Dog care involves a number of things. You’ll need to keep your dog active, well-groomed, and healthy. This is especially important for Cavaliers. Most Cavalier owners know this, but it’s worth mentioning for anyone who might be thinking about getting one. Dog care is more than just feeding and playing fetch. Today, we’ll be covering how to keep your Cavalier healthy.
The Health Aspect of Dog Care
This is so important for a Cavalier. The Cavalier is an outstanding breed full of life, joy, and exuberance. They’re also a breed which tends to have major health issues with their hearts, so staying on top of the health care aspect of dog care is key.
Cavaliers are prone to a couple of issues. First and foremost is Mitral Valve Disease. I’ve covered this in several articles, because it’s just so important to our Cavaliers’ well being.
Mitral Valve Disease is a condition in which the Mitral Valve weakens and fails to form a tight seal as the heart beats. Over time, this can lead to a sort of reflux within the heart which allows blood to flow in the wrong direction for a very short period of time. This eventually leads to heart failure.
Almost every Cavalier will develop this condition at some point in their lives, so it’s very important to have yearly checkups for your Cavalier. That’s a minimum. That’s because, other than seeing a specialist, the most common way of detecting Mitral Valve Disease is listening for a heart murmur. You want to bring your Cavalier in yearly at minimum, every 6 months is better, to have a thorough exam and a good listen to their heart. The best thing you can do is take care of their heart from the very beginning with these Tips for Heart Healthy Cavaliers
Another common issue with Cavaliers is idiopathic asymptomatic thrombocytopenia. This is a disorder in which the Cavalier has a lower number of platelets than normal. However, this is generally balanced out by the fact that those platelets are larger. It’s important to have blood work done to detect this early, to prevent an improper diagnosis of something sinister down the line.
When it comes to dog care, a healthy mouth is very important, especially for Cavaliers. Studies have proven that the bacteria entering the blood stream from chronic mouth infections can cause Mitral Valve Disease, or – in the case of Cavaliers – cause earlier development of the condition.
It’s important to brush your Cavalier’s teeth regularly, give them dental chews, and have professional cleanings when necessary. This keeps their mouth and their heart healthy. Check out or post Healthy Teeth for a Healthy Cavalier!
Exercise is important for any dog. However, again, it’s doubly important for a Cavalier. Because your Cavalier will most certainly develop Mitral Valve Disease, keeping them active can help delay the onset of the disease, or at least help you be certain that their heart is as healthy as it can be when they finally develop the disease. Check out this post on How You Can Keep Your Senior Dogs Active
This falls under health care, because an overweight dog is prone to a variety of health concerns, namely cancer, diabetes, joint and tendon issues, and in the case of Cavaliers, Mitral Valve Disease.
An overweight dog requires more capillaries to maintain blood flow to their bodies, which results in a heart that has to beat harder, which results in extra pressure within the heart. That extra pressure can bring on Mitral Valve Disease sooner, rather than later. So always keep your Cavalier svelte.
Health Care is Only One Part of the Dog Care Equation
I chose to focus on this particular area of dog care, because it is so very important to all Cavalier owners. Maintaining a healthy heart, mouth, and weight are key. As you can tell from everything you’ve read, the main health issue to be concerned with when it comes to dog care and Cavaliers is Mitral Valve Disease, and since everything in the body is connected, it pays to keep your Cavalier it tip-top health.
Senior Dogs needs an even more specialized diet. Keeping Senior Dogs Happy and Healthy!
If you follow this dog care guide, you can keep your Cavalier as healthy as possible, so that they live long, happy, healthy lives.