Heart disease can affect your animal companions too and the most common of them all are heart valve problems, and they mostly affect small breed dogs that are 5 years or older.
Age, obesity, breed, nutrition, lifestyle can all be risk factors for cardiovascular issues in canines. If your dog is struggling to breath, coughing persistently, having fainting spells, or is not showing eagerness to exercise, you can suspect heart disease and must get them checked by a veterinary doctor. World Health Day (April 7) is just round the corner and the day offers perfect opportunity to get educated about various aspects of your pet’s health. Here, we talk about tips to keep your pet’s heart healthy. ( 5 common myths about your dog’s health debunked)
“The theme this year for World Health Day is ‘Health For All,’ and of course, this should apply to our animal companions,” says Dr Jiyaul Hoque, Senior Veterinarian at Mars Petcare, and shares how one can keep their fur babies’ heart healthy and happy.
A healthy diet
Providing your companion animal with a nutritionally balanced diet is vital to looking after their heart health. A well-balanced diet should have essential nutrients and Omega-3 fatty oils, so do not omit meats in an attempt to restrict diets as we would for humans – each animal has unique dietary needs. Packaged pet food can be a safer bet as all the optimal nutrients and oils are accounted for. Check with your veterinarian for a specific evidence-based recommendation.
Provide lots of exercise
Your pet should have a healthy body weight to be fit and heart healthy. You can choose from walking, running, agility training, swimming, and flyball for example. Always consider the state of your pet’s health and their age before planning activities, your veterinarian can help guide you to create a conditioning program personalized to your pet’s needs.
Prevent Heartworm Disease
Be sure to schedule regular deworming. This is important, especially during seasons with an increase in mosquitoes. Preventative and treatment medication should be prescribed by a veterinarian.
Schedule frequent veterinary examinations
It is recommended to schedule at least bi-annual visits with your veterinarian for check-ups. Our companion animals cannot communicate to us how they feel, and often we cannot tell they are unwell till their condition is very serious. Regular check-ups are a must to catch any health issues and make early interventions.
Know your breed
Certain dog breeds like Boxers, and cat breeds like Persians, have a genetic predisposition for specific heart conditions. If your pet’s breed is prone to heart disease, go for a proactive consultation with your veterinarian and start on a heart-healthy lifestyle for your pet.
In dogs and cats, a scientifically proven association has been shown between dental health and heart disease. Routine check-ups proactively prevent and treat dental diseases and the systemic damage caused by them to organs, including the heart.
Watch for signs of heart diseases
It is in your pets’ best interest to visit your veterinarian if you see symptoms such as dry cough after exercise, rapid weight loss, pale gums, and developing a pot belly condition.
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