Heart Disease and Dogs

Heart Disease and Dogs
February 18, 2014 by Modern Pets

Trupanion provides data on heart health in dogs for the American Heart Association’s American Heart Month

While American Heart Month is a great time to discuss heart disease in humans, it is also a great time to look into the heart health of other members of the household—pets.  Like with humans, canines commonly live with heart disease. Knowing each dog’s risk of heart disease and being aware of the symptoms can help pet owners avoid medical emergencies in the future.  By taking action to reduce their chances of developing a condition early and treating diagnosed heart disease with the help of a veterinarian, pet owners can significantly improve the life of their dog.

As is true with humans, a pet’s age, genetics and lifestyle have a huge influence on their risk of heart disease. Age is one of the most influential factors—as a dog gets older their chance for diagnosis increases significantly. According to data from Trupanion, the frequency of heart claims rapidly increase starting at 9 years old and continue to increase as the dog ages.

Heart disease in pets is often genetic and affects certain breeds of cats and dogs more often than others. Knowing the breed of the dog can help predict their chances of having heart disease. According to Trupanion data, Doberman Pinschers, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Pomeranians and Boxers are 4.5 times more likely to receive heart care than the average dog.

Lifestyle also plays a factor. Talk with your veterinarian about the best diet and exercise regimen to keep your pet healthy. In addition to diet and exercise, heartworm prevention, dental care and yearly checkups are essential for maintaining your pet’s health. 

Even when taking precautions, pet owners need to be aware of the symptoms of heart disease.

“Pet owners should take their pets to a regular checkup and look out for coughing, a swollen abdomen, changing behavior, difficulty breathing, loss of appetite, and significant weight changes. If your pet starts to show these signs, it’s best to have them checked right away by a veterinarian,” said Trupanion’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Kerri Marshall. “Early diagnosis and treatment can make a huge difference.” 

This month, think about what you can do to improve the heart health of your canine companions. A few small lifestyle changes can make a huge difference in maintaining a healthy heart and living a long, active life.


About Trupanion

Trupanion is an industry leader in pet medical insurance, offering coverage for cats and dogs in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico with the mission of delivering financial peace of mind to pet owners. Trupanion offers a simple, customizable pet medical insurance policy with 90% coverage for diagnostic tests, surgeries, medications, hospital stays, and alternative therapies for the treatment of injuries or illnesses. Trupanion’s policy includes coverage of hereditary and congenital conditions with no payout limits per incident, per year, or over the lifetime of the pet.

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