When a veterinary cardiologist diagnosed my Cocker Spaniel with mitral valve disease a few years ago, I wondered if CoQ10 for dogs would benefit him. Though there are many heart health supplements available for dogs, my pup’s cardiologist recommended we start him on CoQ10 to complement his medical regimen.
CoQ10 is designed to support cardiovascular and immune function in dogs and to maintain overall good health. When veterinary cardiologists studied the impact of using CoQ10 for dogs with heart disease, the results showed CoQ10 may protect heart muscle cells from injury through its antioxidant action.
Not all CoQ10 supplements are created equally and there are many factors to consider when adding anything new to your dog’s regimen, whether vitamins, supplements, or food. There are certain things to look for in a CoQ10 supplement and dosage to consider as well. We’re here to explain the benefits of CoQ10 in easy-to-understand terms so that you can facilitate an open conversation with your dog’s veterinarian and learn if CoQ10 for dogs is beneficial for heart disease.
What Is CoQ10 For Dogs?
Coenzyme Q10 is a compound that is naturally made by the body but is produced less and less as a dog ages. The parts of every cell in your dog’s body that produce oxygen are in the mitochondria. So for any organ in the body that needs a higher amount of energy, CoQ10 is useful in supporting those organs.
Both people and pets have been using CoQ10 supplementation for years and many believe it to be beneficial for dogs with heart disease, cancer, and even gingivitis. Dogs with mild heart disease may benefit as well as those those using the supplement for more advanced heart disease.
I think of CoQ10 as a boost of oxygen to my dog’s cells and in turn, the cells behave more appropriately in support of my dog’s heart and other organs.
Dr. Jean Dodds writes in her book, Canine Nutrigenomics, that some of the most well-researched nutrients to benefit your dog’s heart health include coenzyme Q10.
What Type of CoQ10 Should My Dog Take?
Like all supplements, not every bottle of CoQ10 is created equal. As an ambassador to the Dr. Harvey’s brand of healthy products for pets, I give my Cocker Spaniel the Dr. Harvey’s Coenzyme Q10 capsules. Each bottle contains 60 capsules and my medium-sized dog gets one in the morning and one in the evening with his meals.
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Holistic veterinarian Dr. Judy Morgan explains the types of CoQ10 available to dogs. One form is called ubiquinol and the other is ubiquinone. She says when CoQ10 is oxidized and used by the body, it gets transformed and becomes ubiquinol. The two are interchangeable but dosage and type depend on the reason for administering CoQ10 to your dog.
If you ask 10 dog owners whose dogs have heart disease what type of CoQ10 they give their dogs, you are likely to get 10 different answers. Like people, each dog is different with different needs and requirements. I’ve had success in administering Dr. Harvey’s CoQ10 to my dog, and the dosage has been fine for my Cocker Spaniel. We follow closely with the cardiologist, regular echocardiograms, chest x-rays, and blood panels.
How Much CoQ10 Should My Dog Take Daily?
The amount of CoQ10 to administer varies by dog, need, health issues, size, and what your dog’s vet or veterinary cardiologist recommends.
Dr. Morgan says some supplements, such as CoQ10, may defer the onset of mitral valve disease although there is no scientific proof they do so. She recommends 100 mg twice daily of CoQ10 (ubiquinol) for dogs under 13 pounds.
In her book, Natural Dog, Dr. Deva Khalsa says, “A small dog would take 30 milligrams once a day; a large dog would take 30 to 100 mg once a day. The dose should be doubled in cases of very advanced heart failure.”
In Canine Nutrigenomics, authored by Dr. Jean Dodds, she says the dosing is 100 to 400 mg daily.
I give my dog one Dr. Harvey’s CoQ10 capsule twice a day. As a general maintenance dose, Dr. Harvey recommends the following for dogs, with each capsule being 30 mg:
- 2-50 pounds: 1 capsule daily
- 51-100 pounds: 2 capsules daily
- 101-150 pounds: 3 capsules daily
- 151-200 pounds: 4 capsules daily
You can call and talk to Dr. Harvey for more information on supplementation by calling 866-362-4123.
Where Can I Buy CoQ10 For Dogs?
No two dogs are alike and no two supplements are alike, so be cautious about where you buy CoQ10 for dogs.
For more advanced forms, higher doses, or something with more milligrams, check with your dog’s vet.
If your veterinarian is not comfortable advising you on supplements, then I suggest finding another veterinarian who is by pursuing a consultation with a holistic veterinarian. One can be found via the American Holistic Veterinary Medicine Association (AHVMA).
Overall research points to the success of CoQ10 in helping dogs live healthier lives including those affected by cardiovascular issues, cancer, high blood pressure, brain support, and gingivitis, or gum disease. Since periodontal disease can affect the heart, CoQ10 is a supplement to consider adding to your dog’s regimen.
Does CoQ10 Have Any Side Effects In Dogs?
If your dog is undergoing chemotherapy or has any pre-existing health conditions, clear its administration first with the veterinarian.
Start slow when adding any new supplement and see how your dog reacts before increasing the dose according to the instructions.
Can I give my dog human CoQ10? It is preferable that dog owners provide CoQ10 supplementation formulated for dogs unless otherwise directed by a veterinarian or medical professional.
Can my dog take too much CoQ10? It would take a very high dose of CoQ10 to cause gastrointestinal upset in most dogs according to Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, who indicates up to 1,200 mg a day is safe in most cases. Check with your dog’s vet on dosing.
Can CoQ10 help a dog with canine glaucoma? Cocker Spaniels are one of the breeds more prone to glaucoma. In her book, From Needles to Natural, Dr. Judy Morgan says, “Supplements can be given to help prevent glaucoma in breeds prone to this disease as well as any pet suffering from the disease. These include CoQ10, lutein, beta-carotene, and vitamin A, C, and E.”
Can I give CoQ10 to my dog with kidney disease? One of the nutritional supplements Dr. Morgan recommends for pets with kidney disease includes CoQ10, which she writes, “Give CoQ10 (30 to 200 mg daily based on the size of dog) which can help decrease inflammation.”
Read more about keeping a dog’s kidneys healthy.
What about fish oil for heart disease management in dogs? In addition to CoQ10, my dog’s veterinary cardiologist recommended we give him a high-quality fish oil to promote a healthy heart.
According to Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, “Certain types of fatty acids present in fish oil (called omega-3 fatty acids) have been shown to have a positive effect in dogs with heart disease.” Although the Omega-3s do not prevent heart disease in dogs in the way they can in humans, they can help a dog’s heart in other ways, including dogs with abnormal heart rhythms.
Here’s more about how fish oil can help dogs and the formula we give our Cocker Spaniel.
Be sure to check with a veterinarian before starting your dog on supplements.