Healthy Diet Tips for Pets with Heart Disease
While selecting a diet plan for a pet who is suffering from heart disease, it is essential to understand the severity of their condition. Since most pets have a different heart-related illness, their dietary needs and wants vary. It is also best to consult a veterinarian before implementing any diet plan for the pet.
Heart diseases in pets are diagnosed if they show signs of abnormality in the heart like enlarged heart, heart murmur, valve change.There is no best diet management plan for pets. Although high-quality diets available commercially are appropriate for pets, if your pet is advancing into a severe stage of heart failure, it is best to refer your veterinarian.
While selecting a diet for your pet, keep these things in mind:
- The diet you have chosen should help your pet sustain muscle mass and ideal weight.
- Depending on the severity of the heart disease, it should have a restriction on the salt intake
- It should prevent your pet from catching nutritional deficiencies
- Should have nutrients that support the health of the heart
Maintain ideal body weight
Both obesity and weight loss can be detrimental for a pet suffering from the heart-related ailment. Thus it is imperative to keep their body weight in check. Pets with heart failure suffer from muscle wasting. Weight loss occurs differently in pets with heart disease than those with no heart problem. The fat stores get used first when a healthy pet loses its weight while in animals having heart problems, muscles break down first. This, in turn, leads to a negative impact on the pet’s immune system, muscle strength, and longevity.
Protein levels in heart failure
Many old studies may suggest a protein-restricted diet for pets with heart ailments, although there is no substantial evidence that it is necessary. On the contrary, restriction of protein in food may affect the health of a pet negatively. Less protein intake can result in loss of valuable muscle mass subsequently leading to less survival time. If there is no severe kidney disease, a protein-restricted diet should not be recommended. For a dog, a high-quality diet should at least have 25-30% meat based protein, and for a cat, it should be 40-50%.
Address possible nutrient deficiencies
The deficiencies of taurine and carnitine may not always be the cause for heart diseases in pets. But it is always recommended to have the levels of these amino acids tested. Since supplements of carnitine support metabolism and heart muscle energy, adding them to their diet can significantly help them. If your pet is on water pills, he can form deficiency of certain types of electrolytes. Most vets at Virginia veterinary clinic prescribe supplements of Vitamin B and magnesium.
Potentially beneficial supplements
Heart supplements like omega three fatty acids can work wonders to help improve the appetite in pets. It also helps in decreasing the production of inflammatory hormones that results in weight loss. VA beach vet says that additional intake of taurine and carnitine allows pets with heart disease survive for long. Other supplements your veterinarian may recommend are Vitamin E, Coenzyme Q10, and other antioxidants.