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Taurine is an amino acid (one of the building blocks of proteins) that can be found naturally in all sorts of foods and especially in seafood and meat. Even when it is not found in abundance in a dog's diet, the dog can produce its own making it a non-essential nutrient for most dogs.
A number of studies have, however, shown that taurine supplementation can help in the treatment of heart problems. For this reason some dog food manufacturers have started to add extra taurine to their foods as a health supplement.