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Essential Foods to Include in Your Dog's Homemade Heart-Healthy Diet

Creating a homemade cardiac diet for a dog with heart issues should be done under the guidance of a veterinarian, as the specific dietary needs can vary depending on the dog's condition and individual requirements. However, a general outline for a homemade cardiac diet for dogs is outlined below but please consult with your vet before making any dietary changes.

A cardiac diet for dogs with heart issues typically aims to:

Table salt in a shaker
Table salt in a shaker

1. Reduce Sodium Intake: Excessive sodium can exacerbate heart problems. Avoid high-sodium ingredients and processed foods.

2. Control Fluid Intake: This is important for dogs with congestive heart failure. Limiting fluid intake can help manage the condition.

3. Maintain Healthy Protein Levels: High-quality, easily digestible protein sources are essential. Lean meats like chicken or turkey are good choices.

4. Incorporate Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish like salmon or in fish oil supplements, can support heart health.

5. Provide High-Quality Carbohydrates: Use whole grains like brown rice and vegetables to provide fiber and essential nutrients.

6. Vitamins and Minerals: Ensure your dog gets a balanced intake of essential vitamins and minerals. Supplements may be needed.

Here's a sample recipe for a homemade cardiac diet:

List of Ingredients:

  1. 1 cup of cooked, skinless chicken breast (or lean meat)

  2. 1/2 cup of brown rice or sweet potatoes

  3. 1/2 cup of cooked carrots

  4. 1/2 cup of cooked green beans

  5. 1/2 cup of leafy greens like spinach or kale

  6. 1-2 tablespoons of fish oil (for omega-3 fatty acids)

  7. A veterinary-approved multivitamin supplement

Morning Meal:

  1. Protein Source: Cooked lean meats like chicken, turkey, or fish (remove skin and bones) - approximately 1/2 to 1 cup.

  2. Complex Carbohydrates: Brown rice or sweet potatoes - about 1/2 cup cooked.

  3. Vegetables: Leafy greens like spinach or kale, and Carrots for fiber and antioxidants - around 1/4 to 1/2 cup.

  4. Supplements (if recommended by your vet): Omega-3 fatty acids (from fish oil) can be beneficial for cardiac health.


  1. Cook the chicken, brown rice, carrots, and green beans.

  2. Mix these ingredients together.

  3. Drizzle fish oil over the mixture.

  4. Add the veterinary-approved multivitamin supplement as per the recommended dosage.

Evening Meal:

  1. Protein Source: Similar to the morning meal, vary the protein source to provide a balanced diet.

  2. Complex Carbohydrates: Alternating between brown rice, sweet potatoes, and other grains like quinoa or barley.

  3. Vegetables: Again, include a variety of colorful vegetables for a range of nutrients.

Snacks (in moderation):

  1. Fruits: Berries like blueberries or cranberries can be a good source of antioxidants.

  2. Low-Sodium Options: Unsalted rice cakes or air-popped popcorn can be offered.

Fluid Intake:


Ensure your dog has access to fresh, clean water at all times.

Avoid/Add in Moderation:

  1. Limit Sodium Intake: Avoid high-sodium foods like processed meats, canned soups, and commercial dog treats. Opt for low-sodium alternatives.

  2. Limit Fats: While some healthy fats are essential, avoid excessive amounts. Opt for lean meats and use healthy oils like olive oil sparingly.

  3. Monitor Protein Levels: While protein is important, consult with your vet to determine the appropriate levels for your dog's specific condition.

I must emphasize that this is a general guideline and it is always important to consult with your veterinarian for personalized guidance regarding your dog's specific dietary needs, heart condition and monitoring their progress. Regular check-ups and adjustments to the diet are essential.



Freeman, L. M., & Rush, J. E. (2018). Nutrition and cardiomyopathy in dogs and cats. Veterinary Clinics: Small Animal Practice, 48(3), 433-447.

National Research Council. (2006). Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats. National Academies Press.

Freeman, L. M., & Michel, K. E. (2006). Evaluation of raw food diets for dogs. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 228(4), 537-542.

American College of Veterinary Nutrition. (2018). Heart Disease and Diet. Retrieved from

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