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How to Check the Respiratory Rate of Dogs and Cats

Practice checking your pet's respiratory rate when he's healthy so you can determine what's abnormal and what's not.

Have your pet stand or lie down.

Grab a stopwatch or a watch with a second hand.

Look for signs of inhalation, such as the chest rising and falling.

Put a tissue or mirror by your pet's nostrils and look for tissue movement or fogging on the mirror if it's difficult to determine when the animal is breathing.

Count the amount of times your pet breathes in 15 seconds.

Multiply the number by 4. This number will be rate of respirations per minute.

Contact your veterinarian if your pet's respiratory rate is out of normal range.

Tip

Average respiratory rate of dogs is 10 to 30 breaths per minute. A dog can have up to 200 pants per minute. Average respiratory rate of cats is 20 to 30 breaths per minute. A cat can have up to 300 pants per minute. If a cat pants for more than a few minutes, call the veterinarian immediately.

Things You'll Need

  • Dog Toys
  • Mirrors
  • Facial Tissues
  • Watches With Second Hands
  • Cat Toys
  • Stopwatches
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