Heart Health Month

Welcome to our exploration of the vital world of cardio health for our beloved pets! Ensuring that your furry companions have strong and healthy hearts is crucial for their overall well-being. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the importance of cardio health for pets, discussing practical tips, diet considerations, and lifestyle factors that contribute to keeping those four-legged hearts ticking steadily. Here are some cardiology-specific tips for keep your four-legged friends happy and healthy:

1. Avoid a “Grain Free” diet for your pet

This is a big one, and a relatively recent discovery for veterinary professionals. In June of 2022 the Food and Drug Administration released a study on a potential link between grain free diets and canine dilated cardiomyopathy. Here’s what we know so far:

Grains contain important amino acids such as Taurine. Taurine helps to ensure the functionality of the heart and contributes to the electrical stability of the ever working muscle.

Pet foods labeled as grain-free often incorporate alternative carbohydrate sources, such as sweet potatoes, which possess higher carbohydrate levels than corn.  Additionally, certain grain-free products replace grains with ingredients like beans, peas, or lentils. While these alternatives do provide carbohydrates, they may not necessarily be superior to grains for pets and could potentially result in gastrointestinal upset – it may cause GI upset, but we are more worried about the heart contracting properly/fully. Peas have been the ingredient seen in a large number of these cases.

There is no credible evidence to suggest that a grain-free diet is better for your pet. Be sure to do your research when picking a diet for your four legged bestie. Keep in mind that some pets will benefit from specific foods based off breed and predisposition to potential health issues.

2. Keep your pet up to date on parasite prevention.

Parasite prevention, such as flea, tick, and heartworm prevention, are an integral part of keeping your pet’s heart healthy. Flea and tick-borne illnesses can cause strain to the heart and heartworm itself makes up for about 13% of heart disease causes in companion animal cases. Be sure to keep up on your preventative medicines!

3. Exercise is good for the heart

Getting up and moving is good for both your pets heart and your heart. Exercise helps to keep them active, stimulated, and can help to keep their weight in a good range. Consider walking, running, playing, swimming, or other activities once daily to ensure that your pet gets adequate exercise!

4. Attend your annual exams!

Your vet will be the best eyes and ears for determining your pets heart and overall health. Visiting your vet at least once a year for a standard checkup allows them to listen for any abnormalities in the heart.

In conclusion, let’s embark on a journey to keep our furry friends’ hearts beating strong and their tails wagging happily. Just as we lace up our sneakers for a brisk jog, let’s ensure our pets have their paw-sitively fabulous cardio routines too. After all, a healthy heart means more playtime, more cuddles, and more memories with our beloved companions. So, let’s make a pact to be the guardians of our pets’ cardiovascular well-being, because a happy heart is a tail-wagging work of art! Here’s to a lifetime of bounding energy, slobbery kisses, and the pitter-patter of healthy hearts in our homes.