Have a Heart! Taking Care of Your Dog’s Heart
February was Heart Health month and that means taking care of your heart every month. Your pet’s heart is pretty important too! It is a crucial reminder to get their checkup. Much like you go to your physician to get a regular checkup, your dog needs that special attention also. Whether you have an older, younger, or recently adopted pet, it’s imperative to their health that you get them examined for heart issues so they aren’t affected later on. Here are some ways to take care and maintain your dog’s healthy heart.
Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and Your Dog
Yep. Just like humans, dogs are susceptible to CHF. But there are ways to help avoid from progressing it further. If you don’t think your dog could be at risk for CHF, think again. Depending on the type of breed and age, your pup could exhibit symptoms such as coughing, weight loss, tiring with exercise, poor appetite, fainting, difficulty breathing, and/or depression and you may not realize they have these symptoms due to onset stages of CHF. If you feel your dog has any one or more of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately.
There are two types of heart disease in your pet: valvar disease and heart muscle disease. Some breeds, such as Dobermans, Great Danes, and New Foundlands are predisposed to the disease but all dogs could be at risk for either heart condition. A blood test during his or her routine checkup can determine the strength of his or her heart. Blood tests will also determine such ailments as asthma and other underlying respiratory conditions.
Stay on a Routine
A routine schedule of vet visits is strongly recommended to occur at least once a year. At the visits, you have the chance ask how to help keep your pet heart-healthy, about supplement recommendations, and other healthy techniques. Dental cleanings are also a part of appropriate canine checkup. Did you know that three out of four dogs develop some form of dental disease? Gum and teeth disease are prevalent in dogs between ages 5 and 9. Regular dental cleanings help keep heart disease at bay because you can administer medications when you catch it early on.
This may be a given, but most individuals don’t know the adequate standard for exercise and heart health. Of course, you will want to take into consideration his or her age, breed, and size. You should also ask your vet during the routine checkup about exercise techniques for your pet. How long should your pet exercise, and how often? What are some exercise techniques? It is imperative to exercise regularly with your dog. From longer than usual walks to letting him run around in a dog park, this gives your dog the opportunity to interact with other dogs while getting a decent amount of daily exercise.
Are You Supplementing?
Just as it’s important to take supplements for your own health benefits, your dog needs supplements to stay heart-healthy. Omega-3’s are a great way give back to your pet by keeping them heart healthy. Proper amino acids will help eliminate the chance of heart issues. Additionally, hyperthyroidism can negatively affect the heart of aging animals. CoQ10 is a vital requirement to keep your pet’s heart at its peak condition. This naturally-occurring enzyme is present in young cats and dogs but tends to taper off as your pet ages. These supplements are a beneficial way to keep constant nutrition. Lastly, your pet should have regular heart worm prevention treatments. Heart worm is easy to contract and can be deadly to your pet, so speak to your veterinarian about dosing and frequency.
There is no better time than now to get your pet checked regularly for heart disease. When you’re looking for a thorough cleaning for your furry loved one, contact Inn of the Dog for rates, specials, and more.