Did you know that similar to humans, dogs are at risk for heart disease? Congestive Heart Failure is the weakening of the heart muscle and is a growing concern for aging dogs. There are several general causes of heart disease. Some of these include nutritional problems, aging, Heartworm, obesity, and breed. Here are 8 simple tips on maintaining your pet’s heart health, according to iHeartDogs.
8 Steps to Maintain Dog Heart Health
Nutrition plays a role in everything, from skin, coat, joint health, and organ function. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that you’re balancing the high-quality food that your pet’s receiving while limiting the number of treats.
Second, your pet needs to exercise frequently. In fact, fitness requires high amounts of exercise, especially cardio. Some forms of exercise would include hiking, running, swimming, or walking.
Third, it is important to recognize that dogs age faster than humans do, meaning you’ll be checking in with the veterinarian more frequently to identify any new changes in your pet’s bodies. In addition, it’s recommended that you check your pet every six months for the best health results.
Dental disease typically becomes problematic for dogs between the ages of 4-9 and has a high correlation with heart disease. In other words, the buildup of plaque, tartar, or infection in the animal’s mouth can enter the bloodstream.
Heartworm is a disease transmitted by mosquitoes and can lead to inflammation of the blood vessels, restricted blood flow, pulmonary embolism, and heart failure. However, heartworm is easy to prevent with one pill or topical product a month.
Above all, It’s important to be aware of your animal’s breed, as some are more prone to heart disease than others. Specifically, chronic valvular disease is more common in small breeds, while Myocardial disease is more common in large breeds.
Considering 95% of heart disease in dogs is “acquired” rather than genetic, it’s important to keep an eye out for symptoms. Specifically, these include dry cough, worsening cough at night, shortness of breath, rapid weight loss, fatigue, fainting, pale gums, and swollen abdomen.
Help Your Dog Lead a Heart Healthy Life!
Dog heart health requires hard work and care to maintain, just like human heart health does. Therefore, it’s important to understand the causes and ways that you can take action in preventing your pet from developing heart disease.
Cunningham, Suzanne M., et al. “Diagnosis of Cardiovascular Disease in Dogs – Dog Owners.” Merck Veterinary Manual, Merck Veterinary Manual, www.merckvetmanual.com/dog-owners/heart-and-blood-vessel-disorders-of-dogs/diagnosis-of-cardiovascular-disease-in-dogs.
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Fantegrossi, Dina. “8 Ways To Keep Your Dog’s Heart Healthy.” IHeartDogs, iheartdogs.com/8-ways-to-keep-your-dogs-heart-healthy/.
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Medicine, Center for Veterinary. “The Facts about Heartworm Disease.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/animal-health-literacy/keep-worms-out-your-pets-heart-facts-about-heartworm-disease.