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Dog Heart Failure. When Dog Euthanasia May Be Best

Old dog outside

Old dog outside


Congestive heart failure is a common condition in older dogs. It can progress slowly, and affect both sides of your dog’s heart. Learn more about dog heart failure and when dog euthanasia may be the best choice to make.

Congestive Heart Failure Facts

Each contraction of the heart muscle pumps blood around the body – giving organs oxygen and energy, and removing waste products.

As heart valves age, blood can leak backwards and with each heartbeat, there will be a heart murmur. With deteriorating heart function, the fluid volume within the heart increases – resulting in the heart chambers stretching and hydrostatic pressure in vessels that supply the veins.

This causes congestion and pulmonary oedema known as left-sided heart failure. Or ascites without pleural effusion – right-sided heart failure. Generally, dogs with heart enlargement are at greater risk of heart failure.

Congestive Heart Failure Diagnosis

Your vet will gather information about your dog’s medical history to determine whether it supports heart disease or heart failure. Or if congenital or acquired heart disease is more likely. Findings from the history will help combined with results of the physical examination.

Biochemistry monitoring will ensure that the lowest effective doses of drugs get administered.

Heart Murmur Data

There are three types of heart murmur – systolic, diastolic, and continuous. Systolic murmurs take place when the heart is contracting, caused by narrowing blood vessels obstructing blood flow. Diastolic murmurs occur in between beats – leaks from the aortic valve cause this and it’s very rare.

Continuous murmurs take place throughout the heartbeat cycle possibly due to congenital heart disease. Dog heart murmur life expectancy, in this case, can be up to two years.

How long can a dog live with a heart murmur? You can be trained to regularly monitor your dog to help live the longest and best life. Maintaining a healthy weight, having regular dental cleanings, and providing a high-quality diet with increased omega-3 essential fatty acids are all a proactive way of keeping your dog healthy for many years.

Treatments for Chronic Heart Failure

The goal of any treatment is to reduce the amount of fluid surrounding the heart – letting it function properly pumping blood to lungs and other vital organs.

Recommendations for Quality of Life

You’ll be given advice on how to monitor your dog’s heart disease at home. This may include recording resting and sleeping breath rates. The normal heart rate for dogs is a resting rate of less than 35 breaths per minute – commonly mid-teens to mid-twenties. An elevated breathing rate repeated within the hour of more than 40 breaths a minute needs attention from your vet.

With timely treatments and therapy, most dogs with congestive heart failure can still have a good quality of life.

Saying Goodbye

This is a difficult process to go through, particularly when dog euthanasia is the choice you’ve made. We can provide you with some help with our Quality of Life Checklist. This will help you to understand some of the things going on with your dog and what to be aware of as their condition worsens.

Cloud 9 vets specialise in professional and respectful dog euthanasia in your own home. We can help you prepare for this and, when it comes to the time, we can take care of every aspect of your pet’s final care.

If you need some help, assistance or advice on this, please give us a call today.


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Dog Euthanasia In The UK

Dog Euthanasia Service Throughout the UK

Help your canine companion rest peacefully throughout their final hours. We are animal lovers who have lost pets ourselves, so we know that that this can be the hardest of decisions - during which time it is important to know that you are doing the right thing.

Our own experiences with the dog euthanasia that happens in veterinary clinics is that it most often lacks the calm, relaxing and comfortable environment that your dog is used to, after all, it is your pet’s the familiar home That is why we offer this gentler, more peaceful option which allows you to put your dog to sleep at home.

This means they can be comforted with treats and even remain in the comfort of their own bed with support from you and the rest of the family providing the same warm atmosphere that they have enjoyed throughout your lives together.

Caring Help and Support 7 days a week

We have many years’ experience of compassionately helping families whose pets who are approaching the end of their life. We are available to respectfully discuss your needs 7 days a week, our telephone lines are open 13 hours a day, from 7 am until 8 pm and it is even possible to arrange home visits at times outside of these hours.

If the time has come to put your dog to sleep, being in the secure and familiar environment of your own home is a great comfort, reducing stress for both your pet and your family. It is a dignified and gentle way to say a peaceful goodbye.

Putting a Dog to Sleep - How It Happens

Putting your dog to sleep at home removes much of the stress and pressure of having to take them into your local vet practice. There is usually no problem pampering and hugging and given them extra attention. Our concept and methods we use when putting a dog to sleep is given in more detail here. If you are just happy to know that they will pass away gently you might want to stop reading now! If you would like to know more, please read on.

The exact method we use when putting a dog to sleep is detailed here. If you are just happy to know that they will not suffer any pain whatsoever, you can stop reading here. If you need to know more, please read on.

Dog Euthanasia

The process involves two injections. The first is a sedation, a gentle injection, often given sub-cutaneously in the back of the neck, you dog may feel a small pinprick but this is only a slight discomfort. After this, they will gradually drift into a sedated sleep which generally takes between five and fifteen minutes. Once they are in a deep sleep there is one final injection to be given. At this point your pet will be in a sedated sleep. The vet will make a final decision regarding how to administer this injection. it may be given intravenously or another method if the vet thinks this is appropriate, your vet will lead you through the process. When you dog is in a state of deep sedated, they will not feel this injection.

The cost of putting a dog to sleep will not vary depending on the method used, so you have no worries there either.

Who Will Be Helping You?

You need to be confident that pet euthanasia is the best way to lessen their suffering before you proceed. That is why it is so important to have someone who can help and advise you. You can count on the Caring Vet we send to you, they:

  • Possess all of the skills needed to assess your dog's quality of life before recommending intervention
  • Have been providing assistance to families and their pets for many years
  • Are highly trained and qualified in the gentlest methods of putting down a dog at home

One of the most common questions we are asked is "how much does it cost to put a dog down? If you have any concerns about this or the procedure in general, please do get in touch with us at your earliest convenience.


You need to be absolutely sure that when you book a vet home visit that you're going to be getting care from someone that you can count on. You can see below what some of our clients have said about the support that we have given them :

  • Eloise Lee
    The day we had to say goodbye to our Jodie was the hardest day of our lives. Cloud 9 vets made it a little easier. We knew that Jodie was in a lot of pain and suffering badly, but the decision to put her to sleep was very difficult. Cloud 9 vets explained the whole procedure to us and assured us that she won't feel any pain. It was all over in 20 minutes. We had the time to say our goodbye to her.
    Eloise Lee
  • Testimonial
    Bear had a good life, so he deserved a good end. This service isn't something I'd really thought about before, but I rate it highly. He didn't suffer at all when it came to it and went out bravely. Makes it a little better to remember him that way.
    Wayne Ross
Making Arrangements

Contact us and tell us how we can help you. Make all of the arrangements for putting a dog down at a time which is suitable for you & your family. You can reach us between 7am and 8pm, 7 days a week. We will always be there to talk about any part of the process with you.
For an appointment today or tomorrow, please call us.