On Valentine’s Day, why not take a moment to think about your furry pal’s heart health? While there’s no guaranteed way to prevent heart disease in dogs – especially because several common types are congenital – you can take steps to help your dog live a long, healthy life.
Know the Signs of a Broken Heart
According to CareCenterVets.com, heart disease can develop due to wear and tear on the heart, as well as injury or illness. The following symptoms should prompt you to take your dog or cat to a veterinarian to see if it has heart disease:
- Dry coughing post-exercise
- Coughing that gets worse at night
- Rapid, unexplained weight loss
- Shortness of breath
- Fatigue and fainting spells
- Pale gums
- Swollen abdomen
- Decreased appetite
A Healthy Diet is Key to a Healthy Heart
“It’s always important to feed your pooch a healthy diet that includes Taurine (amino acid) and Omega-3 Fatty Acids (fish oil),” according to the ASPCA. While there are a plethora of homemade dog food recipes and information about supplements online, you should have a conversation with your veterinarian before making any major diet changes or adding any supplements.
Move to the Beat of Your Heart
Exercise is also a key part of having a healthy dog. While every dog (and human!) requires exercise, if your pal has been diagnosed with heart disease, make sure to limit strenuous activity and carefully monitor him afterward. The ASPCA advises that if you have a breed that’s prone to heart disease, you should be vigilant and aware of the symptoms that accompany heart disease in dogs. The sooner a potential symptom is addressed, the better the prognosis.
Can Your Pup Help YOUR Heart Health Too?
Most pet parents can agree that the loyalty and companionship of a dog – wet sloppy kisses and all! – is good medicine for the heart. And now the medical field agrees. According to the American Heart Association, pet ownership can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Here are a couple of reasons behind this belief:
- Puppy parents tend to be more active and get more exercise because of their dogs
- Pets provide social support to their pet parents, which helps them maintain healthy habits, like engaging in physical activities
At Beds-N-Biscuits, we heart all of our furry friends and consider it an honor to care for them and the humans that love them.