Like many other dog owners, you may feel like giving your beloved dog the best in terms of food and comfort. When it comes to feeding your furry companion, you get plenty of dog food brands and varieties to pick from. However, it is also necessary that you ensure the food given to the dog is replete with the necessary nutrients. Much like humans, dogs should eat foods that help them meet their nutritional requirements well. Regardless of the size and breed of your dog, you have to give the animal food packed with taurine.
What is taurine, and why do dogs require it?
Taurine is a type of amino acid, the building block of protein. It is a nonessential amino acid, but the dog’s body needs it to execute a number of physiological functions, including cardiac and immune system activities. The amino acid gets synthesized in the dog’s body post-consumption. However, not all dogs need the same amount of taurine from their food. The size, age, and breed of the dog are factors at play here. A veteran vet can help you decide how much Taurine your dog requires from its food per day. In fact, vets can perform specific tests to determine if your dog is taurine deficient or not.
The taurine deficit in dogs can have adverse effects on their health. The affected dog may find it hard to breathe normally, and you may find it getting fatigued without much exercise. In severe cases, dogs may faint or develop adnominal cramps.
Some natural sources of taurine for your canine friend
Listed below are some natural sources of taurine. You can include these foods in the diet of your dog to ensure he/she gets the daily dose of taurine with ease.
Fish– Fish is replete with taurine, and there is no reason you should not give your dog fish in the meals. Certain variants of fish also contain good amounts of omega-fatty acids. You can pick from fish species like rainbow trout, Salmon, tuna, and sardines.
Shellfish– Shellfish is also well suited for dogs to meet their daily taurine requirements. You can give your dog shellfish species like oysters, clams, and scallops.
Eggs– Offer cooked eggs to your dog to meet his/her protein requirements. However, not all eggs contain a similar amount of taurine, as studies have shown. However, it would be good not to offer raw eggs to your dogs. You may offer the eggs of chicken, duck, and quail to your dog.
Red Meat- It is also okay to offer your red dog meat periodically to ensure he/she gets the quota of taurine. You can pick from options like beef, lamb, and pork. However, red meat also contains unhealthy fats, so you can use them in moderation. Lamb meat is a very good source of taurine, and it should be preferred over beef.
Lean meat– Lean meat is ideal both for humans and their canine companions. Say the diet experts. So, you can offer meat of chicken and duck to the dog to meet his/her daily taurine intake. You can also use turkey meat from time to time. Offer the dog thighs and drumsticks meat of poultry birds.
Goat’s Milk– You can offer cow milk to your dog as well, but goat milk is easier to digest. However, goat milk is replete with calories and fat and so offering it in moderation will be ideal. Some dogs, however, develop stomach issues after drinking this milk and so you should check it out.
Freshwater fish- You can give your dog freshwater fish like tilapia to meet daily taurine intake needs.
Things to keep in mind when planning your dog’s diet
It is always better that you consult a vet to prepare the ideal diet for your dog. However, in general, older dogs do not fare well with amino acid synthesis, and they may need additional taurine intake. Some dog breeds like Labrador Retrievers, Saint Bernards, Cocker Spaniels, and Newfoundlands tend to suffer from a taurine deficiency. Nowadays, you will find some pet care brands selling taurine supplements for dogs. Most dogs may do without such supplements, but you can talk with the vet about its feasibility.
While you should not offer your dog raw fish, egg, or meat, keep in mind that cooking does reduce the amount of taurine. So, refrain from overcooking food containing taurine for your dog. Light baking or frying the fish or meat is not going to reduce the taurine amount, though. Keep changing the type of meat every week to offer your dog some variety in taste.
Contact Pawpurrfect’s experienced veterinarian’s for personal consultation of your beloved pet today!