I asked my Cocker Spaniel’s veterinary cardiologist what is the best CoQ10 for dogs when my pooch was diagnosed with mitral valve disease. His board-certified vet cardiologist recommended a few supplements, with CoQ10, or coenzyme Q10, being one of them. (The other was fish oil).
The best CoQ10 for dogs is designed to support cardiovascular and immune function in dogs and to maintain overall good health. There are hundreds of CoQ10 products available, but they aren’t all created equal. Further, dietary supplements (for people and pets) do not require the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to review their safety, efficacy, and effectiveness prior to marketing.
There are certain things to look for in a CoQ10 supplement and dosage to consider as well. We’ll explain the benefits of CoQ10 in easy-to-understand terms so that you can facilitate an open conversation with your dog’s veterinarian first.
What is CoQ10 or Coenzyme Q10 For Dogs?
Almost every cell in your dog’s body contains mitochondria that generate chemical energy. The body parts that need the most energy include the heart, brain, and muscles.
CoQ10 or Coenzyme Q10 is a compound that is naturally made by the body but is produced less and less as your dog ages. So for any organ in the body that needs a higher amount of energy, CoQ10 is useful in supporting them.
Touted as both a powerful antioxidant and immune system booster, veterinarians often recommend CoQ10 to senior patients, those with a decrease in CoQ10 production in their geriatric years, and dogs with heart or eye issues.
In her white paper on Nutritional Therapy of Heart Disease, Dr. Lisa M. Freeman of Tufts University writes, “Coenzyme Q10 is a cofactor in a number of reactions required for energy production and is an antioxidant.”
I liken CoQ10 to 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.
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.
What Is The Best Coq10 For Dogs?
Holistic veterinarian Dr. Judy Morgan explains the types of CoQ10 available to dogs. One form is called ubiquinol and the other is ubiquinone. Dr. Morgan says when coenzyme Q10 is oxidized and used by the body, it gets transformed and becomes ubiquinol. The two are interchangeable but dosage and type depend on their intended use.
If you ask 10 dog owners whose dogs have heart disease what type of coenzyme Q10 they give their dogs, you will likely get 10 different answers. Like people, each dog is different with varying needs and requirements. I’ve been giving Dr. Harvey’s Coenzyme Q10 to my dog for years on the recommendation of his veterinary cardiologist. We follow closely with the cardiologist, including regular echocardiograms, chest x-rays, and blood panels.
The best CoQ10 for dogs should be:
- One that your dog’s veterinarian feels is appropriate for your pet’s individual needs.
- Have a strict process of quality control
- Contain no preservatives, artificial ingredients, fillers, added salt or sugars
- Are made in the USA
- Transparent in their ingredients
Coenzyme Q10 For Dogs Dosage
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.”
My dog’s cardiologist has Dexter take 50 mg twice a day, and we use Dr. Harvey’s capsules twice a day. I put two capsules in Dexter’s meals twice a day and he has no problems swallowing the gel caps. As a general maintenance dose, Dr. Harvey’s 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’s for more information on supplementation by calling 866-362-4123. Always talk to your dog’s veterinarian before starting anything new.
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 coenzyme Q10 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.
Common Questions About Conenzyme Q10 In Dogs
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, which 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 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 any supplements.