High cholesterol, or hyperlipidemia, is common in dogs and can be detrimental to their health. A blood test and urinalysis in addition to a thorough exam are simple ways your vet can check your dog's high cholesterol. If left untreated, high cholesterol can contribute to canine obesity, pancreatitis and even neurological disorders.
Adjust the dog's diet to reduce the amount of fat. The dog's veterinarian or a canine nutritionist can help determine the right dog food and feeding plan; a dog with high cholesterol may need to eat a diet that contains approximately 10 percent fat. Remember that the treats the dog eats also impact the amount of fat it gets each day, so feed treats accordingly and avoid fatty table scraps.
Consider adding nutritional supplements to the dog's food. Surprisingly, certain healthy fats, such as fish oil and other omega-3 fatty acids, can help dogs that have high cholesterol, These supplements, available in oil or pill forms, can be found in pet supply stores. They are especially beneficial at lowering the dog's cholesterol when combined with a low-fat diet plan. Talk to your dog's vet to see if this would benefit your dog, and follow the directions on the bottle carefully.
If necessary, use medications. If the diet changes have not sufficiently lowered the dog's cholesterol after about a month, the vet may prescribe a lipid-reducing oral medication. Monitor the dog for side effects, such as nausea or vomiting, and contact the vet immediately if any are present.
A follow-up appointment with the dog's veterinarian can determine whether the dog's cholesterol levels have been lowered, whether the dog needs to stay on the medication it is on, or if the diet needs to be altered any further.