What is Coenzyme Q10 for DogsHave you been considering giving Coenzyme Q10 for dogs?

CoQ10 is an enzyme found throughout cells in the body.

The Q refers to quinone found on the molecule, and the 10 refers to the number of subunits on its tail.

Coenzyme Q10 is known under several names including ubiquinone, ubidecarenone and coenzyme Q. It is often abbreviated as CoQ, CoQ10, or Q10.

This enzyme is produced naturally by your dog, however, some foods which have high concentrations include oily fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines) organ meats and whole grains.


How does Coenzyme Q10 work for dogs?

CoQ10 helps to control the flow of oxygen within cells.

It also acts as an anti-oxidant by reducing damage to cells caused by free radicals (molecules which have been changed by oxidation and cause damage to cells).

Q10 is a fundamental link in the chain of processes involved in the production of energy in the body and is found primarily in tiny organelles (mitochondria) within cells that generate the body’s energy.

This means that those organs with the highest energy requirements, for example the liver, heart and kidneys, have the highest amounts of CoQ10.

CoQ10 deficiency in dogs

There are two major factors that can lead to a deficiency of CoQ10.

These are reduced biosynthesis of the enzyme, or, increased utilisation by the body. Biosynthesis is the major source of CoQ10 and several conditions, including some which are genetically carried, can cause CoQ10 deficiency.

Some chronic disease conditions (e.g. cancer or heart disease) are also thought to reduce biosynthesis and increase the demand for CoQ10 in the body, although there are no definite data to support these claims.

The body can become deficient of this enzyme due to aging or a lack of essential vitamins required during biosynthesis.

Coenzyme Q10 for dogs through supplements

Because of its anti-oxidant properties, it is thought that CoQ10 can be used where oxidizing molecules are causing cell damage.

This type of cell damage can lead to the formation of cancer cells and chronic inflammatory changes.

Benefits of CoQ10 for dogs

Coenzyme Q10 for Dogs - Benefits and Side Effects

Cardiovascular disease

CoQ10’s most frequent use as an ingredient in supplements for dogs is for congestive heart failure, however, ongoing research suggests it may also be useful for other types of heart problems (e.g. cardiomyopathy) and for a wide variety of related illnesses (e.g. high blood pressure).

Preliminary research has shown reduced levels of CoQ10 in the hearts of pets with heart disease.

It has been suggested that the effects of CoQ10 alone on cardiovascular disease are probably only mild to moderate, but there may be a positive (synergistic) interaction between CoQ10 and other cardiac medications.

Periodontal disease

CoQ10 may also help periodontal, or gum disease.

The enzyme reduces the size and improves the health of the periodontal pockets. It does this by decreasing inflammation, redness, bleeding and pain.

Because most pets with heart disease also have periodontal disease, supplementing with CoQ10 might offer an extra benefit in pets with heart disease.


CoQ10 may help prevent heart damage caused by certain types of cancer chemotherapy, such as adriamycin.

Because the anti-oxidant activity of CoQ10 might interfere with the action of other chemotherapy drugs, check with your veterinarian before using CoQ10 if your dog has cancer that requires chemotherapy.

CoQ10 may also boost the effectiveness of other anti-oxidants, such as vitamin C, and help with elevated blood pressure, immune problems, diabetes, and reduced physical performance.

CoQ10 supplementation for dogs has also been recommended on various web-sites for treatment or prevention of age-related cognitive dysfunction, reduced immune system functionality and kidney disease.

Dosage of CoQ10

The typical dosage for dogs is 30 mg every 24 to 48 hours, although this might be adjusted according to the size of the dog and individual needs.

For example, if your veterinarian feels that increasing the dosage is necessary for larger dogs, the dosage might be increased to 80 mg every 24 to 48 hours for a 100 lb dog.

any holistic veterinarians recommend using 1 mg/lb of body weight daily, which makes it an expensive supplement for larger dogs.

Toxicity and side effects of CoQ10

In humans, toxicity is not usually observed, even with high doses of CoQ10.

A daily dosage of up to 3,600 mg is tolerated by both healthy and unhealthy humans [1].

Adverse side-effects, largely gastrointestinal, have been reported with very high intakes. The observed safe level (OSL) is 1,200 mg/day [2].

Science on CoQ10

Studies with humans

Many of the recommended uses in humans are controversial, with mixed and generally low-quality, clinical trial evidence for most applications.

Studies with dogs

There is relatively little robust scientific research on the use of CoQ10 in pets.

One study failed to find evidence of decreased CoQ10 levels in dogs with congestive heart failure, but reported that although dramatic effects on blood dynamics were not observed, CoQ10 supplementation reduced the increase in organ size associated with chronic heart failure [3].

