After a dog has been diagnosed with heart issues, the normal procedure is to start watching diet and exercise alongside periodic testing and consultation with the vet. However, it’s not all gloom and doom as there are many dogs with heart problems that continue to bring joy to their owners and enjoy a satisfying land comfortable life.
The key to achieving this is to carefully understand the condition and adjust the diet accordingly. You might notice a change in your dog’s appetite. This probably is caused by the medication especially if your dog was prescribed something like enalapril which is an ACE inhibitor.
Fortunately, the market for low sodium, healthy, natural treats for dogs have really opened up in the last years or so. If you have no choice but to buy commercial, the following brands have excellent low sodium treats: Hill’s Prescription, Iams (small biscuits in the green box), Purina, and Science Ideal Balance.
The problem with these natural commercial treats is that they are quite expensive. Most dog owners will still go ahead and buy them because their most loved dog deserves it but did you know that homemade is 100% better?
- Dog food and treats usually have a 2 year expiration period
- Once a dog food bag or treat bag has been opened, it should be consumed within 12 months provided it is within the 2 year safe period. Thus, if you buy a bag of treats that was packed a year and a half ago, the treats should be consumed within 6 months
- Just this year alone, there have been 4 dog food and treat recalls by the FDA because of issues with salmonella, listeria, and excessive salt.
Homemade treats guarantee full control over what you feed your dog from calories to salt intake and fat. Add to this, dogs love homemade goodies over commercial brands – just try giving your dog something you made in your kitchen using a recipe listed below and see the difference!
Here are the ingredients that a dog with heart issues can safely eat:
- Plain pasta
- Plain rice
- Cooked eggs
- Cooked lean chicken, beef, fish, and turkey
- Fresh vegetables
- Low sodium cheese, cereal
Under no circumstances should you give the following to your dog:
- Meat trimmings
- Cream, cheese, or ice cream
- Bread and pizza
- Pickled food
- Processed food
- Canned goods
- Baby food
- Chips, crackers
Now for the treat recipes:
Create Pumpkin Delights
Mix one 15 oz can of organic pumpkin puree (you can also make your own puree by boiling chunks of pumpkin then putting the softened chunks in a blender), three-fourths cup of uncooked cream of wheat or rolled oats and half a cup of dry powdered milk. Form into bite-sized treats and bake for 20 minutes at 300 degrees.
Mix 2 cups shredded carrots and one apple, chopped finely. Add a quarter water, a quarter + 2 tablespoons molasses, and a cup each of dry oats and flax seeds. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
Banana-Peanut Butter Nibbles
Combine 1 mashed banana with half a cup of plain peanut butter, a cup of oats, half a cup of applesauce, a cup and ¼ of whole wheat flour (or rolled oats), and half a teaspoon of cinnamon. Shape into doggie biscuits and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until brown.
Storing your Homemade Treats
To keep your homemade treats fresh, crisp, and dry be sure to store them in zip lock bags or a tightly sealed can. If you bake the treats to a crispiness, they tend to last longer. Soft treats tend to get moldy quickly and should be stored in cool temperature. If kept in the fridge, they are good for at least a month but not more than 2 months.