The majority of people are very excited about introducing a new member, a dog, into their family. This phenomenon is not surprising because loyalty of this animal sometimes leaves us speechless.
However, receiving a dog at home involves great responsibility and attention. Indeed, this new companion needs affection and care to flourish and enjoy a happy life.
In our article today, we will explain how you can strengthen your dog by providing a balanced diet, and we will introduce the special features of food for dogs with heart problems.
Heart problems in dogs
You should know that between 20% to 40% of canines have concerns about heart valves, and we also observe that this same category of dogs is overweight. This leads us to the following conclusion: As is the case for humans, dietary habits and nutritional intake as well as the level of activity of dogs directly affect the health of their organisms.
If we decide to transpose the percentages quoted above to small dog breeds, such as Yorkshire, the rate of heart trouble is much higher. In fact, about 60% of these dogs have a known type of heart problem.
Cardiac problems in canines primarily involve heart failure, such as a decrease in the pumping capacity of the heart, which in turn reduces the supply of oxygen, blood and nutrients to the tissues. This, of course, has a very important impact on the whole body of the dog.
As we just mentioned, diet is a key factor that has a direct correlation with these diseases, and you can increase the probability of your dog’s prevention against this type of diseases by offering healthy food and superior quality.
Symptoms of heart failure in dogs
If your pet is suffering from a heart problem, it is essential to see him as soon as possible to take him to the vet. The latter will certainly prescribe a dietary and sometimes even medical treatment.
The telltale symptoms of heart failure in a dog are:
- Continuous fatigue during any physical effort such as strolling or playing;
- A cough;
- Fast breathing and pulse;
- A lack or loss of appetite.
If you wish, you can control your dog’s pulse by placing your index finger and ring finger on your dog’s inner thigh. Heart rhythms representing normal should be as follows:
- Between 100 and 160 beats per minute for dogs weighing less than 13 kilos.
- Between 60 and 100 beats per minute for dogs weighing more than 13 kilos.
Specific nutritional requirements for a cardiac dog
The diet of a dog suffering from heart diseases must meet the following specific nutritional needs:
- Low salt: Salt promotes fluid retention in the body, which causes an increase in the volume of blood circulating in the body. Therefore, a large volume of blood entering a bigger job for the heart. It is therefore essential to offer your dog low salt foods.
- A significant contribution of taurine: Taurine is an amino acid found in animal proteins, which is fundamental for the proper functioning of cardiac cells. This substance can be found in fish, chicken and beef mainly. Often, the veterinarian strongly advises nutritional supplements based on taurine.
- Tasty and Appetizing Nutrition: Since a cardiac dog does not have a lot of appetite, we recommend that you offer him appetizing food to keep his energy at the top.
Specific food or home cooking?
If you are used to giving kibble to your dog, know that there are commercially brands of croquettes of very good quality that meet all the nutritional requirements that we have just explained. In addition, if your dog has always been used to eating kibble, you should not change his habits abruptly.
The problem arises when your dog is used to eating homemade meals. In this case, you must take into account all the nutritional requirements that we have mentioned when preparing food.