Dog High Blood Pressure: Is That a Thing?

Feb 12, 2021

They say it’s a dog’s life, right? Meaning that surely living life lounging around on sofas and scrounging for crumbs and belly rubs can’t be that stressful, can it?

The thing is, dog high blood pressure IS a thing, and it’s not just caused by stress. In fact, the most common dog diseases that may lead to high blood pressure in dogs are Cushing’s disease, chronic kidney disease and adrenal gland tumors. Just like in humans, too much fat in their diet and a sedentary lifestyle may also add to dog hypertension.

Dog hypertension: The basics

Canine hypertension, or dog high blood pressure is just what it sounds like. It’s high blood pressure, and can lead to significant issues for your dog. It occurs when your dog’s arterial blood pressure is higher than normal.

In humans, high blood pressure often exists as a primary condition. While it may also do so in dogs, it’s often likely that dogs suffer from canine secondary hypertension–high blood pressure associated with another condition like kidney disease or Cushing’s disease.

Hypertension in dogs can affect several of your dog’s body systems, most notably their heart, kidneys and eyes. It’s more common than we think and something to be aware of in overweight and not very active dogs.

As with humans, primary hypertension in dogs doesn’t really have a specific known cause behind it. It can be genetics, or breed prevalence or just anatomical difference in dogs. It can be a side effect of aging and body systems wearing down too.

Secondary hypertension, though, is more common and is often due to kidney disease, adrenal gland issues, hormone fluctuation or hyperthyroidism. Though it’s rare, diabetes in dogs may also be at the root of your dog’s high blood pressure.

Certain breeds like poodles, Dachshunds and some terriers have increased risks of Cushing’s disease, and that puts them at increased heart disease risk.

Again, though rare, high blood pressure in dogs may lead to congestive heart failure in dogs, so it’s not something you want to ignore.

Symptoms of dog hypertension

If your dog suffers from any of the following, you’ll want to quickly check with your vet and find out what’s going on.

  • Circling Seizures
  • Sight issues/blindness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Disorientation
  • Blood in urine
  • Nose bleeds
  • Weakness in their body, particularly one side
  • Eyes rolling
  • Enlarged thyroid gland

Your vet will also want to look at whether your dog has protein in his urine, hemorrhaging of his eye or retinal detachment, heart murmur and swollen or shrunken kidneys. All of these can be symptoms of high blood pressure in dogs.

How to treat high blood pressure in dogs

The best way to treat high blood pressure in dogs is to be proactive. Making sure your dog gets plenty of heart-healthy exercise is a must (and good for you both!). Keeping extra weight off your dog is good for his heart, his hips and his overall health.

Of course, a healthy diet rich in protein and nutrients is the best way to keep your dog’s health in tip-top shape. Ensuring your dog has optimal nutrition to fuel all of his body’s organs is the first step in preventing canine hypertension, as well as overall health. Good dog gut health can be the key factor in ensuring all systems are working well and in harmony to protect his vascular system as a whole.

You can also ensure he’s achieving optimal nutrition and weight goals by supplementing with Bernie’s Perfect Poop. Perfect Poop is a unique combination of premium fiber, pre- and probiotics and enzymes that help your dog’s digestive system function at its best. When your dog can break his food down appropriately and digest it efficiently, his gut will be his healthiest. Perfect Poop can help fuel your dog’s energy level to keep him exercising and at a healthy weight, and can keep internal organs doing what they do best to keep your dog his healthiest.

And since it’s American Heart Month, we want to take a second to recommend you look into your heart health too! After all, you and your dog are the perfect team, and it’s essential for you to both be as healthy as you can for each other.

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