The most important thing you can do for your dog with heart disease is to watch it closely. Monitor your dog’s appetite, behavior, and level of movement. Be sure to alert your veterinarian of any changes in your dog, such as weight loss or increased water consumption.
Respiration rates are an additional method of monitoring your dog’s health. Counting your dog’s breaths per minute can help you assess your dog’s lung function and overall health.
When your dog is resting or sleeping, count the number of breaths he or she takes in 15 seconds. Multiply that number by 4 to get the number of breaths per minute. If the “resting” respiratory rate increases by more than 20 percent over 2 to 3 days, contact your veterinarian.
Remember that there is no substitute for the personalized care your dog receives from the veterinarian, so always seek professional advice.