Since your pooch is a part of the family, protecting your dog’s heart health is just as important as protecting your own. Cardiovascular issues differ in canines—for example coronary artery disease is not as common in dogs as it is in humans, but heart failure is a real concern in senior dogs. The good news is that there are several preventative measures that you can take to keep your dog’s heart healthy. Here are 5 tips from our team at Anasazi Animal Clinic in Gilbert to protect your dog’s heart health.
Even if your dog is a healthy weight, she still needs plenty of exercise for her heart health. Unlike a lot of humans, most dogs love exercise and partake in it eagerly. Going for daily walks are a great way to improve your heart as well. Don’t let bad weather stop you! Refer to this blog post for ideas on indoor exercises for your dog.
Exercise has other benefits for your dog too, including strengthening your bond with her, maintaining a healthy weight, and keeping her out of trouble!
A healthy diet is an essential component of heart care for your dog. Choose a balanced, high-quality food and keep treats to a minimum. Some dog parents choose to put their dog on a homemade diet. This is a great option if you can afford it, but just be sure to consult with your veterinarian before implementing a homemade diet to ensure your dog is getting all of the proper nutrients she needs. If your dog is overweight or you are having trouble establishing a healthy diet plan for her, consult our veterinary staff.
3. Routine dental care
Just as with humans, dental health affects heart health in dogs. And believe it or not, most dogs over the age of 3 have some form of dental disease. Bacteria from the mouth can travel through the bloodstream to your dog’s heart, potentially causing problems like heart failure. This is why it’s so important to make sure she is getting routine dental care. This includes brushing her teeth at home and bringing her in for an annual professional dental cleaning. If you notice any signs of poor oral health such as particularly bad breath, bleeding gums, or excessive drooling, make an appointment with us as soon as possible.
4. Heartworm prevention
Heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitoes and can lead to serious complications including inflammation, restricted blood flow, pulmonary embolism, and heart failure. Even with treatment, some dogs have permanent damage. The good news is that it’s very easy to prevent heartworm disease with a pill or an injection periodically, depending on which prevention method you choose. Make sure your dog is up-to-date on her heartworm prevention at all times to protect her heart health.
5. Know the signs of heart disease
Some breeds are more prone to heart disease than others including Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and boxers, among others. If your dog is on this list, it’s especially important to monitor her for signs of heart disease. However, any dog can develop heart disease. Bring your dog in to see us right away if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Dry cough after exercising
- Cough worse at night
- Shortness of breath
- Sudden weight loss
- Pale gums
- Swollen belly
Dog Heart Health Care in Gilbert
One of the best ways to prevent heart disease in your dog is to bring her in for routine checkups. This is particularly important If your dog is of a breed or age that is more at risk of developing heart disease. If you’re looking for a compassionate vet near you in Gilbert, our team at Anasazi Animal Clinic would love to care for your furry friend.