Good Pet Health Begins with a Heart Healthy Diet

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Filed Under: General Health
Last Reviewed 04/16/2014

Good Pet Health Begins with a Heart Healthy Diet
When it comes to pet health, our four-legged friends need the same types of care we do—including plenty of exercise and a heart-healthy diet. But choosing the right foods to feed your dog can be tougher than you might think. 
 
I’m not a veterinarian, but my own vet Dr. Harvey Hayden of Sharon, CT told my wife and me that if we ever visited the same dog food canneries he had—and saw what went into the cans—we’d never feed it to our dogs. So, for the sake of good pet health I fed my own dogs “people food” as much as possible and all three lived well past their expected lifespans. 
 

What is a Good Heart-Healthy Diet for Your Pet?

Again, I’m not a vet. But with my dogs I always made enough chicken, meat, or fish to share with them. They also enjoyed scrambled eggs mixed in, which are a great source of protein. When we dined out, we brought doggy bags home to warm up and combine with other healthy foods for them. Even leftover bones and meat fragments were treasured for the tasty broths they could make. 

When we did fall back on store-bought food, I selected organic food as often as possible. Our dogs also loved heart-healthy fish like canned tuna, salmon, mackerel, and sardines which are great sources of omega-3s. Sardines are especially great for dogs and cats since they’re a clean fish, and high in CoQ10, omega-3s, and calcium. My guess is the omega-3s are the reason people often commented on my dogs’ shiny, healthy coats.

Raw food, as long as it’s fresh, can also be a good heart-healthy option for your pet. While I have a colleague whose dog loves fresh carrots, I couldn’t get my canines interested in raw food. Our Elkhound tended to "pack on the pounds” so encouraged him to eat raw or cooked vegetables—like beans and carrots—instead of dry dog food, to limit his caloric intake. I even tried mixing in my own meat broths, but he managed to eat around the vegetables. 
 
Plus, we always stayed away from the foods the ASPCA says can be hazardous to your dog
 

Supplements Can Also Give Your Dog a Health Boost

For good pet health, I also gave my dogs Coenzyme Q10—even when they were healthy. Then, as they aged I found quality pet supplements to help with the joint support my dogs needed. When my elkhound, Charlie, appeared to have more trouble breathing with aging, I tweaked his liquid Q10 dose, and it did help. Your vet can help you select a supplement program for your dog, too. 

Plus, remember that for overall health, your dog needs the same things you do—fresh air, sunlight, clean water, and adequate exercise. Plus, grounding can help pets, too. Also, don’t ever forget the power of love: the most important part of your relationship with your pet, and yourself! 
 
Now, it’s your turn: What special things have you done for your pet’s health?
 

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