Like people, pets can have heart problems too. Although any heart problem should be checked out by a vet there are a number of things you can do to help keep your pet’s heart healthy, and the best news is that most of the solutions are the same to what you would do to keep your heart healthy. Most pets know when to eat and stop eating when they are full, however, there are some that don’t know when to push the food bowl away. You can help keep your pet’s heart healthy by cutting down on the amount of human food your pet gets, specifically fattening foods and high carbs. Give them dry food high in protein and nutrients and low in fat. Cut down on the canned food as well. Pets get normal amounts of salt when you feed them their regular food but try to cut back on salt when feeding them human food. If your pet has heart problems, don’t feed them food high in sodium.
Obviously, don’t let your pet gain too much weight. Being overweight can definitely cause problems with your pet’s heart. You can also help to keep your pet’s heart healthy by feeding them smaller meals instead of one big meal. Spread out their meals throughout the day. Similar to human food, feeding your pet fish oils or omega-3 fatty acids can help keep your pet’s heart healthy. You can feed your pet canned fish, like tuna or salmon, several times a week. You can also try to give them some fatty acid supplements with their meals but remember pets can sniff out the powder in the capsules and may do everything to avoid taking the capsule. It would be much easier just feeding them canned fish.
Along with a proper diet and proper eating habits, the next step is exercise. Remember, I said the way to keep your pet’s heart healthy is the same steps to keeping human hearts healthy. Although many dogs get enough exercise running around and playing, some don’t get enough, some are inactive and just lay around all day. Make sure you take your pet for a nice 30-minute walk every day but let your pet control the amount of exercise time. Don’t push them if they get tired, if they do tire, try breaking up the exercise times into shorter intervals. Giving your pet regular aspirin can help if they suffer from heart problems but always ask your vet what the recommended dosage is before giving your pet any over the counter medication, some medications can be very harmful to pets.
Increase the vitamins. Give your pet a daily dose of vitamin C and E, which are antioxidants that help keep the heart healthy. Ask your vet what is the best dosage for your pet. A good way to find out if your pet is having heart problems is to check their teeth. If your pet’s teeth look bad then that could be a sign that they have an unhealthy heart. Bad teeth in pets can build up bacteria that settle in the heart valves, which can eventually scar the heart tissues. Keep your pet’s teeth healthy by brushing daily. You can also give them carrots or toys that your pet can chew or bite on while it works to clean their teeth.