Newfoundlands seem to be prone to a deficiency in taurine. Different breeds are susceptible to various illnesses for a multitude of reasons, thus researchers obtain grants annually to investigate these illnesses just as they decided to do years ago in the case of the Newfoundland. Newfoundlands tend to be prone to more heart and eye problems than anything else and it seems that taurine may be a factor.
Taurine's main purpose is to facilitate potassium, sodium, and calcium to cells. When there is not sufficient taurine in a dog's diet then a condition known as dilated cardiomyopathy occurs. This is when the dog's heart becomes so it cannot pump properly. This is one of the most common diseases in dogs, especially the heavier breeds.
Researchers conducted tests to see how Taurine is related to the heart disease that occurs so frequently in heavy dogs. Dilated cardiomyopathy is well documented in cats as being related to a lack of taurine. But it was always assumed that cats had trouble producing taurine while dogs did not. However, low concentrations of taurine were discovered in Newfoundlands. Thus, this particular breed was thought to maybe have trouble in the production of taurine.
Taurine is in the foods dogs eat, but not at high levels, and cats eat certain taurine rich food because of their sometimes deficiency. Scientific research revealed that it was not an inability to produce taurine but rather the inability to absorb it. Larger dogs actually absorb nutrition at a lower rate than smaller breeds.
Ensure that your Newfoundland is receiving the levels of Taurine he should be by checking the ingredients labels on his dog food bags. If you want to prepare meals for your dog that add additional amounts of taurine to their diet then lamb meal is incredibly taurine-rich.
If pet food is the only thing available or the only thing you have time to prepare then look for the dog foods with fish and other seafood. Dog diets containing high-quality animal and seafood proteins most of the time have enough sulfur, amino acids, and taurine to meet the animal's requirements without supplementation.
The best sources of taurine might be so different from the recommended dose for another breed or even another Newfoundland that it is imperative that a Newfoundland owner takes him to a vet. Once there, the owner and vet together can determine the best route for the Newfoundland. A source of the taurine can be absorbed by the Newfoundland not as easily as another smaller breed would. However, it may be the case that a Newfoundland owner could make a mistake by determining what supplementation, if any, to give to his dog without first consulting the vet. And in the meantime everyone should hope that the scientists are on the verge of a breakthrough in their taurine research.