Six Tips to Care for Your Dog's Heart

Your dog's heart health is very important for keeping them happy and content. Here are some tips regarding this subject.
Six Tips to Care for Your Dog's Heart
Natalia Laguna

Written and verified by the biologist Natalia Laguna.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

Like humans, dogs have heart problems as well. Following these six tips to care for your dog’s heart is essential to help your dog have a long happy life.

Heart problems are more common in older, obese dogs and in certain breeds. Still, this doesn’t mean that younger dogs don’t ever have problems. The origin of these heart diseases is usually congenital or due to age. However, the former is the most complex issue.

For example, in small breeds, such as Bull Terriers or Cocker Spaniels, the most common heart condition is chronic valve disease. On the other hand, larger breeds, such as Boxers or Great Danes, the most frequent heart disease is usually myocardial disease.

In most cases, we aren’t able to see obvious symptoms when your dog is suffering from heart failure. They aren’t easy to detect and you need to be vigilant.

Taking into account everything we mentioned before, it’s very important to take care of your pet and improve their quality of life to prevent these unwanted problems. Here, we’ll show you some tips regarding cardiac health in dogs.

6 tips to care for your dog’s heart

1. Food

Nutrition is a very important aspect for any dog’s health. It’s essential for them to eat well in order to have a strong, healthy heart.

There’s a wide variety of dog food on the market to meet the animal’s nutritional needs. Some dog food is specifically prepared to prevent heart disease. This specific food is optimized for cardiac output. In fact, they contain animal proteins, such as taurine and carnitine, and are low in salt.

Homemade recipes with veterinary supervision are also a good option in these cases. This alternative requires significant effort and perseverance from the owners. They need to adjust the ingredients and quantities for the individual animal. It’s also a good option for dogs that don’t like normal dog food.

2. Care for your dog’s heart: Prevent obesity

Obesity can trigger or worsen a dog’s heart problems. Again, the key is to use specific food.

In this situation, we recommend a low-calorie dog food. You should also measure rations to suit the pet’s needs. Sometimes dogs might not want to eat if they’re uncomfortable, but it’s always possible to find tasty food that your dog will eat.

When you feed a dog with homemade ingredients, you should always avoid sugar. It’s also best not to give them fruits, such as watermelon, or high carbohydrate foods. Avoid overdoing it with any treats made with flour.

Care for your dog's heart with food.

3. Exercise

The fact that a dog has heart problems doesn’t mean that they can’t exercise. However, you should do everything in moderation to prevent them from getting tired. When you see your dog panting a lot, this is a sign that you should head home so they can recover.

Exercise shouldn’t be ruled out because it also helps reduce their weight in cases of obesity.

Walking is a simple physical exercise. It’s also a great option that benefits the body without straining the heart. In addition, walking can also help revitalize and cleanse the circulatory system.

4. Care for your dog’s heart: Visits to the vet

A vet’s timely diagnosis of your dog’s heart problem will always be the best solution for this problem.

Regular checks of your dog’s general health can lead to an early diagnosis. As we mentioned previously, there aren’t any outward signs when your pet is facing these issues. However, you may notice fatigue, coughing at night, breathing difficulties, and swelling in the abdomen.

5. Medications

Sometimes heart diseases not only require good food and exercise to help deal with them, but also require medication. Your vet will need to prescribe these.

Once your vet has a heart problem, it’s hard to make it disappear completely. In these situations, specific treatments will help them to lead a normal life.

Care for your dog's heart with medication.

6. Unconditional love

Dogs always need and ask for attention from those around them. Dogs that spend a lot of time alone or don’t get enough attention have been shown to have signs of anxiety and nervousness. This situation can negatively affect the health of a dog’s heart.

However, these dogs don’t only ask for cuddles and attention, but they also offer us their affection. In order for them to be happy and healthy animals, it’s best for us to respond with the same unconditional love that they give us.

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The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.