7 Best Dog Foods With Taurine

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Taurine in Dog Food

Are you trying to give your canine a healthy and nutritious meal daily? If so, always include dog food with taurine in its diet. 

Notably, veterinarians and researchers continue unearthing more about the dietary needs of canines. In return, providing the proper nutrition to dogs becomes more daunting. 

If you are unsure about the benefits of taurine in dog food and the best dog food with taurine, please read on.

White dog and dog food

Dilated Cardiomyopathy in Dogs

The dog’s heart is a complex structure of several interrelated components required to work in sync to pump blood vigorously to all body areas. However, its valves, muscles, and vessels must all effectively function for it to do so. 

Unfortunately, cardiomyopathies attack the heart muscle; one form is dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). This disorder weakens the heart muscle, causing the heart walls to thin and become like a limp balloon. Consequently, the efficient pumping of blood via powerful muscles is no longer possible. 

Despite how the body tries to compensate, the heart failure symptoms eventually become too much, and drugs are the only treatment available to alleviate it. However, it is impossible to prevent the impact of the disease completely.

Traditionally, there is an assumption that DCM is an inherited health condition, but various factors can cause it. For example, nutritional deficiencies such as those from taurine and carnitine can cause dilated chambers and decreased heart function. Such conditions resemble those of DCM.

In the mid-1990s, researchers at the University of California, Davis, revealed a link between DCM and taurine deficiency in American Cocker Spaniels after a large, multicenter study. The study showed that, in many cases, heart function improved significantly after adding taurine supplements to the dogs’ diets.

Although Doberman Pinschers and other breeds with a high incidence of DCM don’t have documented taurine deficiency, they can suffer from inherited forms of the disease.

In 2003 and 2005, there was a publication of reports of dogs with reversible dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) associated with taurine deficiency were published. 

Veterinary cardiologists then suggested testing taurine levels in dogs diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. They focused on breeds not ordinarily linked to it or those of American Cocker Spaniels, Newfoundlands, or Golden Retrievers

As they documented other cases of DCM related to low blood taurine levels, they endeavored to discover a uniting factor among them. Also, many proposed that diet was at least partly responsible (MORRIS ANIMAL FOUNDATION, n.d).

A sweet puppy eating dry food

Our Top Pick for Canine Taurine Food

Even though the list of dog food with taurine we picked features some of the best options, Now Fresh Grain Free Dog Food, 22lb – Grain Free Dry Dog Food Recipe for Adult Dogs With Real Meat and Fish for Protein – for Small, Medium, and Large Breeds  stands out. 

This option is our top pick because it promotes weight maintenance, boosts heart health, fat burning, and supports digestion. Also, it contains key natural nutrients and a rich flavor because of its low-temperature production process. Lastly, this dog food contains over 20 superfoods that support your dog’s immunity. 

For all these reasons, this dog food is a cut above the rest. 

Farmina N&D Lamb & Blueberry Low-Grain Medium and Maxi Breed Puppy Food 5.5 Pounds
Now Fresh Grain Free Dog Food, 22 lb – Grain Free Dry Dog Food Recipe for Adult Dogs with Real Meat and Fish for Protein – for Small, Medium and Large Breeds
Earthborn Holistic Meadow Feast Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog Food, 25 lb
Product name
Farmina N&D Lamb & Blueberry Low-Grain Medium and Maxi Breed Puppy Food 5.5 Pounds
Now Fresh Grain Free Dog Food, 22 lb – Grain Free Dry Dog Food Recipe for Adult Dogs with Real Meat and Fish for Protein – for Small, Medium and Large Breeds
Earthborn Holistic Meadow Feast Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog Food, 25 lb
Price
$36.70
$85.99
$68.99
Farmina N&D Lamb & Blueberry Low-Grain Medium and Maxi Breed Puppy Food 5.5 Pounds
Product name
Farmina N&D Lamb & Blueberry Low-Grain Medium and Maxi Breed Puppy Food 5.5 Pounds
Price
$36.70
Buy Now
Now Fresh Grain Free Dog Food, 22 lb – Grain Free Dry Dog Food Recipe for Adult Dogs with Real Meat and Fish for Protein – for Small, Medium and Large Breeds
Product name
Now Fresh Grain Free Dog Food, 22 lb – Grain Free Dry Dog Food Recipe for Adult Dogs with Real Meat and Fish for Protein – for Small, Medium and Large Breeds
Price
$85.99
Buy Now
Earthborn Holistic Meadow Feast Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog Food, 25 lb
Product name
Earthborn Holistic Meadow Feast Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog Food, 25 lb
Price
$68.99
Buy Now

