Wise old Ben Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and these words certainly ring true when it comes to protecting our pets’ cardiovascular health. Even the simplest of measures taken today – and during February for Heart Month – can ensure your dog or cat’s health and well-being for years to come. And studies show
that owning a pet benefits our own heart health, too, so everybody wins!
Here are some easy steps to protect your pet’s heart for a long and happy life.
BONE Up on Facts
Approximately 10 percent of dogs are affected by valvular heart disease
. Some breeds are predisposed to certain conditions, but the signs and symptoms can be subtle. That’s why it’s important pet owners do their homework on the various types of cardiovascular issues
that could affect their animals. Your best friend can’t communicate to let you know when something’s wrong, but a little research can go a long way in learning what to watch out for, and questions to ask at every age and stage.
Step Away from the Biscuits
Your dog or cat counts on you to provide optimal nutrition, but remember not all pet food is created equal. Talk to your vet about a customized nutrition plan and be choosy about brands and ingredients. According to Dr. Ernie Ward, Founder of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention
, “Obesity is the number one health threat pets face, and the most important pet health decision owners make each day is what and how much they feed.” Packing on the pounds can cause heart disease and high blood pressure along with complications during anesthesia. So, help your dog or cat maintain an ideal weight by rewarding with less treats – and more belly rubs!
We could all use a little more exercise. In addition to preventing obesity, regular activity has many physical and mental benefits for us and our pets. Consult your vet about the best exercise program
for your breed, and then “opt outside” whenever you can. Switch up toys, games and environments to keep your dog active for longer stretches. Consider installing a Doorman™ Electronic Pet Door
which gives yard access even when you’re away. Our Boundary Plus® Fencing
technology lets your dog or cat run and play right up to the edge of your property, with an average of 30 percent more room for outdoor activity.
Doctor, Doctor, Give Me the News
When life gets hectic, it’s easy to let your pet’s annual wellness exam
fall by the wayside, but remember, your fur baby relies on you for preventive care as well. According to Veterinarian Dr. Hank Cerny
, it’s crucial to be proactive about routine teeth cleanings and checkups. “If your dog has a heart condition, early diagnosis offers the best possible outcome,” Cerny advises. “Medications are available to reduce the workload on the heart and improve the quality of your dog’s life.”
Many of us take a daily multivitamin, but remember our four-legged family members need extra nutrients also. As dogs and cats age, their supply of naturally occurring CoQ10, needed to maintain a healthy heart muscle, decreases. If your pet is predisposed to cardiovascular disease, ask your vet about CoQ10, as well as other heart supplements like Fish Oil, Magnesium, L-Carnitine and Vitamin E.
February is American Heart Month. Invisible Fence® Brand’s Solutions can give your pet more freedom to enjoy a healthy heart lifestyle, along with protection for your own peace of mind. Learn about Indoor and Outdoor Shields® units, Fencing Solutions, Pet Doors and more here.