Top 10 Best Dog Food for Heart Murmur

Top 10 Best Dog Food for Heart Murmur

What is a heart murmur in dogs? A heart murmur is an abnormal sound that can be heard with a stethoscope. It is caused by turbulence in the flow of blood through the heart. Murmurs can be caused by several things, such as congenital heart defects, infections, or high blood pressure. Not all murmurs are serious. Many are mild and don’t cause any problems.

Heart murmurs in dogs are an ailment that can be managed with the right diet. There are many different dog foods on the market, so it can be difficult to know which one is best for your pet. In this article, we will discuss the nine best dog foods for heart murmur in 2022. We will also discuss the pros and cons of each formula.

If your dog has a heart murmur, it is important to feed them the best food for their condition. We will discuss the key nutritional components to watch out for when choosing which foods are best for a heart murmur. The foods we recommend are high in protein, and low in sodium, and include healthy grains, and omega-3 fatty acids.

The 10 Best Dog Foods for Heart Murmur

The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Dehydrated Dog Food

The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Turkey Recipe Dehydrated Dog Food
Main ingredients: dehydrated turkey, organic oats, dehydrated potatoes, organic flaxseed. Dehydrated carrots, dehydrated cabbage
Protein content: 22%
Fat content: 15%
Calories: 207/cup

The Honest Kitchen is a complete and balanced dog food that is good for all breeds and all sizes including senior dogs. The human grade food can be served as a meal (just add hot water), or as a topper to dry food. The food is made with ingredients like, organic oats, cabbage, cage free turkey, apples and is dehydrated for easy digestion and to retain the nutrients.

It does not contain any fillers, by-products, preservatives, GMO ingredients, corn, soy, or wheat. It is an all-natural dog food that is made in the USA. This food may be expensive for those on a budget, however, and it takes some work to prepare.

  • It contains kelp and flaxseed for heart health
  • Human grade
  • No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
  • No feed-grade by-products or fillers
  • No GMO ingredients
  • Expensive
  • Takes work to prepare

Purina ONE Natural SmartBlend Dry Food — Best Value

Purina ONE Natural SmartBlend Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food
Main ingredients: Chicken, rice flour, corn gluten meal, whole grain corn, chicken by-product meal
Protein content: 26.0%
Fat content: 16.0%
Calories: 383 kcal/cup

Purina One Natural SmartBlend offers a basic foundational health formulation that promotes overall wellness for your dog for the best overall cost. Based on a chicken and rice recipe this option balances overall nutrition and works to build both healthy muscles, including heart muscle. If your dog’s heart murmur does not require a special diet, this is a good option to make sure you are meeting all of your pet’s overall nutritional needs and requirements.

Chicken is a rich protein source that leads to strong muscles. Purina also supplements other meat products that ensure that all the building blocks of protein nutrition are present in every meal. Omega-6 supports a shiny coat and skin health. Glucosamine is good support for joint health and mobility which keeps your dog active and moving around with ease.

This formulation provides a core healthy diet that promotes whole body health. Well-met nutritional needs are great preventive medicine for future concerns, as your dog remains active and energetic.

  • Not specifically tailored to heart issues
  • Chicken can be an allergen for some dogs
  • Glucosamine for joint health
  • Supports overall muscle health
  • Chicken-based protein profile
  • Omega-6
  • Well-balanced diet plan
  • Budget-Friendly option

Royal Canin Early Cardiac Dry Food — Best Overall

Canin Early Cardiac Dry Food

Main ingredients: Brewers rice, chicken fat, chicken meal, fish meal
Protein content: 21.5%
Fat content: 13.5%
Calories: 290 kcal/cup

Royal Canin Early Cardiac Dry Food is widely held to be the best overall choice of food for dogs with heart concerns. It is a veterinary diet item, which means it has been specifically formulated by a team of veterinarians to address a specific health issue. It is required to have authorization from your veterinarian to purchase this item, similar to a prescription you would get from a doctor.

The food is moderately restricted in sodium content to help reduce the workload on the heart, which can be helpful to dogs with a heart murmur. It contains eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acids (DHA), which are long-chain omega-3 fatty acids that promote healthy cardiovascular function. It also contains nutrients arginine, carnitine, and taurine to optimize a canine’s overall cardiac health. The food is preserved naturally with tocopherols that can be supportive to a dog’s immune function.

