Putting His Heart into Your Hands: Three Heart Healthy Habits for Your Dog
You and your best friend both need a healthy heart to be best friends for a long time to come. With these three simple habits, you’ll be putting your dog’s healthy heart into your hands.
Fit Is In
As in humans, maintaining the proper body weight for your dog is essential to having a healthy heart. Being overweight makes your best friends’ heart work overtime. If you’re looking for easy ways to “cut back,” keep an eye on portion sizes, as noted on the package’s feeding instructions, and reward your best friend with a nutritious meal he will love (like Bil-Jac!) Also, cut out the human food – as we all know that loving him might mean having to say no at times. Finally, consider a reduced-fat formula dog food or low-calorie treats like Little-Jacs. Your dog gets the same amount of food at mealtime, but with fewer calories. Simple!
Walk the Talk
A little exercise can go a long way with your four-legged family member! Taking a walk together or enjoying a game of fetch is a great way to have some one-on-one time – and at the same time, everyone gets their heart rate up! If you haven’t been on the exercise train for a while, start small and work your way up to a longer walk over time. Make sure to bring water for both you and your best friend on the longer strolls!
Check your best friend’s gums and mouth regularly! Did you know that mouth infections can lead to serious problems in the gums and other parts of the body, including the heart, according to the American Kennel Club? It’s true! Therefore, it's important to pay attention. Healthy gums should be firm and pink, black, or spotted – which will mimic your dog’s skin. Young dogs have smooth white teeth that tend to darken with age.
To check your dog’s mouth, talk to him gently, then put your hand over the muzzle and lift up the sides of his mouth. Make sure the gums are healthy and the breath is not foul-smelling. Look for soft white matter or hard white, yellow, or brown matter. This is plaque or tartar and should be brushed away.
Remember to always love your best friend and make sure his heart – and every part of him – is in the best health possible.