With so many supplements on the market, it can be hard to choose which are the most beneficial for your pup.
For some dogs, a little joint support is all that’s needed. For other dogs, however, it takes a little more strategizing to build a healthy supplement regimen.
The best way to find out which supplements are right for your dog is to talk to your vet or holistic veterinarian. Their recommendations should target age-related health concerns as well as any specific health conditions that your dog has.
What You Need to Know About CoQ10
CoQ10 is found naturally in the body of most animals, but as we age, our ability to produce this enzyme decreases.
What Does CoQ10 Actually Do?
CoQ10 is found inside cells where it plays a significant role in the cells’ ability to generate energy.
Quick biology refresher:
Cells need energy to function.
This energy comes from breaking down carbohydrates and fats to create ATP (usable energy).
This breakdown of carbohydrates and fats takes place within cells through a series of chemical reactions.
These chemical reactions are catalyzed by enzymes.
Messages are transported between these enzymes by way of a co-enzyme named CoQ10.
Without the coenzyme CoQ10, there would be no communication between enzymes and the necessary processes to create ATP could not be carried out.
This means that your cells would not be able to produce the energy that they need to function.
CoQ10 is found in its highest concentration in areas of the body that require the most energy to function – for example in the heart.
So, as we age and produce less CoQ10 naturally, our energy levels begin to decline.
This is why it’s important to consider a CoQ10 supplement.
But Wait…There’s More…
CoQ10 isn’t only important for the production of energy within the cells!
An antioxidant, CoQ10 is helpful for the removal of free radicals from within cells.
Free radicals occur naturally in the body as a “waste product” from metabolism and as a result of stress. These free radicals can be harmful to the body by combining with other substances and damaging cell walls.
To prevent free radical damage, free radicals must be neutralized.
Antioxidants are a means of neutralization.
So What Can CoQ10 Supplementation Do For Your Dog?
The effects of adding a CoQ10 supplement to your dog’s routine will vary depending on your individual dog. Some of the most common benefits seen with CoQ10 supplementation include:
- Improvement of cardiovascular function in dogs with cardiomyopathy
- Improvement of cardiovascular function in dogs with valvular disease
- Improvement of periodontal / gum disease
- Protection of the heart for dogs undergoing certain types of chemotherapy
- Improvement of symptoms of cognitive dysfunction related to age
- Improvement of arthritis symptoms by reducing oxygen free radicals in the body
How Do I Know if My Dog Needs CoQ10 Supplementation?
Most vets who recommend CoQ10, recommend beginning supplementation at age 6 or above. They may also recommend supplementation for certain metabolic conditions in younger dogs. Additionally, if you notice a drop in energy in your senior dog and have ruled out potential medical conditions, you can talk to your vet about starting a CoQ10 supplement.
How Much CoQ10 Does My Dog Need?
The general rule of thumb for CoQ10 supplementation is 10mg per 10lb of bodyweight.
How Do I Know a Good CoQ10 Supplement From Bad?
The first thing you need to look for when purchasing a CoQ10 supplement for your dog is whether the supplement contains Ubiquinol or Ubiquinone. Whenever possible, you are looking for Ubiquinol which is easier to absorb.
The next thing you should always do when choosing any supplement is to look at the ingredients. You want to scan both the active and inactive ingredients to look for any potentially harmful ingredients.
You always want the purest form of any supplement as you can get. In some instances, however, you will be unable to find a supplement that is free from additive ingredients. In this case, pay particular attention to what these additive ingredients are.
Watch out for CoQ10 supplements containing magnesium stearate (and citrus extracts if you are also supplementing for cats!) Magnesium stearate has been proven to suppress the production of T-cells in the body and cause the collapse of cell membranes which destroys the cell’s ability to function.
Where to Buy a Good CoQ10 Supplement
You can purchase CoQ10 supplements for your dog at many pet supply stores, online, or through a human health store. Just make sure to purchase the correct dosage and to check your list of ingredients!
Please remember: It is always best to talk to your vet before adding any supplement to your dogs daily routine!