The Best Dog Foods With Taurine at a Glance

  1. Now Fresh Grain Free Dog Food, 22lb – Grain Free Dry Dog Food Recipe for Adult Dogs With Real Meat and Fish for Protein – for Small, Medium, and Large Breeds  (Best overall dog food with taurine)
  2. Farmina N&D Lamb & Blueberry Low-Grain Medium and Maxi Breed Puppy Food 5.5lbs  (Best low-ash dog food with taurine)
  3. Wellness CORE Grain-Free High-Protein Dry Dog Food, Made in USA With Real Meat & Natural Ingredients, All Breeds, Adult Dogs (Turkey & Chicken, 26lbs) With Nutrients for Immune, Skin, & Coat Support  (Best high-protein dog food with taurine)
  4. Earthborn Holistic Meadow Feast Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog Food, 25lbs  (Best limited-ingredient dog food with taurine)
  5. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Canine Grain-Free Recipe With Roasted Bison and Venison Adult Dry Dog Food, Made With High Protein From Real Meat and Guaranteed Nutrients and Probiotics 28lbs  (Best grain-free dog food with taurine)
  6. Nature's Logic Canine Duck & Salmon Meal Feast, 4.4lbs  (Best all-natural dog food with taurine)
  7. Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Dry Dog Food Real Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe With Ancient Grains - 33lbs. Bag  (Best grain-inclusive dog food)

Unpacking the Top Dog Foods for Canine Taurine Deficiency

Now Fresh Grain Free Dog Food, 22lb – Grain Free Dry Dog Food Recipe for Adult Dogs With Real Meat and Fish for Protein – for Small, Medium, and Large Breeds : Best Overall Dog Food With Taurine

About This Product

Offering your loyal canine companion real meat and omega 3s and 6s, this grain-free, deboned dog food boasts premium quality turkey as the first ingredient. Its other meaty ingredients are fresh salmon and duck.

It also has a perfect balance of protein and fat to promote weight maintenance and L-carnitine to boost heart health and burn fat. Additionally, it has probiotics and pumpkins for fiber-rich digestion support.

The production of Now Fresh Grain Free Dog Food is always under the lowest possible temperature to preserve essential nutrients and rich natural flavor. Also, this dog food has no grains, byproducts or meat meals, artificial flavors, or preservatives that can harm your dog. 

Lastly, this dog food contains more than 20 natural superfoods, such as antioxidant-packed blueberries and pomegranate, to help support healthy immune system function. It also has whole eggs to provide complete proteins with all the essential amino acids that dogs need.

  • Brand: Now Fresh
  • Life stage: Adult
  • Item form: Dry
  • Flavor/s
  1. Lamb & pork
  2. Turkey, salmon & duck
  3. Trout, salmon & herring
  4. Turkey, salmon, duck
ProsCons
It does not cause diarrhea because it contains fiber-rich pumpkin and probiotics.It is expensive because feeding more than one dog with over 75lbs (34.02kgs) body weight makes a pack of this food last for a short time.
It is ideal for dogs allergic to grains, byproducts, and artificial additives since it does not contain such ingredients. 
It smells meaty, thus likable to dogs. 

Farmina N&D Lamb & Blueberry Low-Grain Medium and Maxi Breed Puppy Food 5.5lbs : Best Low-Ash Dog Food With Taurine

About This Product

Farmina N&D Lamb & Blueberry Low-Grain Medium and Maxi Breed Puppy Food features the finest ingredients in precise proportions. It contains balanced proteins, fats, minimal carbohydrates, and advanced vitamins and minerals. 

Its natural and flavorful high-protein diet includes 20% ancient grains, 60% pre-cooked animal ingredients, 20% organic spelt and oats, and 20% vegetables, fruits, vitamins, and minerals.

This dog food is a nourishing blend of fresh boneless lamb, hydrolyzed fish proteins, herring, dehydrated whole eggs, and other nutritious ingredients. It can provide your canine with a nutritious meal and a pleasant taste. Also, all the ingredients combined give your pup an extra taurine boost for their digestive system.

Lastly, this diet is superior to competing formulations because it uses extra-high-quality proteins that contain minimal bone. In return, its ash levels are as low as 6.80% and contain correctly balanced calcium and phosphorus levels.

