Your pet’s heart health is important to their longevity and quality of life. While your pet’s loving heart is probably one of your favorite things about him, chances are you have not given much thought to the condition of his actual heart. While your veterinarian will do tests and lab work during routine wellness visits, there are things you could be doing in daily life to keep it pumping strong. Use these tips to protect your dog’s heart health:
Focus on Diet and Exercise
One of the best ways to ensure your pet has a strong heart is to prioritize feeding her a healthy diet and encouraging plenty of exercise. Just as in humans, diet and exercise are large contributors to cardiovascular health. Pets that eat well and exercise regularly are more likely to be at a healthy weight, which is great for the heart. Healthy diets will also have important nutrients the heart needs to thrive.
Keep Up with Regular Veterinary Visits
Biannual wellness exams are essential for heart health. Pets age much faster than humans do, and regular wellness visits help your veterinarian spot any potential heart trouble. If there is an issue, early detection is your best bet for a successful outcome.
Wellness visits give the veterinarian a chance to spot heart issues like the following:
- Congenital heart disease
- Heartworm disease
- Valvular disease
- High blood pressure
Prevent Heartworm to Protect Your Pet’s Heart Health
Heartworm prevention is an important element of heart health protection. Heartworms can enter the bloodstream of dogs and cats after a mosquito bite. Without the proper protection, this can lead to heartworm disease, which targets the heart and lungs and could be fatal. There are a few treatment options for dogs with heartworm disease, but there are none for cats. And treatment can be hard on your dog. Prevention is cheaper and easier than treatment so talk to your veterinarian about the best heartworm preventives for your pets.
Clean the Teeth and Gums
You might not relate dental care to heart health, but there is a strong connection between the two. Infections that start in the teeth and gums can travel through the blood and negatively affect organs like the heart. Getting regular dental care for your pets can help keep their heart healthy and happy. In addition to veterinary dental visits, you can also brush your pet’s teeth at home to offer further protection from infection.
Spot the Signs of Heart Disease to Protect Your Pet’s Heart Health
You know your pet better than anyone, and you know when something isn’t right with their health. If you start to see any significant changes in behavior, you might want to schedule a veterinary checkup.
Common signs of heart disease are:
- Shortness of breath
- Dry cough after physical exertion
- Consistent coughing
- Trouble breathing
- Fast weight loss
- Swollen abdomen
- Pale gums
At Union Lake Veterinary Hospital, we care about your pet’s heart health as much as you do. From regular wellness checks to internal medicine, our wide-range of services are here to give your pets the care they need. To learn more about our hospital or to schedule an appointment, please call (248) 363–1508.