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Dog Congestive Heart Failure: When to Put Them Down?

My dog is having a Congestive Heart Failure… when do I put my dog down?
When it comes to Congestive Heart Failures, it all depends on the number of factors that you may observe when it is happening. Truly, it is very painful for us to see our beloved dogs in pain. It is much more painful when we come across the thought of having to put them down.

Having to know when to put them down is a matter of observation. Always consult your dog’s veterinarian whenever you think it might be time to do so. By then, you will know when to put them down.

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What is Congestive Heart Failure in Dogs and its Causes?

What is a Congestive Heart Failure in Dogs?

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To start off, a Congestive Heart Failure in Dogs is a condition in which the dog’s heart is having problems pumping blood. When it happens, the required blood we need to be pumped every day won’t be met which can result to increase of pressure and fluids that may leak out in the lungs or everywhere in their body.

It sounds quite terrible, I know. Because of this heart disease, your dog’s respiratory system won’t be functioning normally as it should. Hindering of the normal lung expansion may occur as well us oxygen having trouble finding its way to your dog’s blood stream.

What causes Congestive Heart Failure in Dogs?

Well, there are actually lots of possible causes to why your dog may be having a Congestive Heart Failure. But the most common cause of this heart disease is through genetics. It could be that your dog has a family tree or history of older dogs having the same thing.

However, other possible causes can be that your dog is already very old and this can trigger a heart problem. It could also be that your dog might have gotten into a big something that caused this problem such as activity injuries.

Another factor would be the lack of exercise and the wrong diet. Sometimes, in order for us to stay healthy without any physical problems, we all have to make sure we are eating the right foods and doing enough exercise to avoid these. This could be the cause to why your dog has a Congestive Heart Failure.

Dog Congestive Heart Failure Symptoms

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Maybe you are quite unsure whether your pet is experiencing Congestive Heart Failure or not. It could be something else. In order to know whether your pet really is having a heart disease, take a look at these symptoms that your pet may be experiencing when having the Congestive Heart Failure:

  • Coughing excessively

Pet patients with Congestive Heart Failure mostly experience excessive coughing which usually happens right after an exercise or before bed. This is because there is a fluid build-up happening in the dog’s lungs.

  • Difficulty in Breathing Properly

When your heart is not pumping enough blood and that oxygen is certainly having a hard time getting to the blood stream, breathing would be very difficult at times for your dog.

  • Fainting from time to time

Because of the fluid build-up as well as the lack of oxygen, your dog may faint right after an activity or at random times when their heart is not functioning properly at all.

  • Easily gets tired

Even if you have given your dog a moderate amount of exercises, they easily get tired and perhaps even dizzy. Fainting may come afterward or excessive coughing.

  • Weight Losses

Once your dog is suffering from a Congestive Heart Failure, they will certainly lose the ability to store fat in their bodies. Because of that, their weight may drop.

  • Difficulty in Settling Down to Sleep

Your dog may be trying to pace before sleeping, trying to breathe and relax, but having a heart disease like this doesn’t exactly give them that peaceful sleep or life.

What You Can Do to Treat It

Now, there may be some ways to treat your dog’s heart problem. Though it may cost you lots of money, time, tears, and patience. Once you have consulted a veterinarian, they may be able to do some things to help. What they can do are:

  • Give medicine to your dog that helps the heart work better to correct any irregular pumping
  • Give medicine to your dog that is able to slow down any fluid build-up in their lungs
  • Giving your dog a heart surgery to fix any torn valve or to place a pacemaker to correct heartbeats
  • Give your dog a prescription for low-salt dietary foods to aid in decreasing any fluid build-up in their lungs
  • Give you the advice to limit and manage your dog’s exercises until progress has been made
  • May give you helpful supplements such as vitamin B, taurine, Coenzyme Q, Vitamin E, and carnitine.

To make this work, you have to be consistent in dealing with your pet’s health. Always take the advice of a veterinarian.

How to Know When it is Too Late to Save Them

When you have been trying, trying and trying to help save your pet from all the pain. There are just those times that it may not work anymore. Those times when it’s just too late. You may know how it’s too late once you have observed these factors from your pet…

  • Symptoms are the same even after all the medication given
  • Your pet is no longer actively moving around the house anymore
  • Your pet is always in the exact same spot
  • Suffering noises can be heard so much
  • No progress has been observed after taking your veterinarian’s advice
  • Your veterinarian sees that your dog can no longer take any more medication
  • More painful symptoms have developed

Once you find anything within the list that matches up to your observation, then I’m sad to say that… it is time. It is time to put them down.

Useful Videos That May Help You Through the Process

“How to Know When it is Time”

“How to Say Goodbye to Your Pet”

“How to Put Your Dog to Sleep”


Congestive Heart Failure is one of the scariest things that could ever happen to us or to someone we love. What is more worst is that it can happen quite unexpectedly or unknowingly. This is why we all must know the causes, symptoms and the possible treatments of this heart disease. It is also heavily advised that when it happens, you have to go to the vet immediately.


Dear my friends, I’m Susan J.Varney, as a dog lover, I’m here to give you best advices and experiences of mine to help you deal with your cute, lovely dogs. was established with the goal to equip you with knowledge about nutrition, common diseases, habits of your dogs. Also, I teach you some simple ways to train your intelligent dogs. Read more

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