Choline Chloride In Dog Food
By Hungry Bark | January 21, 2021
If you have gotten into the habit of reading your dog’s food labels, there are likely ingredients that you have questions about. Chances are, Choline Chloride is one of those ingredients. Chemical names can be a little intimidating, especially when there is conflicting information online. Despite the trend against “chemicals”, most are natural, and many are necessary for good health.
Choline is available in various forms, choline chloride, lecithin, and choline bitartrate. Choline Chloride is the form most frequently used in pet foods. It is not only added to dog food, it is also becoming more frequently used as a dietary supplement for dogs.
Still have questions? Don’t worry. We’ve broken it down so you can feel informed when looking at that dog food label. We’ll explain what choline is, where it comes from, and its place in your dog’s diet.
What Is Choline Chloride in Dog Food
Choline Chloride is a member of the B vitamin family. Also known as Vitamin B4, Choline plays a vital role in nutrition. It is a major component of the neurotransmitters dopamine and acetylcholine. It also plays a part in metabolism and in protecting the liver from toxins. Choline plays a major role in cellular health, lipid production, and overall brain health.
Choline is found naturally in many foods including:
- Wheat germ
Health Benefits of Choline
Ingredients with choline or Choline chloride in dog food are important in maintaining your dog’s health. There is evidence that a diet rich in Choline can help prevent the symptoms of dementia and senility that can occur in senior dogs. Due to the effects of choline on brain health, veterinarians often recommend a choline supplement for dogs that have seizures.
A choline rich diet is beneficial for all stages of your dog's life. This will help your dog's brain develop properly and ensure optimal liver health by protecting it from disorders like hepatic lipidosis. Choline also helps your dog maintain hydration by preventing the loss of water through the skin.
If your dog is not consuming enough choline in their diet, they may start showing signs of choline deficiency. Some of these may be visible only with medical testing; if your dog is showing visible symptoms, they may require further testing for diagnosis. Choline deficiency symptoms include:
- Sudden weight-loss
- Liver dysfunction
- Hemorrhagic (bleeding) tissue
How To Make Sure Your Dog
Gets Enough Choline
If your dog is otherwise healthy and is not showing any signs of choline deficiency, you should still consider adding choline to their diet. Top off their food with high choline foods like peas or broccoli. You can even sprinkle a little flaxseed on their kibble, or mix in an egg for extra choline.
High-quality dog food can provide a good source of choline for your dog. Curious about the choline content of your dog’s food? Carefully read the dog food label. Look for a dog food made with whole ingredients that are high in choline.
There is nothing wrong with added choline chloride on the dog food label. Even choline rich foods can lose some of their content in the cooking process. Choline chloride on the label is added choline, which will help ensure the food has enough of the nutrient to maximize its benefits for your dog.
Hungry Bark Recipes provide the best of both worlds. All recipes include choline rich superfoods like peas and flaxseed. They also have a blend of vitamins and minerals, so your dog is getting all the major nutrients they need, including choline.
If you are worried that your dog may be showing signs of choline deficiency, consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible. If this is the case, they may need a choline supplement in addition to dog food that provides choline.