Health & Wellness Facts


Categories: Nutrition

nutrition protein sources taurine dogs

We, humans, are all too aware about how our diet can be a contributing factor to heart disease. Recently in the news, there has been speculation that a canine heart disease known as dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), may be connected to what we feed our dogs.

So, what is DCM?  According to Dr. Sonya G. Gordon DVM, DVSc, Diplomate ACVIM (Cardiology), “DCM is a disease that causes the heart muscle cells (myocardium) to become weak and frequently causes abnormal heart beats (arrhythmias) to occur.” Dr. Gordon also points out that DCM is considered a “relatively common heart disease, accounting for about 10% of all heart disease in dogs. Large and giant breeds are most commonly affected.”

Consistent with veterinary professionals, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) states, “the underlying cause of DCM is not truly known but is thought to have a genetic component.”  Furthermore, the FDA is investigating a potential dietary link between DCM and dogs eating certain pet foods containing legumes like peas or lentils, various legume seeds, and potatoes as main ingredients.  Legumes or potatoes appear to be more common in diets labeled “grain-free,” however these ingredients also appear in dog foods which include grains.

Besides these dietary concerns, a deficiency in Taurine (an amino acid produced by the pancreas) has been well-documented as a potential cause of DCM, but it is not the only cause of DCM. Diet is a likely factor in about 20-30% of dogs with DCM, for which supplementing taurine may reverse the disease.  Since Taurine is almost exclusively found in meat, the protein source and taurine levels in the food you feed your dog can provide the sound nutritional facts you need as well as peace of mind.

Dogs and Taurine

Dogs make their own Taurine from sulfur-containing amino acids, primarily cysteine, but also methionine. It was believed that, because they could produce it themselves, dogs did not need supplemental taurine.

However, big dogs produce taurine at a slower rate than small dogs, putting them at higher risk for a deficiency because they cannot produce their own taurine needs.

D.O.G. Products and Taurine

At Dog Only Good, the primary source of Taurine in all our foods (both kibble and paté) come from real animal protein.  Moreover, to ensure the best nutrition for your pet, all D.O.G. kibble is supplemented with Taurine.

In our commitment to provide the best nutrition for your dog, we tested the Taurine levels of our control dogs who were fed D.O.G. foods exclusively for nine months. These control dogs blood levels were tested for Taurine at the University of California, Davis.  The test results confirmed the Taurine level in the D.O.G. control dogs to be at high normal, a healthy Taurine blood level.

Parting Thoughts:

The media frenzy currently linking grain-free foods, various legumes, and potatoes to DCM is, to say the least, premature.  What we do know is that larger breed dogs are more susceptible to the disease and that healthy Taurine levels play a key role in its prevention.  Certainly, more research is required.

In the meantime, we invite you to visit the “D.O.G. TRANSPARENCY” link on this website to see a complete list of all our ingredients and where they are sourced.


Do Only Good Pet Food contribute 1% of our revenue to Carbon Removal.

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