Why should I evaluate my pet’s breathing rate at home?
An increase in your pet’s breathing rate while resting quietly or sleeping is a very important early clue (clinical sign) that your pet may be developing heart failure and needs to see your veterinarian. Your observations can help limit how sick your pet becomes, reduce the chances that your pet will ever have to stay overnight in the hospital, and help reduce the costs associated with heart failure treatment.
Why is my dog breathing fast?
To be able to spot abnormal breathing, we need to understand what a healthy respiratory (breathing) rate for a dog is. An average healthy pet should take between 15 to 35 breaths per minute when resting. (Of course, while exercising, your pooch will naturally breathe faster).
Anything above 40 breaths per minute while your dog is at rest, is considered abnormal and worth investigating.
That said, pet parents need to keep in mind that not all panting is bad. Panting helps your pup to regulate their body temperature, cooling them down and allowing water and heat to evaporate from the tongue, the mouth, and upper respiratory tract.
Unlike people, your pup doesnt sweat to cool down, instead, they need to breathe fast to allow air to circulate efficiently through the body. Rapid breathing allows a dog’s body to get back to a normal temperature.
Tips for Monitoring Your Pet’s Respiratory Rate
A resting respiratory rate is the number of times your pet takes a complete breath (in and out) within a 60 second period while at rest or sleeping (as opposed to when active, playing or dreaming). Respiratory rates should be monitored in pets with significant heart disease and a risk of developing congestive heart failure (fluid in or around the lungs).
This type of monitoring helps to catch the earliest signs of congestive heart failure before the condition develops into an emergency situation potentially requiring hospitalization and oxygen therapy.