It is normal to notice our pets going through a lethargic phase from time to time. But on some occasions, the problem may become seemingly permanent, whether as a result of illnesses or injury, or simply as a consequence of the dog growing older. Fortunately, there are a number of products available that can counteract the effects of such drowsiness, with one of the most popular being ‘CoQ10’. But just how effective is this new drug?
What is CoQ10?
CoQ10 is a coenzyme supplement (deriving its name from ‘Coenzyme Q-10’) that helps animals produce more energy, allowing them to exercise more fully when younger and maintain a healthy active lifestyle in their later years without us having to worry about tiring them out. The substance can even be used by humans, allowing for heightened alertness and better performance in sports centered on speed and endurance. The way in which the coenzyme achieves this result is quite interesting, as instead of relying on inhibiting neural receptors as caffeine products do, it enhances the ability of the mitochondria in the dog’s cells to accept electrons. This, in turn, greatly speeds up the production of energy within the dog’s body, temporarily lending the dog increased stamina and the ability to think faster.
Is it Safe?
However, as with all supplements, we should be careful to stay vigilant for potential side effects. In the case of CoQ10, pets with heart disease may find the energy-increasing properties of normal CoQ10 to be somewhat risky, as cells within the circulatory system will become energized at a much faster rate than normal. Under the right conditions, this could potentially lead to the heart muscle becoming unable to properly regulate its beat and have dire consequences for your dog. Fortunately, there is an alternative form of the supplement available which is safe for use by animals with circulatory issues. This is marketed under the name ‘Ubiquinol’. The core difference between this substance and basic CoQ10 is that Ubiquinol causes cells to shed electrons faster, instead of accepting them. This still speeds up the production of energy, but does not impart a charge to the cell that may prove disruptive to the nerves in the heart.
How is it Used?
CoQ10 and Ubiquinol are most commonly offered in pill-form, meaning that you will have to convince the dog to swallow them when each dosage is ready. Because our furry friends are often frustratingly reluctant to swallow any form of medication, it is best to simply mix the pills in with their food. However, a more effective strategy is to prepare specific treats that the dog will actively look forward to eating. Many vets suggest simply wrapping each pill in a piece of cheap deli meat, which is both cost-effective and breaks up the usual monotony of the dog’s diet. You should keep in mind that the dog should not receive multiple doses throughout the day, instead simply receiving the pill prior to doing an activity such as going for a walk, training classes, hunting, or going to work. Due to the fact that the coenzyme’ effects will typically last for several hours (though this time window may differ slightly between breeds), a rigorous schedule does not have to be followed.
Does My Dog Need CoQ10?
Supplements such as CoQ10 and Ubiquinol are great ways to give an old or infirm dog a new lease on life, allowing them to participate in physical activities that will greatly improve their quality of life and levels of enjoyment. However, as when considering administering any new drug to your dog, it is wise to consult with a qualified vet first, as they will be able to give specifically tailored advice that will help you get the most out of the supplement. Furthermore, a rapid loss of energy levels by an otherwise seemingly healthy dog can be indicative of a serious health problem, which makes seeking veterinary advice even more important.