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The Best Dog Food for Heart Health – Top 3 Picks

IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Minichunks Dry Dog Food

IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Minichunks Dry Dog Food

4.9/5
Whole Earth Farms Grain Free, Natural Dry Dog Food

Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free, Natural Dry Dog Food

4.9/5
Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Adult Dry Dog Food

Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Adult Dry Dog Food

4.6/5

Did you know that almost 10% of all dogs in the United States have some form of heart disease? 

Obesity is one of the most common reasons why dogs develop heart issues. Most dog foods available on the market are equivalent to human junk food as they contain filler ingredients, less protein from meat, and high carbohydrates. 

This is  a recipe for disaster. 

The best dog food for heart health is one that contains whole grains, high-quality meats, and vegetables for nutrients. In this blog post, we’ll go through three of the best dog foods for a healthy heart. 

Let’s begin!

Here’s What’s Going On Inside the Heart

More and more dogs are getting diagnosed with heart disease annually. 

According to some experts, we’re observing this incline in health issues such as heart disease and cancer because the average lifespan of a dog has increased thanks to an advanced veterinary care system. 

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) is one of the most common heart diseases in dogs. 

We see an increase in chronic valvular disease, which is an acquired heart abnormality. In this disease, the valves of a dog’s heart become stiff and start deteriorating, causing the blood to flow backward. This, in the long term, causes vascular congestion. 

Dilated cardiomyopathy is another reason for CHF. In this condition, the muscles of the heart start thinning and dilating. This affects the effectiveness of the heart in pumping blood throughout the body, causing it to overwork to compensate. 

Finally, some believe that Congestive Heart Failure may be caused by high blood pressure or hypertension in dogs. 

Common Causes of Heart Diseases

One of the biggest causes of heart problems in dogs is nutritional problems. This means that heart issues and your dog’s diet are related. So, the healthier and well-balanced the diet, the healthier your dog’s heart is. 

Here are some common factors that affect your furry friends’ health:

  • Age: Older dogs have higher chances of developing heart issues

  • Breed: Owing to the relatively small genetic pool, pure breeds such as Schnauzers, Miniature poodles, Pomeranians, and Cocker spaniels are prone to developing Chronic Valvular Disease while breeds such as Irish wolfhounds and Great Danes are more prone to getting Myocardial disease

  • Physical Condition: Obese and overweight dogs have higher chances of getting heart diseases

Dog Food and Heart Health: What You Need to Know

best dog food for enlarged heart

Did you know that in 2019, FDA named 16 dog food brands linked to Canine Heart Disease

The list included several top-selling brands such as Merrick, Taste of the Wild, Racheal Ray Nutrish, etc. This means that certain types of foods that you’re feeding your dog believing that they’re safe may not be!

And, that is a scary thought. 

Let’s take a look at a few things the increase your dog’s chances of getting heart disease:

  • Foods that contain exotic ingredients such as fava beans, lentils, pea, duck, kangaroo, buffalo, lamb, bison, etc.
  • Vegan diets  
  • Diets high in processed carbohydrates and filler ingredients  
  • Dog foods that use 4D meat or meat from dead, decaying, disabled, or diseased animals 

To ensure that your furry friend gets nothing but the best, you need to spend some time researching the dog food you’d be getting for him–just picking out the kibble you get at the supermarket may not be a wise or well-informed choice. 

Safe Ingredients for a Healthy Heart: Here’s What You Should Look For!

Are you looking for the best food for dogs with congestive heart failure? 

In this section of the blog, we go through what a well-balanced dog food for heart health  should contain and a few things you must consider. 

Let’s begin.

Nature of the Disease

Know thy enemy. 

In order to find the best dog food for heart health, you must first be well acquainted with the disease your dog has–this will help you make a well-informed choice. Understanding the severity and nature of your dog’s disease is crucial. 

A dog that has congestive heart failure will have different nutritional needs than one with an enlarged heart. 

For every disease, the dietary restrictions vary. 

This is one of the main reasons why I urge people to keep their vet in the loop when on the hunt for healthy dog food. No one diet or formula can be crowned the best when it comes to heart disease. 

Remember that.  

Ensure Healthy Body Weight

Are you looking for the best dog food for an enlarged heart? 

Just like with humans, an enlarged heart in dogs is often a result of a very high body fat percentage. Studies have linked the condition to abdominal fat. One theory suggests that due to high body weight, the heart has to work harder to pump the blood across your dog’s body. It eventually gets enlarged because the demand only gets higher.

