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Cardiovascular Super Support Health Kit

Hearty-Heart & Turmeric

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6 Ways to Support Your Pet with Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)

Vet Talks 4 min read
Veterinarian holding a black and white shorthair cat and a white Maltese dog.

Heart failure or congestive heart failure may develop when the heart begins to deteriorate and can no longer pump blood effectively in the body. It’s essential to understand both the causes of heart failure and its early signs and symptoms so you can seek veterinary care as soon as possible and support your little one to ensure good quality of life. In addition to veterinarian prescribed medication, there are some other ways you can support your pet with congestive heart failure.

Many different health issues (like Cushing’s disease, lack of taurine and L-carnitine in the body, hypothyroidism, or systemic hypertension, to name a few) may cause or contribute to congestive heart failure in pets. See your vet immediately if your pet is coughing (especially when lying down), has low energy, or has difficult or labored breathing. As heart failure progresses, you may notice a swollen belly from fluid buildup in the lungs and other organs, fainting (due to decreased blood flow to the brain), color change in tongue or gums from pink to bluish-grey, and potential weight loss). 

Switch To A Heart-Friendly Diet

For a pet with congestive heart failure, a diet rich in protein is recommended because they need more energy to do simple activities such as breathing or walking. Animal proteins contain taurine and L-carnitine, which are two important amino acids that help prevent certain kinds of heart disease. Taurine is essential for healthy heart function and its absence can cause serious damage to the heart.

Taurine is essential for healthy heart function

A balanced, home-cooked meal developed by a veterinarian can be an option for pets with CHF. Some benefits of this type of diet are that your pet may consume more high-quality ingredients than heavily processed food (that may lack nutrients) and reduce sodium levels (present in many pre-packaged foods). In addition, many pets find homemade food tastier, which may help maintain their appetite levels, and prevent weight loss (a common symptom of pets with advanced heart disease.)

Pay special attention to the kinds of treats you give your dog or cat when they are suffering from congestive heart failure. Any treats given should be low in sodium.

Shorthair cat eating out of a steel bowl. Heart-friendly diet for pets with congestive heart failure

Avoid Feeding Your Pet Packaged Human Food Or Recipes For Humans

Food meant for human consumption, like store-bought bone broth, may be toxic for your pets due to the high salt levels and ingredients like garlic or onions (both are toxic for pets). For an easy pet-friendly bone broth, check out one of our homecooked recipes. Vegetables like green beans can be great snacks because they are low in sodium. Also, avoid foods like grapes or raisins (toxic for pets). To learn more about toxic foods, read our blog post about 12 foods you didn’t know are toxic for pets.

Shorter Walks

Long walks require a lot from your pet, especially on hot days. Shorten their daily walks to avoid too much strain on their heart and prevent fainting. 

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog walking outside panting while wearing a pink harness. Take your pet with congestive heart failure on shorter walks to avoid strain.

Control Water Intake

Generally, pets with CHF need a diuretic to eliminate excess fluid buildup in the lungs and heart, so an increased water intake can aggravate symptoms.

Avoid Stress

During stressful situations, your furry friend’s heart rate will generally increase. Since their heart is not functioning correctly, stress can lead to added heart strain and worsen symptoms.

Add Nutritional Supplements to Their Meals

Cardioceuticals are nutritional supplements that contain essential nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that provide support and protection to the cardiovascular system by reducing harmful high low-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as encouraging circulatory health.

Hearty-Heart contains a unique blend of herbs specifically formulated to offer complete support to an over-worked heart. It contains herbs like hawthorn, valerian, hops, lobelia, and balsam poplar, which are beneficial for supporting heart function and promoting circulation.

Petomega 3 is a blend of fish oils that are naturally rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) have been shown to significantly lower the risk of death caused by cardiac heart disease and are essential for healthy heart function. EPA and DHA help relieve inflammation and support a healthy appetite. 

Turmeric was first used 3000 years ago as an anti-inflammatory agent. The active compound in turmeric is curcumin. Numerous studies have suggested that curcumin helps restore and maintain cardiovascular health and is also helpful for the liver, kidneys, and skin issues. Turmeric works to complement Hearty-Heart by supporting the heart and circulatory function.


Our team of pet experts is here to help you and your pet with congestive heart failure. To start chatting with us now, click the button below.

Dr. Amanda Nascimento DVM, MVSc, PhD

Dr. Amanda Nascimento DVM, MVSc, PhD

Dr. Amanda completed her undergraduate degree in veterinary medicine in 2010 and graduate studies in veterinary pathology (MVSc. 2012 and PhD 2016) at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of São Paulo. She completed her post-doctoral training at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine – University of Saskatchewan in 2018. Dr. Nascimento will be hosting her own blog series and sharing her knowledge with our extended NHV family.

Published: July 26, 2021

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