What is Taurine and Why Does my Dog Need It?
By now you have probably seen the word Taurine on your dog’s food ingredient label. And you have probably wondered what exactly it is and does my dog need it? Nowadays, it makes sense to be wary about what companies are putting in your dog’s food – we know some manufacturers put in things that are not necessary and sometimes even harmful. So let’s shed some light on what Taurine is and why you’ll see it on the Stay Loyal ingredient list.
What is Taurine?
Taurine is a powerful amino acid that dogs, cats and humans need. In fact, some people take Taurine supplements! Unlike other amino acids, Taurine does not build proteins. It’s found in the brain, eyes, heart and muscle.
So what does it do?
Taurine has many roles in the body, here are some of the big ones:
· Neurological development, including supporting the central nervous system and eyes.
· Regulates level of water and minerals in the blood
· Antioxidant properties
· Regulating immune system
· Forming bile salts (important part of digestion)
The Dangers of Taurine Deficiency
Taurine is found in muscle meat. As dog and cat food manufacturer’s got greedy – less and less muscle meat was finding its way into commercial pet food. By the 1970s cats were dying of certain type of heart disease (dilated cardiomyopathy) and were also going blind. The cause was traced to the lack of Taurine in their diet. Cats cannot synthesize Taurine themselves – dogs and humans can – so it is particularly important for them to have it in their diet.
However, it has been found that some dogs do not produce enough Taurine on their own. Certain lines of spaniels, retrievers and Newfoundlands are unable to produce their own Taurine. These dogs were dying of the same heart disease as the cats.
What is even more interesting, however, is that dogs with this heart disease that are given a Taurine supplement saw the disease reversed!
It can help dogs with epilepsy as well. Some research has shown that since Taurine affects how neurotransmitters are released in the brain, it may help to reduce seizures. It’s definitely worth looking into if your dog has seizures. Check his Taurine levels, if they are low, a supplement may lesson his seizures.
AND, if your dog already has heart disease, ask your vet about upping his Taurine – it just may save his life.
Good Sources of Taurine
It’s important to know that Taurine is broken down by heat, so cooking lessons the amount of Taurine in the meat anywhere from a half to two thirds.
When it comes to muscle meat, here is the amount found in popular pet food proteins:
· Raw fish – 128mg of Taurine per 100 grams
· Cooked Beef – 36mg per 100 grams
· Raw Beef liver – 20mg per 100 grams
· Cooked lamb – 48mg per 100 grams
· Cooked chicken – 34mg per 100 grams
If your dog is on a diet that consists of proteins that do not have a lot of Taurine, you may need to add a Taurine supplement to your dog’s diet if your dog food does not already have it added – just check the label to be sure. All the grain-free Dog foods in the Stay Loyal range have more than enough Taurine to keep your dog happy and healthy. Up to 1,000 mg of Taurine per day is considered safe for a dog, but it’s best to check with your veterinarian who will know what is best for your dog’s health