Protect Your Furry Valentine: How to Improve Your Dog’s Heart Health
Valentine's Day might get your heart racing this February, but it's also American Heart Month — 29 days of awareness about good heart health and the dangers of heart disease. This includes your furry valentine too! To celebrate Valentine’s Day and American Heart Month, here are some tips for improving your dog's heart health.
Ensure Your Pup Gets Enough Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Research shows that supplemental omega 3 fatty acids improve your dog's appetite and decrease the production of inflammatory hormones. Ensuring your pup is getting the right amount of omega 3 fatty acids can be a great way to support your dog's heart health.
"The dose of omega-3 fatty acids we currently recommend for dogs and cats with heart failure is 40 mg/kg eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) + 25 mg/kg docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) per day," says Tufts University. "There are a small number of commercial pet foods that contain this dose. However, in most cases, supplements are needed to achieve this dose."
Treat your dog to our 5-1 multivitamin, which promotes cardiovascular health and supports four other areas of your dog's health.
Reduce Sodium in Your Dog's Diet
Too much sodium in your dog's diet could cause heart problems. Studies suggest that healthy dogs should consume a diet with maximum sodium levels of 1.80 percent. Dogs suffering from heart disease, however, should consume a diet with even less sodium.
"Sodium helps the body retain water. By reducing the sodium, the fluid accumulation that occurs with heart disease can be controlled," says Vet's Kitchen. "In turn, reducing the fluid can help reduce the associated discomfort and coughing the dog is suffering from."
Check your pup’s food and treats to be sure they aren’t consuming too much sodium. Be sure to consult with your veterinarian.
Your doctor might have told you to incorporate more probiotics into your diet, but good bacteria and yeasts might also benefit your dog. Maintaining the good bacteria in your dog's gut is essential as bacteria can influence your pet's physical and psychological health. It can also have an impact on your dog's heart, according to some research.
"Anecdotal evidence — stories of individual success —exists to support the effectiveness of probiotics and some veterinarians swear by them," says The American Kennel Club. "There are some scientific studies on the health benefits of probiotics in humans or in animals, as well, and in enhancing immune responses in growing dogs."
These chewable probiotics provide your dog with a healthy balance of good bacteria to keep their immune system strong and maintain heart health.
Exercising your dog more is one of the best ways to improve both heart health for you and your pet. A long walk in the park, Frisbee in the front yard, doggie yoga, you name it — exercise can be a great way to increase cardiovascular health.
But, how much exercise does your dog really need every day? It all depends on the breed, according to the American Kennel Club:
"Your dog’s breed heavily influences the level of physical activity he needs. High-energy breeds, such as Border Collies and Belgian Malinois, require a lot more exercise than low-energy breeds like the Bulldog or Basset Hound. "
Puppies might also require more exercise than adult dogs.
If your dog finds it difficult to exercise because of hip or joint issues, check out glucosamine, a supplement that can promote natural energy and strength.
There are so many easy ways to improve your furry valentine’s heart health and ensure they know how much you love them! Whether taking more walks or giving them yummy healthy treats, take a moment this month to invest in your pup’s heart health. You and your pup will be happy you did!
- Holly W