Remember, a high ash level in dog food can lead to bladder stones, intestinal issues, dental problems, allergies, and even kidney disease. Additionally, high ash levels can interfere with digestive enzyme activity, reducing a dog’s ability to digest its food properly.

  • Brand: Farmina
  • Life stage: Puppy
  • Item form: Dry
  • Flavor/s: Apple, seafood, chicken
ProsCons
It gives your dog a shiny and soft coat since it contains fish oil.It’s challenging to find it in bulk.
You can use it for your dog’s weight management because it contains limited carbohydrates.It can cause diarrhea in dogs with stomach issues because it is low in fiber.

Wellness CORE Grain-Free High-Protein Dry Dog Food, Made in USA With Real Meat & Natural Ingredients, All Breeds, Adult Dogs (Turkey & Chicken, 26lbs) With Nutrients for Immune, Skin, & Coat Support : Best High-Protein Dog Food With Taurine

About This Product

Wellness CORE Grain-Free High-Protein Dry Dog Food has premium quality. It is grain-free, all-natural dry dog food crafted using responsibly sourced turkey as the primary animal protein source. 

Additionally, nutrient-rich superfoods balance the proteins in this dog food to ensure your pup gets all the nutrition they need to live a long and healthy life. Its essential nutrients promote a healthy immune system and strong bones and muscles.

Incorporating 44% high-quality protein ingredients into this dog food promotes leaner body mass and increased muscle tone. This protein level aligns with the nutritional philosophy that dogs should feed mainly on a natural meat-based diet.

This dog food also provides guaranteed levels of omega fatty acids from flaxseed and salmon oil to help maintain healthy skin and coat. It also contains glucosamine for strong joints, probiotics to aid digestive health, and taurine to support a healthy heart. 

Also, it has no wheat gluten, corn, soy, GMOs, artificial colors, or preservatives. So, it cannot cause their related allergies to your dog.  

  • Brand: Wellness
  • Life stage: Adult
  • Item form: Dry
  • Flavor/s: Original turkey, lamb, wild game
ProsCons
It is ideal for obese dogs because of its high protein content.Its kibbles may be too big for small dog breeds.
 It’s more expensive than most premium formulas and brands.
 It may affect the energy levels of your dog because it is low-carb.

Earthborn Holistic Meadow Feast Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog Food, 25lbs : Best Limited-Ingredients Dog Food With Taurine

About This Product

Earthborn Holistic Meadow Feast Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog Food contains lamb meat as the first ingredient to provide your dog with taurine. It also features nutrient-rich superfoods, like pumpkin, blueberries, apples, carrots, spinach, and cranberries. Such superfoods help to improve your dog’s digestion and nutrient absorption.

Made without peas, lentils, or legumes, it’s a limited-ingredient diet perfect for dogs with sensitivities or allergies.

  • Brand: Earthborn Holistic
  • Life stage: Adult
  • Item form: Dry
  • Flavor notes: Pumpkin, blueberries, and cranberries
ProsCons
It makes dog poop firm, making it easy to pick and enabling you to keep your backyard clean easily.It may contain large kibbles that small dog breeds and puppies cannot chew.
You can alternate it with homemade dog food without causing significant digestive issues.

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Canine Grain-Free Recipe With Roasted Bison and Venison Adult Dry Dog Food, Made With High Protein From Real Meat and Guaranteed Nutrients and Probiotics 28lbs : Best Grain-Free Dog Food With Taurine

Amazon’s Choice in Dry Dog Food by Taste of the Wild

About This Product

Delicious Taste of the Wild High Prairie Canine Grain-Free Recipe With Roasted Bison and Venison Adult Dry Dog Food offers real meat as the number one ingredient. It is perfect for supporting strong muscles, bones, and joints. 

This dog food combines 32% high protein with nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables, and superfoods to give your pup the energy to thrive. Plus, it has a balance of omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat.

Also, this dog food features species-specific K9 Strain Proprietary Probiotics plus prebiotics and antioxidants to help promote healthy digestion, immune system, and overall health. Their addition to the food occurs after it is ready to maintain its effectiveness.

  • Brand: Taste of the Wild
  • Life stage: Adult
  • Item form: Dry
  • Flavor notes: Roasted bison and venison
ProsCons
It is ideal for picky-eating dogs because of its flavor notes.Some pet parents claim their dogs have experienced diarrhea and excessive flatulence when fed this dog food.
According to some dog owners, its price is reasonable. 

