From their adoring eyes to their happy-to-see-us tails, dogs know all the shortcuts to win our hearts. But, they don't just keep our hearts happy. They help our hearts stay healthy by keeping us physically active and stress-free.
But, what about Fido's heart health?
Just like us humans, our dogs’ cardiovascular system needs plenty of TLC to be the best it can be.
After all, heart disease affects approximately 10% of dogs in the U.S., and 95% of that is acquired — as opposed to genetic — in middle age or senior years.
As you probably know, regular exercise and veterinary check-ups are musts for Fido's heart health. But, you can also look for supplements with ingredients that bolster their cardiovascular function as well! So, here are three ingredients you should look for to keep your pup's heart at its best.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
When you think about all the energy your dog has, you probably picture zoomies and tippy-taps, moments when excitement feels like it pours out of them. And that’s just what you can see on the outside. To understand the importance of CoQ10, think about the energy dogs need on the inside.
CoQ10 sits inside your dog’s cells and creates the energy that fuels their most important organs — namely their heart — with oxygen. CoQ10 is especially helpful to the heart when it’s stressed, aiding with energy efficiency.
Your dog’s body naturally makes this important nutrient, but since the amount it makes declines with age, it’s good to look for sources that are particularly high in CoQ10, like fatty fish, beef, legumes like peanuts, soybeans, and lentils, and spinach.
The ultimate in transportation, L-carnitine carries fatty acids for energy production that happens in the cells. Found in nearly all cells, L-carnitine supports a lot of the essential functions in your dog’s body, including in the heart, brain, and muscles.
While it’s a key player in producing energy and is naturally made in the body, puppies and seniors produce it at a slower rate. Plus active dogs may need more L-carnitine during exercise and recovery from the activity. L-carnitine is prevalent in red meat, and also found in milk, fish and poultry.
You may have heard that taurine is essential for cats, but it’s pretty important for dogs, too, especially their hearts. Exactly how taurine works is still a bit of a mystery to scientists, but they do know that it’s needed to help your dog’s major healthy systems do their job well. Think about taurine as a protector, strengthening heart walls, reducing issues in the arteries, and generally promoting cardiovascular health.
While dogs’ bodies do make taurine on their own, some medical conditions cause taurine deficiencies. Meat, eggs, and seafood are the richest sources of taurine.
Even on their orneriest days, dogs make it pretty easy for us to take care of them. Keeping an eye on their heart health doesn’t take too much work, either. By helping them stay active and well-fed, and making sure they get their regular check-ups, you can look forward to years of heart-healthy life together!
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As always, we’ll be here to Keep Your Bestie Feeling Zesty!