In this case, restricting your dog’s calories to help him lose some weight is important. 

For this, you need a healthy diet and an active lifestyle. You should be looking for a kibble that’s low in fat, high in protein, and moderate in carbohydrates. Shedding some weight will lead to improvement!

best food for dogs with congestive heart failure

Do Not Restrict the Protein Intake

Don’t fall prey to outdated research which suggests you reduce your dog’s protein intake. For years people believed that dogs with heart issues should go for a low protein diet as it helps reduce metabolic stress on kidneys and liver. 

This results in your dog losing muscle mass, which is replaced with fat. 

As I explained earlier in this blog post, a high body fat percentage in dogs has been linked to heart diseases. So, instead of helping, a low-protein diet was only making things worse. 

So, what can you do?

Researchers believe that dogs need at least 25-30% meat-based protein in their diet–especially those with heart issues. 

Limit Sodium Intake

Doctors recommend that people with heart issues should limit their sodium intake. Since we share 25% of our DNA with dogs, the same holds true for them. 

You should restrict your dog’s salt intake as it isn’t good for him, anyway. 

In fact, vets recommend a moderate sodium restriction for healthy dogs–so, you should be keeping Fido away from popcorn, pizza, deli meats, bread, mayonnaise, etc. anyway. 

Of course, an occasional treat is okay. 

However, if you have a dog with heart issues, this restriction becomes all the more important and should be strict. Since most dog treats are high in sodium, you should switch to homemade treats or read the label to ensure it is low sodium. 

You should also avoid processed foods.

Here’s the acceptable amounts of sodium: 

  • For healthy dogs with no heart issues, less than 100 mg/100kcal works well 
  • If your dog is in early heart failure, you should go for less than 80 mg/100 kcal 
  • For advanced heart diseases, it should be less than 50 mg/100 kcal

Ensure All-Round Nutrition

In the wild, dogs usually eat foods that are rich in animal protein and get most of their carbohydrates from undigested food in the stomach of their prey. However, things are different for pet dogs. 

Not only are the given factory-made food that comes from the supermarket, but they also don’t have to hunt. 

So, they’re getting more calories than they need and burning less of them than they should. Thanks to processed foods, your dog may be carnitine or taurine deficiencies, which lead to heart issues. 

It’s a good idea to take your dog to the vet to have these checked out. 

Supplementing your dog’s diet to ensure he’s getting all the nutrition he needs is a great idea. Even if your dog’s heart condition isn’t due to deficiencies, he’ll still benefit from the supplements. Carnitine, for example, supports energy production and metabolism. 

Talk to your vet to know more. 

Giving your dog electrolytes–especially during the summer–is also a good idea, especially if your furry friend is on diuretics. Magnesium and Vitamin B supplements can also help. 

Consider Getting Suplementos

The best food for dogs with congestive heart failure is rich in fish oils or omega 3 fatty acids as they help reduce the levels of negative inflammatory hormones and increase appetite. 

Several studies suggest that dogs with congestive heart failure that take omega 3 fatty acids have better survival rates. Research conducted on other common supplements such as vitamin E, Co-enzyme Q10, and antioxidants indicates they’re beneficial. 

But, do keep in mind to talk to your vet before ordering supplements for your pet to determine whether or not they’ll be a good choice for the individual case.

Remember, all dogs react differently to different supplements. 

A good vet always ensures that the benefits outweigh the risks. 

Our Top 3 Choices: The Best Dog Food for Heart Health

Now that you know a few things you need to consider before buying high-quality dog food for Fido’s health, let’s take a quick peek at our top three picks to make the decision-making process easier for you. 

We understand how busy you are, which is why we handpicked these three kibbles and will review them in detail. 

Best Dog Food for Heart Health
Here’s Why You Should Get It
Our Rating
Price
IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Minichunks Dry Dog Food
Uses high-quality animal protein Doesn’t have filler ingredients, artificial colors or flavors Offers high-quality premium ingredients Suitable for all ages
4.9 Stars
Check now
Whole Earth Farms Grain Free, Natural Dry Dog Food
All-natural meals cooked in the United States Complete and balanced nutrition No filler ingredients, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives High-quality meat
4.9 Stars
Check now
Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Adult Dry Dog Food
Made with high-quality real meat No filler ingredients used Easy to eat crunchy bites Contains balanced nutrition
4.6 Stars
Check now

Let’s take a look at the in-depth review, shall we?