Nature's Logic Canine Duck & Salmon Meal Feast, 4.4lbs : Best All-Natural Dog Food With Taurine

About This Product

Nature’s Logic Canine Duck & Salmon Meal Feast dog food is complete and balanced dog food that is both highly palatable and nutrient dense. Its first five ingredients are duck meal, millet, chicken meal, chicken fat, and salmon meal. The meaty ingredients are rich in taurine, while millet is low in sugar. 

Additionally, it contains no wheat, corn, rice, soy, sweet potato, peas, lentils, synthetic vitamins, or minerals. So, it is ideal for dogs with allergies to the said ingredients. 

Each kibble has a probiotic and digestive enzymes coat to support better digestibility and nutrient absorption. Additionally, it features multiple proteins for easy rotation. 

Lastly, its makers only use natural ingredients and whole food sources. Furthermore, they do not add any chemically synthesized trace nutrients, artificial flavors, colors, or chemical preservatives.

  • Brand: Nature’s Logic
  • Life stage: All life stages
  • Item form: Dry
  • Flavor/s: Duck and salmon
ProsCons
Its small kibbles are chewable for dogs with teeth issues, especially when a little wet.It is more expensive than other kibble dog food, including Purina One.
Its flavors are appealing to some picky-eating dogs. 

Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Dry Dog Food Real Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe With Ancient Grains - 33lbs. Bag : Best With-Grain Dog Food With Taurine

About This Product

The first ingredient in Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Dry Dog Food Real Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe is real deboned chicken as its primary source of taurine. It gives your pup plenty of nutrients to cultivate and maintain healthy muscle tissue.

Its blend of grains combines brown rice, barley, quinoa, and other grains to ensure optimal digestion and provide high amounts of dietary fiber. Also, it has natural, whole foods such as carrots and apples, with no preservatives, fillers, corn, or soy added.

Also, this dog food has added glucosamine and chondroitin to promote healthy hips and joints. It also has omega 6s and omega 3s fatty acids that keep their skin and coat looking their best. 

This dog food’s balanced protein, whole foods, whole grains, essential vitamins, and minerals provide your dog with a filling and nutritious diet free from peas, lentils, and potatoes.

  • Brand: Merrick
  • Life stage: Adult
  • Item form: Dry
  • Flavor/s: Beef, chicken, salmon, and lamb
ProsCons
It can help keep your dog’s coat shiny and less oily for longer and reduce grooming expenses.Some customers find it quite expensive compared to some of its alternatives.
 Some customers complain that its kibbles are too small for adult dogs, thus causing chewing difficulties.

Frequently Asked Questions on Taurine-Inclusive Dog Chow

How Much Taurine Should Be in Dog Food?

When searching for the ideal dog food with taurine, look for animal proteins rather than plant or vegetable proteins. On average, the amount of taurine in dog food is around 0.13% dry matter content. 

Are you wondering how much taurine do dogs need? If so, here is your answer. If your canine’s diet is insufficient in its taurine content, you can include a daily taurine supplement of up to 0.04oz (1,000mg) for every 40lbs (18.14kg) of your dog’s body weight.

What Foods Contain Taurine for Dogs?

One of the 20 amino acids your canine body requires for proper functioning is taurine. While it may not be considered an essential amino acid (one the body cannot create itself), production decreases with age, and the amount used is substantial, leaving many dogs deficient. Meat, eggs, and seafood are dogs’ primary sources of taurine since plant foods do not contain taurine.

Which Foods Block Canine Taurine Absorption?

Many canine lovers believe that grain-free foods may contribute significantly to taurine deficiency. Instead of grains, dog food manufacturers have been relying on high-carbohydrate ingredients such as peas, beans, pea starch, legumes, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. Unfortunately, these are known to inhibit taurine metabolism.

What is the Importance of Taurine for Canines?

The heart muscles of dogs benefit significantly from taurine, which in turn helps to maintain overall health, including eye health and immunity. However, nearly all dogs do not produce enough of this vital amino acid alone. 

So, dogs should consume food with natural sources of cysteine and methionine to support their taurine levels.