On the whole, this blend supports optimal nutrition for your pet which creates a solid foundation for health. The concerns related to various heart conditions, including a heart murmur, have been addressed in the particular formulation and balance of ingredients and certified by veterinarians. It has been extensively reviewed by pet owners and has received high marks from owners and professionals alike.

  • High price tag
  • Top meat ingredients are chicken fat and chicken meal
  • Contains EPA & DHA omega-3 fatty acids for heart health
  • Received high ratings for heart health
  • Moderate sodium content
  • Nutrients specific to cardiac health
  • Formulated by veterinarians

Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Dry Food — Best for Puppies

Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Chicken & Rice Dry Dog
Main ingredients: Chicken, brown rice, whole grain oats, cracked pearled barley, chicken meal
Protein content: 24.5%
Fat content: 16.5%
Calories: 434 kcal/cup

A heart murmur is a condition that is frequently congenital, so your puppy may be born with the condition. The good news for many puppies is that the condition often lessens or disappears over time. If your vet has detected a heart murmur in your puppy it is a good idea to start them on a heart-healthy diet to give them the best chance for long-term health outcomes.

Hill’s Science Diet for Puppies, Chicken, and Rice Kibble Blend, is a great option for looking after your puppy’s early heart health. The food contains DHAs from fish oil which is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids that are helpful for canine heart health. Antioxidants and vitamins C and E support overall immune health and whole system regulation. Overall this formulation has been developed to support the needs of a growing puppy and to offer balanced nutrition so that they can thrive in the long term.

This is not a prescription food option so it is more accessible for purchase and has a lower price point.

  • Some puppies don’t find it appetizing
  • Contains DHAs for heart health
  • Antioxidants and vitamins C and E for immune health
  • Get an early start on dog’s heart health
  • Balanced nutrients for healthy growth

Stella & Chewy’s Stella’s Solutions Healthy Heart Support — Premium Choice

Stella & Chewy’s Stella’s Solutions Healthy Heart Support
Main ingredients: Chicken with ground bone, chicken liver, chicken heart, sardines, salmon oil
Protein content: 40.0%
Fat content: 40.0%
Calories: 204 kcal/cup

Stella & Chewy’s Health Heart Support is not a primary food, but rather a meal add-on that includes nutrients geared at supporting heart health in dogs. It is mixed into existing kibble, wet food, or a blend between the two. The heart-conscious option is made of high-quality, all-natural ingredients. It is grain-free with high protein content and veggies.

As grain-free diets are not being recommended for pets with health conditions, this is best when paired with another healthy grain-based dog food. You can serve it as a dry snack, mix it into other food, or add warm water to it to rehydrate the ingredients. It is free from lentils and potatoes. Made in Wisconsin.

A great source of nutrients to add to your dog’s meal, but not a whole-diet option and a high price point for long-term use.

  • Grain-Free
  • Only a supplement
  • High Price Point
  • Formulated for heart health
  • Omega Fatty Acids
  • Made from responsibly sourced ingredients
  • Chicken heart, sardines, good for heart health

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets CC Canned Food

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets CC CardioCare Canine Formula Chicken Flavor Canned Dog Food
Main ingredients: Water, Meat By-Products, Chicken, Rice, Powdered Cellulose
Protein content: 6.0%
Fat content: 4.0%
Calories: 385 kcal/cup

The Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diet CardioCare (CC) Canine Formula Chicken Flavor Canned Dog Food is our top choice wet food for dogs with heart murmurs. It is also a veterinary-approved option that requires a prescription for ordering. This is a great option for your pet and can be fed a part of a purely wet-food diet or in conjunction with the kibble for a diet balanced between wet and dry foods.

The advantage of wet food is that some dogs find it more tasty and appealing, or they need the extra hydration provided by wet food. It also is a good option for dogs with sensitive digestions or dental issues that require them to chew softer foods.

It shares many of the same signature ingredients for heart health as the kibble version. Purina’s special cardiac protection blend is made of amino and fatty acids as well as special minerals and vitamin E. Both vitamins E and A provide an antioxidant function in the food which boosts immune power leading to healthier holistic outcomes for your pet’s health.

