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Taurine is an amino acid that is found in animal protein and plays an essential role in several bodily functions. This includes digestion, heart health, and vision. While dogs can synthesize taurine in their bodies through sulfur containing amino acids, advanced age causes taurine production to decrease. In addition, some breeds are more prone to taurine deficiency due to their genetics and require higher levels of taurine in their diets. These breeds include American Cocker Spaniels, English Setters, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Newfoundlands, and Saint Bernards.
One of the most well known health conditions associated with taurine deficiency is dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). DCM is a disease of the heart muscle that causes an enlarged heart and decreased ability to pump blood. DCM is most commonly seen in large or giant breed dogs.
Taurine plays such an important role in the body that if dogs have taurine deficiency, it can cause symptoms associated with their bladder, heart, and vision. This includes:
As we mentioned above, dogs can manufacture their own taurine from sulfur containing amino acids. However, many pet food companies were making ingredient substitutions for plant proteins such as soybeans or corn gluten meal (CGM) instead of real meat because those protein sources are cheaper. The problem is soybeans and corn are not good sources of sulfur containing amino acids and they contain no taurine. This is why looking at the ingredients label as well as the guaranteed analysis is important to get the full picture of what you're feeding your pup.
On average, the average level of taurine in dog food is about .13%. A Better Dog Food guaranteed analysis shows .23% taurine content. Our higher taurine content speaks volumes on the amount on the amount of meat protein in our dog food compared to others on the market.