How to keep your dog’s heart healthy

We all know that dogs have big hearts. Their capacity to show love is unmatched in any other animal. So it seems only right that you should do all you can to keep your dog’s heart healthy. Approximately 10% of dogs will develop heart disease of some sort and the risk increases as they get older. But looking after a dog’s heart requires a slightly different approach than with humans. As always, you should consult your veterinarian before making any changes.

Look after their teeth

It may surprise you to learn that heart disease is closely linked to poor dental health in dogs. Oral infections, as well as plaque and tartar can enter your dog’s bloodstream and cause heart failure. This particularly affects dogs between 4-9 years old so it’s important to maintain a good dental care routine throughout their life. If you notice any changes to your dog’s mouth, like bad breath, excessive drooling or sore gums, get in touch with your veterinarian.

Plenty of exercise

Just like in humans, getting the heart pumping frequently can help to keep it strong and healthy. Choose an activity that you both enjoy doing, whether it’s running, swimming or even just playing fetch. It also has the added bonus of keeping off any excess weight which can put unnecessary strain on the heart.

how to keep your dog's heart healthy

Know if your dog is more likely to have heart issues

Unfortunately, some dog breeds are just more likely to inherit or develop heart disease as they age. Do some research so that you can be aware of which breeds are more susceptible to heart issues. This will enable you to detect any early warning signs of heart problems as they age.

Know what signs to look for

These symptoms could be indicative of other conditions so it’s important that you take your dog to the vet immediately if they are displaying any of these signs:

  • Loss of energy
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Frequent coughing
  • Swollen stomach
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Weight changes
See your vet regularly

As your dog ages it’s important that you see the vet more frequently. Dogs age much faster than humans. As such, regular check-ups will allow your veterinarian to identify any health issues much more quickly. This means they can start getting the care and treatment they require much earlier.

Watch out for heartworms

Heartworm disease can lead to pulmonary embolism, inflammation of blood vessels and even death if left untreated. Transmitted through mosquito bites, heartworms live in your dog’s lungs, blood vessels and heart. There are a variety of preventative treatments available which you can discuss with your vet.

Fri Oct 7 2022