IAMS ensures that they use only high-quality ingredients in their recipes to ensure your furry friend gets the best out of his food. The company was established in 1946 and has been dedicated to producing quality kibble ever since. 

High-quality Ingredients

This dog food contains high-quality meat instead of 4D meat, ensuring your dog gets the best. In addition to that, the recipes contain wholesome, real, and premium ingredients as well. 

Complete and Balanced Meal 

We believe that this kibble is one of the best food for dogs with congestive heart failure because it doesn’t contain preservatives, artificial flavors, or filler ingredients while providing complete and balanced nutrition. 

Nutritional Breakdown 

This dog food formula contains: 

  • 28% protein which is near-average
  • 16% fat which is near-average
  • 49% carbohydrates which are near-average

It also contains a moderate amount of meat, making it a good pick for dogs with heart issues. 

PROS
CONS
Picky eates enjoy the kibble
Shorter Shelf life in a humid environment
A good pick if your dog has a sensitive stomach
The mini chunks are great for small and large breeds

Dedicated to creating naturally nutritious dog foods, Whole Earth Farms ensures that their all-natural foods support increased energy, easy digestion, and a healthy heart. 

High-quality Ingredients 

This recipe from Whole Earth Farms comes packed with nutritious ingredients such as thyme, rosemary, sage, dried blueberries, lamb, and beef proteins, ensuring that your dog gets a well-balanced meal.  

No Filler Ingredients 

This recipe does not contain wheat, corn, soy, or any of their by-products. You won’t find artificial preservatives and colors on it either. 

Made in the United States

This dog food is made in the United States using only high-quality and natural ingredients for balanced nutrition.

Nutritional Breakdown 

This dog food formula contains: 

  • 29% protein which is above-average 
  • 15% fat which is near-average
  • 48% carbohydrates which are near-average

It comes with a moderate amount of meat, which means that it is one of the best dog foods for an enlarged heart.

PROS
CONS
Poultry-free recipe a good choice for dogs with allergies
May cause gas
A safe choice for dogs with sensitive stomachs
Made in the United States
High-quality and safe ingredients

Owned by Nestle, Purina aims to provide quality nutrition to your dog by ensuring they use the best ingredients. They buy raw ingredients from trusted suppliers and make 99% of their food products in the United States.  

Protein-Rich Formula with Real Meat

One of the best things about this formula is that it is rich in protein that comes from real fish, poultry, and meat–not from by-products or protein-rich lentils or grains. This helps your dog build and maintain muscles. 

No Filler Ingredients 

This formula ensures that all of the nutrition comes from natural ingredients. You won’t find low-quality filler ingredients on the labels. The formula is designed to provide complete and balanced nutrition. 

Nutritional Breakdown 

This dog food formula contains: 

  • 30% protein which is above-average 
  • 14% fat which is near-average
  • 49% carbohydrates which are near-average

It comes with a moderate amount of meat, which means that it is a great fit for dogs that have heart issues. 

PROS
CONS
Great to taste and devoured by dogs in seconds!
Shorter shelf life
Reasonable price
Fresh and high-quality ingredients
Good choice for sensitive stomachs

In Summary: Best Dog Food for Heart Health

best food for dogs with congestive heart failure

Did we answer all of your questions? 

Heart-related issues have become alarmingly common with our canine companions, which means that we need to look closely at two things: 

  • The food that we’re feeding our dogs 
  • The amount of exercise they’re getting 

A healthy diet and exercise can go a long way–in fact, they can help improve your dog’s chances of survival. 

We went through three of the best dog foods for heart health in this article. However, keep in mind first buying the smallest pack available to see whether your dog likes the formula–this helps avoid wastage. Trust me, I’ve learned from my mistakes. 

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section, and we’ll answer them right away! 

Certified Veterinary Dr. Veronica Heller

Dr. Veronica Heller

Born and brought up in Grand Marais, Minnesota, ever since she was a little girl, Dr. Veronica Heller dreamed of becoming a vet thanks to
Sruffy, her family pet. She graduated from College of Veterinary Medicine, Minnesota and began her veterinary career in Larpenteur Animal Hospital in St. Paul as an emergency Veterinarian. Since then, she has worked with Minnesota Veterinary Hospital, Small Animal Hospital, and Blue Pearl Pet Hospital. Her interests in the field include preventive medicine, internal medicine, nutrition, and surgery. She’s also a loving pet mother to two cats and a Golden Retriever.