As your beloved dog ages, heart health becomes even more important. According to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, dogs 6 to 7 years of age or older are more likely to develop heart, kidney, liver or other diseases. The Old Dog House, a rescue organization dedicated to saving senior dogs in Jacksonville, Florida, shares tips for keeping senior dogs heart healthy.
- Devote to a Diet: Your pet’s food can have a big impact on his or her health. Some senior pets may need to change their calorie intake, use anti-aging nutrients or try foods that are easy to digest. Talk to your veterinarian about the right diet for your aging dog.
- Watch the Weight: Your senior pet may be more prone to put on the pounds. Higher weights in older dogs can put them at risk of a variety of medical conditions, including heart concerns, so make sure to talk to your veterinarian to ensure your pet maintains a healthy weight.
- Energize to Exercise: When pets age they need to continue to exercise regularly. Not only does exercise help pets keep their weight down, it also aids in ensuring they stay mobile as they age.
- Heed Heartworm Prevention Reminders: Throughout your dog’s life, you should make sure to give your pet monthly heartworm prevention. Heartworms are deadly parasites that are costly and difficult to treat. Remember to give your pet their monthly heartworm prevention on a regular basis.
- Visit the Vet: As your pet ages, you’ll need to take him or her to the veterinarian more often. Instead of once a year trips to the vet, increase your visits to twice a year. Your veterinarian may do more in-depth exams to check your senior pet for medical concerns.
If you notice your dog is more tired than usual, coughing or having difficult breathing, see your veterinarian as soon as possible. These symptoms could indicate a heart issue, and catching heart concerns early is the best medicine for keeping your senior dog healthy.
The Old Dog House is Northeast Florida’s first nonprofit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to giving older and senior dogs a second chance at a new life. We rely solely on the generosity of the individuals in our community for assistance in furthering our mission to give older and senior dogs a second, sometimes third, chance at living out their lives in dignity.