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The amino acids L-Carnitine and Taurine are normally found in your dog’s diet. They are important in heart health. Sometimes, especially in older dogs, supplementation of the diet can help support good heart health.

It is very difficult for vegetarian and vegan dogs to obtain sufficient of the amino acids Taurine and Carnitine from vegetable sources. While they can synthesise these amino acids to some extent, it is common for dogs to be deficient, especially in older dogs.

Carnicare Liquid Syrup

High quality protein is very important in supporting your dog’s heart health, and so amino acid supplementation is routinely recommended for dogs that need to maintain good  heart health.

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and those particularly associated with heart health in dogs are L-Carnitine, Taurine, L-Arginine and D-Ribose.


How and When to Use CARNICARE

Maintaining and Supporting Your Dog’s Heart Health

Heart health in the modern dog is principally governed by genetics, diet, weight and exercise. Controlling these latter three factors is our responsibility as owners

Diet and specifically supplementation of the diet with key amino acids can give your dog increased support. It becomes even more important if your dog is of one of those breeds more genetically pre-disposed to heart problems

There are some technical articles in on our website that may help you to understand more about heart health. Use the top menu to navigate to them, they are in Library/Dog Health Articles/Heart Health

Why our dogs may need help with Vegetarian and Vegan diets

While some people choose to raise their dogs on a vegetarian diet for ethical reasons there are a number of important factors to consider when making the change over.

Dogs have higher protein requirements than humans, and this protein requirement can still be adequately met with legumes and other vegetarian sources. The amount of protein required overall ranges between 12% – 40% ; however some specific amino acids are may still be lacking.

Two important amino acids that may be lacking in vegetarian diets are Taurine and L-Carnitine, and these nutrients are vital for maintaining good heart health.


Carnitine and Taurine Amino Acids

L-Carnitine is usually classified as an amino acid, but it’s actually a vitamin-like compound that plays a vital role in the body by transporting long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria. It is essential to cellular energy metabolism, and due to the myocardium’s high energy requirements, the highest levels of L-Carnitine can be found in heart muscle tissue.The body’s ability to synthesise L-Carnitinedecreases with age and supplementation may be necessary to support good heart health.

These high energy requirements mean that the heart requires a higher level of L-Carnitine than may be found in some diets. Low levels of L-Carnitine are associated with  several breeds, especially Boxers, but also Cocker Spaniels, Springer Spaniels, and Dobermans

Taurine – High levels of this amino acid are normally found in the heart muscle and it is abundant in most meats and fish, but cooking, especially cooking methods that immerse meat in water, such as boiling, can reduce Taurine levels in food by up to 85%. However, this is not supposed to be a problem for dogs, because, unlike cats, dogs are supposed to be able to synthesize sufficient Taurine from the sulphur amino acids, Cysteine and Methionine, much like humans. You’ll notice the “supposed to’s” in that sentence. That’s because it is far from clear that all dogs have the ability to synthesize adequate levels of  Taurine.

While premium dog foods typically include additional Taurine supplements, low protein diets as well as  brands using high levels of cereal protein may not contain sufficient Taurine.  Lamb and rice diets have also been implicated as have homemade vegetarian and vegan diets.

Some breeds (e.g., Newfoundlands, American Cocker Spaniels) are prone to a low Taurine level in their systems  even when Taurine levels in their diet are adequate. There is evidence that Taurine supplementation supports heart health in many breeds

Vegetarian dogs

Can dog’s really live without meat?

Owners who decide to feed a vegetarian or vegan diet can fully satisfy their dogs dietary needs if they are aware of the species’ nutritional requirements.

Dogs may prefer to be carnivores whenever possible and while meat and fish are their preferred prey, even when times are plentiful they will still eat some herbage. Perhaps they are self medicating in some way. Perhaps obtaining certain minerals and vitamins that their meat diet lacks. Observers of carnivorous animals have noted that hunters will often eat intestinal contents before tackling raw meat.  Another piece of evidence to give us an insight into the dogs true nutritional needs.

What’s the best doggy vegetarian diet ?


So what should you take into account when preparing a vegetarian diet for your dog. Well firstly because they do not have a large capacity to digest vegetable matter, including starches and sugars they do lean towards a high protein and high fat content diet.

Therefore be aware that cereals, including rice, and potato must be kept to a minimum. Excessive starches and sugars increase the risk of your dog developing serious diseases such as diabetes, colitis and other digestive conditions.

Vegetable fibre is difficult to digest and so must be well broken down by mincing or liquidising though not necessarily cooking; which will reduce nutritional value. Raw is often best if it is broken down to improve digestability.

Plant proteins are abundant in legumes, peas, beans etc. Since practically all vegetable material contains fats and oils in addition to the oils you may add, you need to be aware that too much omega 6 oils are harmful, causing internal inflammation that can give rise to arthritis and other complaints. The better vegetable oils are: olive, coconut and flax.  Avoid sunflower, corn and rapeseed oils especially. We have a good article on vegetable oils for dogs in our online healthcare blog.

Safety, Feeding and Ingredients


Safe and Vet recommended, please consult your Vet. The Ingredients in Carnicare are widely recommended and used by Veterinary Surgeons.

Carnicare has a very safe record and is fully compatible with all medications that may be prescribed by your vet. Our L-Carnitine contains no impure D-Carnitine, which is actually detrimental to the dog.


Carnicare liquid syrup is fed at the rate of 1ml twice per day for every 10kg of your dog’s weight.  It should be sprinkled on your dog’s food at mealtimes, although not necessarily with each meal.  A measuring dispenser is provided to help you to feed the correct amount easily. 

Side effects are rare and limited to mild diarrhea. Feed at half the recommended rate to allow your dog to acclimatise to it


Carnicare contains 40% (400mg/ml) of L-Carnitine, making it the most concentrated and best value product available

L-Carnitine     400mg/ml

Taurine             80mg/ml

Magnesium  Aspartate Hydrochloride    100mg/ml

Potassium Sorbate natural preservative – less than 1%

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