Feb 15, 2023 | By, For Pet's Sake

Everything you need to know about heart disease in dogs

As pet parents, we all want to make sure our pets stay happy and healthy for as long as possible. This Feb., it’s especially important to focus on your pet’s heart health in honor of American Heart Month! Keeping your pet’s heart strong is key not only for its well-being but also for ensuring that you can both enjoy many years together without any worry. So, let’s dive into the best tips on keeping your pet’s ticker in top shape!

What are the signs of a healthy heart in pets?

Keeping your pet’s heart strong is essential to maintaining their overall health and well-being. The key signs of a healthy heart in pets are a normal resting heart rate and the absence of murmurs or irregular beats. They should have boundless energy and enthusiasm, be able to easily move around and seem full of life. If you notice they are panting excessively, tire quickly during exercise, seem out of breath, or have lost their appetite then it could be worth speaking to your veterinarian about a checkup. If any problems occur then it is best to treat them as soon as possible, so keep an eye for any changes in behavior that may indicate that something isn’t quite right.

How can you keep your pet’s heart healthy through diet and exercise?

You can help your pet’s heart stay healthy with a nutritious diet and an active lifestyle. Incorporating certain ingredients in your pet’s daily routine will give them the essential minerals and vitamins needed for heart health. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like fish and flaxseed, will help reduce inflammation and improve overall cardiovascular circulation. Providing plenty of physical activity not only helps increase muscle mass, but it also allows ample opportunity for the heart to get its needed exercise in order to perform at its best. By making key dietary enhancements alongside adequate exercise routines, you are providing your pet with an excellent foundation for maintaining a healthy heart for years to come.

What treatments are available for pets with heart disease?

Heart disease is no longer a death sentence for pets, as there are a variety of treatments available. Pet owners now have many options when it comes to helping their beloved animal recover from and/or live with heart disease. Medications called ACE inhibitors help to reduce the workload on the heart, while beta-blockers slow down the overall rate of contraction. Pets may also be prescribed vitamin E supplements to help strengthen damaged muscles and create more optimal blood flow through the cardiovascular system. Diet and lifestyle adjustments can also play an important role: reducing their salt intake, maintaining regular exercise levels, and limiting stress are all essential components of any treatment plan developed by veterinarians.

What should you do if you think your pet has a heart problem?

If you suspect your pet is suffering from a heart problem, it is important to bring them to their veterinarian for an immediate evaluation. Heart problems in animals can worsen quickly, so the sooner you can identify and address any potential issues, the better it will be for your pet’s overall health and well-being. Before arriving to the veterinarian’s office, take note of any heart-related symptoms or irregularities that you may have witnessed in your animal companion. This could be anything from labored breathing or coughing to fainting or bouts of weakness. Sharing this information with your vet can help provide a more accurate diagnosis and allow for quicker relief for your furry friend.

Heart disease is a serious condition that can be deadly for dogs. However, with early detection and treatment, many dogs go on to live long and healthy lives. If you think your dog may be at risk for heart disease, talk to your veterinarian about the best way to keep your furry friend healthy.

Have a question about pet health? Want to become the best possible pet parent? Find helpful tips, reminders, and insight to giving your furry friend the best possible care with For Pet’s Sake! Learn more at drdevonsmith.com.