthier and protecting the reproductive tract including the uterus in female dogs.
4- Abundance of taurine is present in the dog’s eyes especially in the retina. Taurine deficiency may cause failure of the retina and affect the dog’s eyesight. A dog may be facing blurry vision to the extent of blindness.
Taurine supplements in the market are available in forms of chewable tablets, liquids and powder. This supplement is recommended for dogs with low levels of taurine which can be confirmed through a blood examination. Such sign of dogs with taurine deficiency includes:
1- general weakness in forms of sudden panting, faint or lazy
2- breathing issues and coughing
3- painful urination indicated by dog straining or showing sign of discomfort when urinating, or frequent attempts to urinate yet failed.
4- presence of blood in the dog’s urine
5- moderate to severe blindness which often shows the dog keep bumping into things, feeling anxious in new environments and any abnormal sign (cloudy eye, white spots on eye, redness or swelling) around the eye
6- certain breed shows tendencies for taurine deficiency- Scottish Terriers, Basenjis, Basset Hounds, Newfoundlands, Australian Shepherds, Chihuahuas, Golden Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels, English Bulldogs
Taurine supplements help dogs to reach optimum levels of taurine. Since it is called supplements, the person taking care of the dog should still try to provide a complete and balanced food. It is advisable to make sure the dog food is high in animal products such as meat, fish and chicken and less than 25 percent of vegetables. Kindly ask the veterinarian for further information.