At-home Monitoring of Pets with Heart Disease: Appetite

The loss of appetite is common in animals with heart failure but can also be caused by a variety of other medical problems. Many owners of animals with heart disease find that not only can their dog or cat's overall intake of food decrease, but their preference for foods also may change. This may be the result of worsening heart disease, side effects of certain medications, or from hormone-like substances that are produced in high levels in animals with heart failure. At home, it is very important to note if a pet is becoming more selective or picky with their food and does not seem as interested in meals. If your animal has heart failure and has changes or reductions in appetite, this is an important fact to discuss with your veterinarian as modifications to the medication and diet can help to improve appetite and food intake, which are key to maintaining weight and good quality of life. Please refer to the Diet section and to the Management section, for tips on recommendations for feeding animals with heart disease.