Another report stated that there appear to be no clinical trials for any specific indication of purported benefits of CoQ10 and “the recommendations for this supplement are again based entirely on theory, anecdote, and pre-clinical research or clinical research conducted in humans”.


Although there is some robust, positive evidence for the efficacy of CoQ10 in humans for some of its purported benefits, such evidence does not appear to exist for dogs.

[toggle title=”References“]
  1. Hyson, H.C. et al., (2010).  Safety and tolerability of high-dosage coenzyme Q10 in Huntington’s disease and healthy subjects. Mov Disord., 25(12): 1924-1928. doi: 10.1002/mds.22408.
  2. Hathcock, J.N. and Shao, A., (2006).  Risk assessment for coenzyme Q10 (Ubiquinone).  Regul. Toxicol. Pharmacol., 45(3): 282-288. doi: 10.1016/j.yrtph.2006.05.006.
  3. Harker-Murray, A.K. et al., (2000). The role of coenzyme Q10 in the pathophysiology and therapy of experimental congestive heart failure in the dog.  J. Card. Fail., 6(3): 233-242


  1. I have an older dog and i have noticed that when she frolics
    Her tongue turns a little bluish.
    My husband was a veterinarian here for 61 years but alas he
    has passed.
    I can’t afford to take my dog “leesa” in . It would cost a fortune
    Just to have an exam.
    I was wondering if co q 10 might help? She a shep x.
    Any info would be greatly appreciated.
    [email protected]

  2. My 13 year old Pom, has a heart murmur, it is grade #2. I am looking for a recommendation for a COQ10 supplement. Does anyone use one that works good and easy to use?

    • Hi. I had a Pomeranian that was born with a heart murmur and she lived to be 20 yrs old. Pompie was never on any medications! Vets would tell me I am the elite pet owner. I brushed my dogs teeth since she was a puppy. Dogs get gum disease at the age of 3 yrs. Leba 3 took off any tarter build up and our family uses this product. If pets and people would use it daily we all would put the dental business out of business. When Pompie was about 12 yrs I noticed tarter buildup and I tyied most everything and Leba 3 did the job. The vets could not believe my dogs teeth were all there and in perfect condition. I never gave my dog COQ10 supplement. If I could go back in time I would, just because of all the health benefits. Only the last three weeks of Pompie’s life she became weak. I love Pomie. She lived on love! I took her almost everywhere and she love our adventures! I never left her alone. She was our baby fur pet family member! You must take care of there teeth. I never had Pompie at the vet for professional cleaning because they have to put pets out! I am so blesses my best friend lived to be almost 21 yrs of age. Don’t let a heart murmur get you down. We gave Pompie veggie and fruit with reverse the heart issue. Our vets couldn’t believe how Pompie always played around like a puppy in her old age. She was totally amazing! Keeping there teeth healthy brings long life to each of our pets. Make sure you have all your pets taking a multi vitamin, vitamin C and amino acids everyday.

      I use Leba 3, Animale Essentials, Detoxadine for the family and a drop for our new dogs. Dr Harvey has some excellent herbs. foods, and vitamins. From Only Natural Pet Rosehip vitamin C and Tract-Ease. Please make sure not to give your pet By-Products. Most large commercial pet food companies have the worse ingredient that will cause cancer, tumors and many other diseases. Please read your labels and purchase only clean and healthy ingredients. V-dog is a great dog food company. We love love,
      Tylee’s Chicken, Turkey Recipe Human-Grade Dog Food.

      • I love your information you just gave me. What is Leba 3? my Pom is 13 yrs ols. I have had her teeth cleaned 4 times. Waste of money.What is Animal Essentials?Where is Dr.Harvy’s web page? Which multi vitamin do you think for a senior Pom? My Pom has weight issues and digestive issues I am using Hills Science. But I know that she must need more, many times these specialty dog foods for seniors or GI issues do not have all that is needed. But I have to watch her weight. Please advise. I would love to have my Molly for more years. She still plays a lot. She also goes everywhere with me :) Thanks.

      • I read up on the Vegan dog food your recommended. I hesitate as it says Canola (Rape) is a semi-drying oil that is used as lubricant, fuel, soap and synthetic rubber base, and as an illuminant for the slick color pages you see in magazines. It is an industrial oil and does not belong in any body, ours or our pets! This is on Amazon. The teeth spray I have no issue using if it works but a senior dog with GI issues, I wonder if it would make her sick? I still need a good multi vitamin for her. Money is not an issue for my baby. Please advise as if your dog lived that long you have done wonders. :)

Leave a Reply