In observance of American Heart Month, it’s time to get serious about your dog’s heart health. Just like the human members of your family, preventative heart health is important no matter what age. Here’s what you need to know to protect your dog’s heart.
Familiarize yourself with your dog’s history as much as possible. If you have a rescue dog or adopted a dog without any known medical records, this can be difficult, but any information can help. Learn about your pup’s genetics and any health conditions that may be more prevalent for their breed. The more you know the more warning signs you can keep your eyes out for as your dog ages.
Your pet really is like a human. Your dogs require routine vet visits, especially as they get older. Annual check-ups will keep your pet healthy and keep you in tune with their needs as they age.
Keep clean teeth
Brushing your dog’s teeth is actually an important part of your dog’s heart health. Plaque build-up can make its way into the bloodstream and lead to congestive heart failure. Look for warning signs of poor oral hygiene such as bad breath or eroding gums.
Feed your dog the recommended serving at mealtime. Avoid the temptation to give them table food or excessive amounts of treats. Dogs that are overweight or not eating a healthy amount are at a higher risk for heart disease. Consult a vet if your dog is experiencing weight fluctuations or obesity.
A sedentary lifestyle can be just as harmful to a dog’s health as it is for a human. Take your dog for regular walks. Let them run free as much as possible. If playtime isn’t of interest to your dog, try motivating them with new toys or small incentives to keep them as active as possible.