Your heart belongs to your pet, and we know you want to give them the best possible care. Since February is American Heart Month, there’s no better time to talk about how to keep your pet’s heart healthy.

While some breeds are more prone to hereditary heart problems, including Boxers, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Dobermans, Siamese and Maine Coon cats, it is possible to lower your pet’s risk of developing heart disease by taking some simple steps:

  • Maintain a healthy weight: Obesity is a major contributing factor to heart disease – as well as many other conditions – so keeping your pet’s weight under control is essential.
  • Get moving: Talk to your veterinarian about frequency, duration and types of exercise that make the most sense for your pet.
  • Brush up on oral health: Regular brushing – yes, for cats too! – and dental checkups can help keep harmful bacteria from traveling from your pet’s mouth through the bloodstream to their heart.
  • Take action against heartworm: Heartworm disease can be fatal, but regular preventive care is extremely effective, so take those monthly reminders seriously – all year long!
  • Study the signs: Symptoms such as shortness of breath, persistent cough, exercise intolerance, or abdominal swelling may indicate a cardiac problem.

While it’s difficult to face the diagnosis of a heart condition in a beloved pet, today’s advances in veterinary medicine mean that successful management is often possible.

The most important weapon against heart disease is early detection, so be sure to keep up on routine visits and wellness exams with your primary care veterinarian, like those at Westfield Veterinary Group.

Westfield Veterinary Group’s Emergency Care Team Is Available to Help

If your dog or cat shows signs of cardiac distress, please contact our team immediately. Our Union location is open seven days a week, 365 days a year, from 7 am – 11 pm, to provide emergency veterinary care for pets in need.