  • Has not been widely reviewed by dog owners
  • High price point
  • Less convenient than dry food
  • Cardiac Protection Blend
  • Antioxidant vitamins A and E
  • Aids in hydration
  • Supports healthy cardiac function
  • Formulated by veterinarians

Hill’s Prescription Diet Heart Care — Vet’s Choice

Hill’s Prescription Diet Heart Care
Main ingredients: Beef by-product, chicken, rice
Protein content: 14.5%
Fat content: 16.5%
Calories: 410 kcal/cup

Another food option for heart health available with veterinary authorization is Hill’s Prescription Diet Heart Care. This brand has also been given good marks in reviews but is slightly less widely known than Royal Canin’s heart care food. Dog owners have called it a great diet option for keeping a dog’s whole system balanced and thriving.

Its low-sodium formulation helps dogs to maintain normal blood pressure to minimize overall fluid retention in their body. Nutrition and supplements include high levels of l-carnitine and taurine and added protein and phosphorus that help address canine heart health. The antioxidants in the blend support healthy immune function and protect a dog’s overall kidney function. This is especially useful if your dog is receiving diuretics for a related condition. It has been specifically formulated by vets to address heart health and is a great option to discuss with your vet to see if it would be appropriate for your dog.

Prescription dog foods often come with a high price tag and may not be affordable in all conditions.  Hill’s Prescription Diet is high quality and generally well regarded, but may be an expensive option for long-term dietary needs.

  • Kibble pieces are a bit large for small dogs
  • Beef by-product as top ingredient
  • Low sodium formulation
  • Received favorable ratings for heart health
  • Includes l-carnitine and taurine for heart health
  • Antioxidants for immune and kidney support
  • Formulated by veterinarians

Perfectus Plentiful Poultry & Ancient Grain Recipe

Perfectus Plentiful Poultry & Ancient Grain Recipe
Main ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, sorghum, ground sorghum, chicken fat
Protein content: 25.0%
Fat content: 14.0%
Calories: 407 kcal/cup

Perfectus Plentiful Poultry & Ancient Grain recipe is a great option for dogs faced with multiple health issues or food sensitivities. It is not grain free, which makes it a good choice for a heart murmur, but it uses traditional grains instead of typical dog food fillers. This can be helpful for some dogs with food allergies.

This brand uses no GMO ingredients. Its ingredient list is relatively straightforward, and the preservatives and antioxidants used are plant-based and all-natural. It includes prebiotics and probiotics to support optimal microbiome and digestive health. The amino acids, omega-6, and omega-6 fatty acids support heart health alongside whole body health.

  • Not specifically for heart health
  • Only two bag sizes: 8 kg and 25 kg
  • Non GMO ingredients
  • No fillers
  • Limited ingredients, low allergens
  • Promotes digestive health
  • Includes Prebiotics and Probiotics

Dave’s Pet Food Restricted Sodium Canned Food

Dave’s Pet Food Restricted Sodium Canned Food Chicken Recipe
Main ingredients: Chicken, water sufficient for processing, guar gum, agar-agar, minerals
Protein content: 9.0%
Fat content: 8.0%
Calories: 507 kcal/cup

Dave’s Pet Food Restricted Sodium Canned Food is a great option for dogs with heart conditions to watch their sodium intake. As a wet food, it can be used alone or combined with kibble to give an added nutritional and flavor boost to meals.

This option is grain-free, as well as free of other possible allergens such as gluten, peas, corn, and soy. Its high protein formula centers around chicken which helps to build strong muscles including the heart. The low-sodium formulation is aligned with heart-healthy goals.

Reviews by dog owners note that the food is appealing in taste and when combined with heart-healthy kibble makes the entire meal more tasty and attractive to pets.

  • Not suitable for dogs diagnosed with DCM and CHF
  • Hydrating
  • Made in the US
  • High protein for muscle health
  • Low sodium
  • No fillers

SquarePet VFS Canine Active Joints Dry Food

SquarePet VFS Canine Active Joints Dry Food
Main ingredients: Turkey, turkey meal, quinoa, brown rice, turkey necks
Protein content: 30.0%
Fat content: 14.0%
Calories: 402 kcal/cup

Squarepet VFS Canine Active Joints dry food is good for owners concerned about the source of ingredients and the use of natural foods. This high-protein food is not made for heart conditions but supports many of the health and nutritional needs that lead to good heart health.

