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Optimal Nutrition for Pets with Heart Disease

While diet alone is usually not the sole treatment for heart disease, nutrition tailored to your pet’s heart condition may help slow the progression of heart disease, minimize medications required, and improve quality of life. In certain forms of heart disease (diet-associated dilated cardiomyopathy, for example), diet can even help reverse heart disease.

The nutrition goals recommended by your veterinarian will be specifically tailored to your pet and his or her condition. Whether your pet needs to gain weight or lose weight, increase muscle mass, or minimize fluid retention by eating a low-sodium diet, talk to your veterinarian or a board-certified veterinary nutritionist about the best diet for your pet. It’s also important to discuss appropriate treats for your pet and safe and effective ways to give medications.

Your veterinarian, veterinary cardiologist, or veterinary nutritionist might also recommend specific dietary supplements, such as fish oil or taurine. Please speak with your veterinarian before adding any supplements to your pet’s diet as they could have serious side effects or interact with your pet’s medications.

You can help your pet’s heart from early in life. Be sure your pet is eating an optimal diet made by a well-established manufacturer that meets all of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association's guidelines. To learn more about selecting the best diet for your pet, please visit Cummings Veterinary Nutrition page – Petfoodology – which provides fact-based information on pet nutrition, including “Questions You Should Be Asking About Your Pet’s Food”.

A dog sitting at a table, front paws on top of table, red and white cloth napkin tied around his neck, and a big bowl of food in front of him.

Nutritional Goals

Nutritional FAQs