If you’re the proud parent of a Pomeranian, then you want to make sure that their health is always your top priority. That’s why it’s important to be aware of how many breaths your dog takes in a minute, and what that means for their overall well-being. So, what’s a healthy Pomeranian breathing rate?
A healthy Pomeranian breathing rate is 15-30 breaths per minute during rest or sleeping conditions. If your dog’s respiration rate exceeds 30 breaths per minute, it could be a sign of cardiac failure or lung disease. However, after exercise or other kinds of activity, it’s normal for Pomeranians to breathe more rapidly than usual (which will put their breathing rate outside of the normal range). This is simply their way of cooling down.
Let’s take a closer look at the method and importance of taking your Pomeranian’s breathing rate, as well as how often you should do it.
Pomeranian Breathing Rate: Too Fast, Too Slow, or Just Right
Pomeranians, small toy breeds, have higher breathing rates compared to normal-sized dogs. To spot the abnormal breathing rate, you need to understand what is considered healthy/normal (breathing rate at sleep or rest) for a Pomeranian. These and other Pomeranian breathing problems are important to spot.
Normal Breathing Rate
The healthy breathing rate for a Pomeranian is between 15-30 breaths per minute. The average normal breathing rate is between 24 breaths per minute.
Abnormal Breathing Rate
Tachypnea (too fast): If your Pomeranian’s breathing rate exceeds 30 breaths per minute (tachypnea), then it is considered too fast and may be an indication of a health problem such as pneumonia, heart disease, or pain.
Bradypnea (too slow): If your Pomeranian’s breathing rate is less than 15 breaths per minute (bradypnea), then it is considered too slow and may be indicative of a health problem such as hypothermia or heart failure.
Breathing Rate After Exercise
Breathing rate after exercise may exceed the normal range and gets normal after a while. Your Pom can’t sweat to cool down their body, instead, they breathe fast (panting) allowing more air in their body to regulate their normal body temperature (normal temperature is 101.0 to 102.5 F). During panting, dogs evaporate heat and water from their tongue, mouth, and upper respiratory tract.
How Can You Measure Your Dog’s Breathing Rate?
Measuring your pet’s breathing rate is a simple and easy task, helping you to catch medical problems before they get severe and hard to treat. As the dog’s fast breathing is connected with heart disease so monitoring your dog’s breathing rate is essential (having a heart disease history). Here are things to follow while taking respiration rate.
Take Respiration Rate When Your Dog Is Calm
As you know, a dog’s respiration rate changes with activity and excitement. That’s why it would be best if you take your dog’s respiration rate when they are resting or sleeping because that will give you the most accurate number. When dogs are panting, their respiration rate can go up to 10 times the normal rate, so it wouldn’t give you an accurate reading.
Use a Watch or Clock
To measure your dog’s respiration rate, use a watch or clock with a second hand. You can also use an app on your phone if it has a stopwatch feature.
Place Your Hand on Their Chest
To measure your dog’s respiration rate, place your hand on its chest and count the number of times its chest rises and falls in one minute. You can also count the number of breaths they take in one minute by watching their abdomen. Keep in mind that some dogs might have a higher/lower rate depending on their size.
Take Their Respiration Rate Twice
To get an accurate reading, take your dog’s respiration rate twice and then average the two numbers together. This will help to ensure that your dog’s respiration rate is not just a fluke and that they are, in fact, having an abnormal respiration rate.
Why Should You Take Your Dog’s Breathing Rate at Home?
As responsible pet parents, you should take your dog’s respiration rate at home to get a baseline reading. This will help you to know what is normal for your dog and make it easier to spot any changes that might occur. Taking your dog’s respiration rate at the vet’s clinic can be tricky as they may be excited or nervous, which can raise their breathing rate. Some benefits to take your dog’s breathing rate at home include:
- Helps to catch medical problems before they get severe and hard to treat
- Gives an accurate reading
- Can be done when the dog is calm
- Useful for dogs with a heart disease history
How Often Should You Take the Sleeping/Resting Breathing Rate of Your Dog?
Generally speaking, it is recommended that you take your dog’s sleeping/resting breathing rate at least once a week. However, If your dog is suffering from a disease, it’s important to keep track of its breathing rate. This will help you and your veterinarian determine how well your dog is responding to treatment and whether any adjustments need to be made, including using specific throat medicine or a no-pull dog harness while walking your dog.
Once Per Day – If Your Dog Has Heart Failure
If your dog has been diagnosed with heart failure and is on medication like furosemide i.e., a diuretic. It’s important to take its sleeping/resting breathing rate every day. This will help you and your veterinarian determine whether the disease is progressing and whether any changes need to be made to the treatment plan.