Made primarily from cage-free turkey necks, New Zealand green-lipped mussel, quinoa superfood, and brown rice, this meal blend focuses on high-quality ingredients. The L-Carnitine supports strong and healthy muscles and can be beneficial for heart health. Alongside antioxidants, vitamins C and E, turmeric is included in the ingredient list which helps with inflammation, oxidative stressors, and free radicals. Omega fatty acids support joint and heart health. It is also a low-phosphorus formulation that can be beneficial for some health conditions.

It is made in the US of premium foods and has a higher price point that reflects this. Online reviews from dog owners offer very enthusiastic praise after trying this formula.

  • Not specifically for heart health
  • High price point
  • L-Carnitine for muscle health
  • Includes turmeric
  • High-quality ingredients
  • Omega fatty acids
  • Low-phosphorus formulation

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Heart Murmur

Whether your dog was born with a heart murmur or developed it later in life, it can be worrying when they are diagnosed. After talking to your vet they may prescribe medication and they also may make recommendations about your pet’s diet. Getting a heart-healthy diet that works for your dog lays the best foundation for lasting health outcomes. Many of the foods we recommended here need a vet’s approval for use, so you can ask if they would be a good fit for your pet’s needs.

There are four key things to watch out for when choosing food to address heart conditions:

Low to Moderate Sodium Content

This is one of the most important things to watch out for when choosing heart-healthy food. Sodium (salt) can cause fluid retention in the body which is one of the many issues facing dogs with congestive heart failure or other heart conditions. Removing sodium from the diet won’t prevent heart conditions but will help improve them once your dog is ill.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acids (DHA), stabilize heart muscle cells and can have anti-inflammatory properties. There is no recommended dose size for these nutrients but you can look for them in whole-food ingredient sources such as fish, fish oil, and other healthy oils and added supplements. Many foods clearly label if they contain Omega-3s in their formulas.

High-Quality Protein

Choose foods that center around real meat and have a higher protein content. Owners that like to do a little extra research may also look into the ingredient sources of the foods, gravitating towards those that are all-natural, locally sourced, or minimally processed. Protein is the basic building block for healthy muscle and this includes healthy heart muscle. Protein also supplies amino acids such as taurine, carnitine, and arginine which all benefit cardiac health.

Skip Grain-Free diets

  • Current research has shown an elevated concern as of late that dogs who eat a grain-free diet may be at higher risk for developing dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), which is a serious complication. As grain-free food options become more popular on the market it can seem like they are always the healthiest option. This may not be the case for dogs with underlying heart issues and extra caution should be taken when weighing out how much grain to include in your dog’s diet.
  • Last year the FDA also published a list of dog foods that have been flagged for possible problems around heart disease in dogs, you can find that information here.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, feeding your dog a healthy diet is important for their overall health. By feeding your dog the right foods, you can help to address and support health problems like a heart murmur. In addition, feeding your dog the right foods can help to keep them healthy and active. So, make sure to feed your dog the best food for their health and ensure that they live a long and happy life.

Our top choices in this article were all vet-approved, prescription options with Royal Canin’s Cardiac formula coming in first. Hill’s Prescription Diet Heart Care and Purina’s Pro Plan Veterinary diets were also close favorites because they all address heart conditions specifically in their formulations.

Hill’s also offers a good solution for puppies who were born with a heart murmur and want to make a good diet choice right out of the gate. Purina One Smartblend was a good budget option that addressed basic whole body health.

Perfectus Plentiful Poultry & Ancient Grain, Squarepet VFS Canine Active Joints dry food, and Stella & Chewy’s Health Heart Support all highlight premium ingredients, all-natural recipes, and low allergen profiles. Dave’s Pet Food restricted sodium wet food makes its low-sodium content explicit and easy to understand.

A heart murmur can vary in severity from innocent to life-threatening but a healthy diet is something pet owners have some control over. Choosing the best food for your dog and your budget will give you confidence you have created the conditions for your pet to thrive.

Edward Hollon is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Edward has been writing for petdii for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners. Edward has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Edward knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.