Notably, taurine is not classified as a traditional amino acid since its primary purpose is not to act as part of a protein molecule. Instead, inside the body of a dog, taurine is present in large amounts and offers many distinct health benefits. Examples of these benefits include

  • Improved cardiovascular function.
  • Better reproductive health.
  • Weight management.
  • Reduced risk of diabetes.
  • Optimal vision.
  • Protection from liver damage caused by free radicals. 

Unfortunately, taurine deficiency is common in large and giant breeds, such as Doberman Pinschers, Great Danes, Boxers, Golden Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels, Dalmatians, and Newfoundlands.

Can You Feed Eggs to Your Dog for Taurine Intake?

Eggs are a rich source of taurine since they contain cysteine and methionine, two amino acids used by the body to synthesize taurine.

Is There a Thing as Too Much Taurine for Dogs?

You may be curious to know whether your dog can have too much taurine. The answer is no; an intake of taurine that exceeds the recommended daily allowance is not likely toxic. 

However, providing your dog with the proper daily intake is the best way to ensure they get what they need.

What to Look for in Taurine Dog Food

When looking for dog food containing taurine, it is crucial to be mindful of a few key elements, such as the following:

Taurine-Blockers

Studies show that certain foods may prevent proper taurine absorption in dogs. Peas and legumes contain high concentrations of oligosaccharides that cause high losses of bile acids and taurine degradation. These effects occur because the fermentable fibers of the said ingredients fuel increased fermentation in the gut (Jay, 2022).

Notably, grain-free and grain-inclusive dog foods, in addition to beet pulp, rice, and lamb, also contain amounts of these ingredients that can disrupt taurine absorption in canines. 

Meat Type

When selecting the right dog food, look for clearly labeled meats, such as fish, turkey, and lamb. All three have high levels of taurine – turkey has 0.01oz (306mg) per 3.5oz (100g), yellowfin tuna has 0.03oz (964mg), and salmon offers 0.003oz (94mg) per serving. If the label contains an undescribed ‘meat meal,’ it’s best to avoid it.

Essential Fats

If your dog has heart disease, seeking a diet high in essential fatty acids like omega 3s is important. These fatty acids can reduce inflammation and arrhythmia and positively impact heart rate, blood pressure, and immunity. 

Although there is a need for more research to determine the best dosages for dogs with cardiac issues, omega-3-rich diets can suffice for now.

Flaxseed

Taurine-rich dog foods often contain flaxseed or flaxseed oil. Numerous medical research pieces document flaxseeds’ ability to treat heart conditions due to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. Also, some professionals suggest that flaxseed provides advantages comparable to taurine (Jay, 2022).

Animal Protein

Animals require protein as a vital nutrient, and dogs especially benefit from a diet high in taurine, a building block of proteins. Meat, eggs, and seafood are particularly nutritious as they are excellent sources of taurine. Also, they are complete proteins due to their content of all 10 essential amino acids, which are:

  1. Histidine
  2. Isoleucine
  3. Leucine
  4. Lysine
  5. Methionine
  6. Phenylalanine
  7. Threonine
  8. Tryptophan
  9. Valine 
  10. Arginine

Digestible Carbs

Unless your dog is allergic or intolerant to grains, there is no need for a grain-free diet. Notably, animal products are typically digested better by dogs than plant-based products. However, whole grains and fresh vegetables are still digestible and offer a good source of nutrients.

Balanced and Complete Nutrition

Always search for the AAFCO nutritional adequacy statement on the dog food’s label to ensure it meets your dog’s minimum dietary requirements. Remember, dog food provides balanced nutrition if supplemented with synthetic vitamins and chelated minerals.

Notably, vitamins and minerals are essential for maintaining good health and providing a balanced, nutritious diet. Also, synthetic vitamins and chelated minerals are more easily non-metabolized and absorbed in a dog’s body, allowing optimal nutrition.

Cute dog eating dry food

Key Takeaways

The market is overspilling with dog food with taurine. However, we have highlighted some of the best ones. Additionally, Now Fresh Grain Free Dog Food, 22lb – Grain Free Dry Dog Food Recipe for Adult Dogs With Real Meat and Fish for Protein – for Small, Medium, and Large Breeds  is our best pick. 

We picked this dog food as the best in the market because it has several benefits for your dog, including promoting immunity, supporting digestion, and boosting heart health. Even though it does not last long when feeding more than one dog with over 75lbs (34.02kgs) body weight, its benefits are worth the cost of buying it often. 

Now that you know about taurine in dog food, it is time to shop for your best option and give your canine friend the health and nutrition boost it deserves. 

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