Once/Twice Per Week – If Your Dog Has Asymptomatic Heart Issue
If your dog has asymptomatic heart disease, meaning it doesn’t show any signs of the disease, you should take its sleeping/resting breathing rate once per day or once or twice per week. This way, you and your veterinarian can keep track of the disease and make sure it isn’t progressing.
Pomeranians with advanced heart asymptomatic heart disease are more susceptible to developing congestive heart failure by next year.
Congestive Heart Failure: How It Can Affect Your Pomeranian
If your Pomeranian has been diagnosed with congestive heart failure, it’s important to monitor its breathing rate. Pomeranians with congestive heart failure (CHF) show different signs associated with CHF such as
- Fast and labored breathing while sleeping or resting (respiratory distress)
- Excessive panting
- A swollen belly
- Persistent loss of appetite
- Reduced stamina
- Don’t engage in walking or playing
- Tire out more easily
- Gagging or coughing while sleeping or at rest
- Bluish gums
- Weakness, weight loss and may get collapsed
- Depressed attitude and not interactive
- Agitation and restlessness
What to Do if Your Pomeranian Is Breathing Abnormally?
If you’re noticing that your Pomeranian is breathing abnormally, it’s important to take its breathing rate. To do so, simply count the number of times your dog breathes in and out over the course of one minute. If the breathing rate is more than 30 breaths per minute, this is considered abnormal and you should contact your veterinarian immediately.
The following are signs that show something may be wrong and you should seek medical attention:
- Open-mouthed breathing
- Engaging stomach muscles to assist with breathing
- Uncharacteristic drooling
- Fast and louder breathing (sounding different than normal)
- Pale, brick, or blue-tinged red gums
- Reluctance to eat, drink or move
Treatment for Abnormal Breathing Rates in Pomeranian
If your dog’s breathing rate is abnormal, the first step is to contact your veterinarian. They will likely want to perform a physical examination and may recommend some tests, such as a chest x-ray or an electrocardiogram (ECG). Once the cause of the abnormal breathing rate is determined, your veterinarian will develop a treatment plan. Treatment of your Pomeranian depends on the cause of abnormal or rapid breathing.
Heart failure: If your dog has heart failure, treatment will focus on managing the disease and preventing further progression. This may include diuretics to remove excess fluid from the body, ACE inhibitors to improve blood flow, and/or beta-blockers to slow the heart rate.
Anxiety: If anxiety is the cause of your dog’s rapid breathing, treatment will focus on reducing stress and helping your dog feel more relaxed. This may include behavior modification training, anti-anxiety medication, and/or pheromone therapy.
Another way to help your dog avoid the pains of abnormal breathing is to make sure they get enough exercise. A great way to do this is by going on a daily walk around your neighborhood, ideally using a no-pull dog harness that’ll keep their windpipe free and clear.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Is My Pomeranian Breathing Heavy?
Your Pomeranian may pick up infections such as kennel cough and pneumonia which cause difficulty in breathing and heavy panting. Some medications, obesity, discomfort, pain, and lung tumors can also cause your pet to breathe heavily.
Why Is My Dog Breathing Fast but Not Panting?
When your dog is overheating & becomes dehydrated quickly, he starts to breathe heavily without panting. Traumas, gastrointestinal disorders, laryngeal paralysis, injuries, and sore muscles are all reasons.
What Does Labored Breathing Look Like in a Dog?
Sitting up with elbows/front legs spread out (wide stance) to breathe. Belly moving heavily in and out while breathing. Blue-tinged gums and frothing or foaming at the mouth.
What Is Shallow Breathing?
Basically, shallow breathing is shorter exhaling and inhaling with an equal rhythm compared to normal breathing. While breath shortness, inhalation is much shorter than inhalation.
How Long Do Pomeranians Live with Congestive Heart Failure?
After the development of congestive heart failure, the expected survival time for Pomeranians is between 6 to 14 months.
Is Congestive Heart Failure Common in Pomeranians?
Hereditary heart defects/flaws are the root cause of congestive heart failure (CHF) in many small breeds like Pomeranians. It means it’s a common genetic condition in Pomeranians that can’t be treated.
A dog’s respiratory rate can tell you a lot about its health. If you notice any changes in your Pomeranian’s breathing rate, it’s important to contact your veterinarian right away. By taking respiration rate at home, you can catch any abnormalities early and get your dog the treatment it needs.