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How to feed a dog with heart disease
When your dog is diagnosed with heart disease, your vet will prescribe certain pet drugs and suggest other changes to the pooch's lifestyle to control the condition. The vet may also recommend certain changes to the dog's diet for this illness. It is important that you fully understand the nature of your dog's heart condition before you make any changes.
Heart disease is generally diagnosed in dogs that have heart murmurs, an enlarged heart, valve changes or other abnormalities. A dog with heart failure usually has one of the symptoms of heart disease, but is also showing symptoms like difficulty breathing, coughing, belly distension or other physical signs. However, some dogs don't have any outward signs. While there is not one single diet for pets with heart problems, there are certain aspects of a pet diet you should look for to best support your pooch.
Staying fit and trim
One of the most important aspects of a diet for dogs with heart disease is that it helps the canine maintain a healthy weight. That means that the amount of pet food given should not be more than the canine is able to burn off in calories. Both weight loss and obesity can be harmful to pets with heart problems, so it's important to get your pooch to what you and your vet agree is an ideal weight and keep it that way. Dogs with heart problems tend to experience muscle wasting, which is generally what happens when they lose weight. Instead of losing the fat stores, they lose muscle, which contributes to overall weakness and poor health.
Cutting the salt
A diet for a dog with heart disease should have mild, moderate or severe salt and sodium restrictions, depending on the stage of the dog's heart disease. It used to be recommended that dogs with heart problems should severely cut sodium consumption, but now vets say that if the dog has no outward symptoms, only mild sodium reduction is necessary. When you do cut sodium in your pooch's diet, make sure to consider all aspects of its food, including treats. Many treats have high levels of salt and sodium, but choosing an option like Greenies Lite Dental Chews might be better.
Generally, a commercial pet food like Artemis Fresh Mix Adult Dry Dog Food is a good, well-balanced option for dogs with heart disease or failure.