As well as providing medication, lifestyle changes are important
Regular mild to moderate exercise is thought to be beneficial for dogs that have only mild signs or symptoms. However, if your dog seems tired, stop exercising.
It's very important to seek you Vet's advice about whether exercise is suitable for your dog and to what level. Some dogs may need complete rest. Contact your Vet if your dog collapses or seems very weak during activity.
Your Vet may recommend reducing the salt content in your dog's diet. During heart failure, the body will retain more salt and water than is required, so it's a good idea to cut down on your dog's salt intake.
Your Vet will be able to help you choose the right brand of pet food for your dog that is nutritionally well balanced and low in salt. Treats and "people food" like chips, cheese and processed meat are all high in salt and aren't suitable for a dog with heart failure.
Keep an eye on your dog as they go about their daily activities - pay attention to your dog's appetite, level of movement, and attitude.
Counting breaths per minute (or respiratory rate) can help you monitor your dog's lung function. To do this, simply count the number of times your dog breathes (inhale + exhale = one breath) in one minute during relaxed sleep.
If your dog's respiratory rate is consistently more than 30 breaths per minute, please let your Vet know as this may be an indicator of disease progression.
It won't take long before you are able to incorporate your Vet's recommendations into your daily routine with ease. With you and your Vet working together, your dog will get the best possible care.