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Some of you might know already that cats cannot produce their own taurine, so supplementation for them and getting taurine through dietary routes is critical, but what about our canine friends?

Taurine is an amino acid that occurs naturally in meat and it’s abundant in the brain, eyes (namely the retina), muscles and organs.  It is an essential component of bile acids, which are produced in the liver and used to breakdown fats from foods which are consumed.  Dogs, unlike cats, can produce their own taurine, however, just like us humans their ability to do so decreases with age; and may be hindered by other factors.  The process for a dog to produce taurine depends on a chain of events, they need to make cysteine from methionine and from cysteine comes taurine.  Any break in the chain will increase the chances of the dog developing a taurine deficiency.


Have you ever heard of DCM (Dilated Cardiomyopathy)?  This is where the heart muscle thins, and the chambers become enlarged.  Some of the symptoms of DCM are: fatigue, heavy breathing with exercise and coughing.  It affects some dogs and has been known to be linked to taurine deficiency since 1997.  It can be more susceptible in certain breeds, like Golden Retrievers, Newfoundlands, Saint Bernards, English Setters and certain lines of Spaniels. It is also important for us to note that larger breeds produce less taurine naturally than small dogs; so ultimately some dogs just cannot produce the taurine within the body that they actually require, so supplementation may be necessary.  Plus, some dogs have an issue metabolizing amino acids, which in turn may cause a taurine deficiency.  A few of the breeds that are predisposed to this type of potential issue are: Newfoundlands, Scottish Terriers, Chihuahuas, Basset Hounds and Australian Shepherds.

In summary, if you are feeding your dog a raw or home-cooked meat-based diet, then chances are they may be getting enough taurine; however, if your furry friend is only getting kibble then supplementation may be advantageous to ensure your pet is in optimal health.  Have questions, reach out to us and see how we can help your canine live better.

Vykon Canine
Vykon Pets founded by Lisa Pitel-Killah, Hair Mineral Analysis Expert & Educator, Board-Certified Holistic Health Practitioner, Functional Diagnostic Practitioner, and multi-time Kettlebell Sport World Champion.  Her animal study includes Holistic Carnivore and Equine Nutritionist and advanced Animal HTMA (Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis). Lisa is the host of the Human Optimization podcast and the co-host of the annual HTMA Virtual Summit, bringing mineral education to the masses.  The science of HTMA can identify exactly what your body, or your animal’s body, needs to thrive.  Customize, simplify, and revitalize life with Vykon.


Sue’s background includes being a two sport athlete in University and a member of Ontario Field Hockey team. She completed her CIS eligibility in College for photojournalism following 25 years as a photojournalist. Supporting two daughters through competitive hockey, Sue discovered her passion for Holistic Nutrition and returned to study at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition, graduating with her Certified Nutrition Practitioner designation. She has a strong passion for supporting people through chronic stress. Sue enjoys time on the water, has her Level 1 SUP certification and recently started racing.


Kailan spent her youth on her family farm; from a young age she developed an interest in how the mental and physical wellness of animals can impact their bonding and performance. After improving the health of her equine companions, she has had some pivotal moments resulting in multiple national championship titles. Her inherent passion for health coupled with her degree in engineering has led her on this journey to help humans and animals alike realize the benefits of optimized health.  

Kailan’s goal is to enlighten others to the resources available, aid in resolving root cause of barriers and breakdown misconceptions surrounding poor behavioural patterns.


Yielding over a decade of professionalism in design and entrepreneurship, Grace is in charge of the many multimedia projects at Vykon. With an Advanced Diploma in Graphic Design, her artistic eye and a flair for creativity brings a unique touch to every project she undertakes. When she’s not working, Grace enjoys trying new recipes, watching movies and spending an afternoon in an art gallery.