24 HOURS EMERGENCY I PHONE: 6251 7666
FaceBook    Instagram    WordPress


Normal Vital Signs In Dogs And Cats

Education > Dog Health & Behaviour 10th April 2019
 


To know what is abnormal in our pets, we have to first know what is normal. Three important vital signs to check: temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate. Vital signs in our dogs and cats are affected by their state of anxiety , life stage and activity as well as external factors such as room temperature. These reference numbers are to serve as a general guide.

DOGS: NORMAL VITAL SIGNS

  • Heart rate per minute: 80 – 120
  • Respiratory rate per minute: 15 – 30
  • Temperature: 38 – 39.2 °C

CATS: NORMAL VITAL SIGNS

  • Heart rate per minute: 100 – 140
  • Respiratory rate per minute: 20 – 30
  • Temperature: 38 – 39.2 °C

HOW TO CHECK TEMPERATURE

The most accurate way to take our dog’s or cat’s temperature is with a digital thermometer inserted rectally. Lubricate the thermometer with a water-based lubricant like KY jelly. Insert the thermometer gently into the rectum, located just below the base of the tail, and leave it in place until it beeps.



HOW TO MEASURE HEART RATE

The average heart rate of dogs and cats may vary according to breed and size, so it is important to know what is normal for your dog and cat when they are relaxed and at rest. Count the number of beats in 15 seconds. Multiply by 4 to get the heart rate in beats per minute (bpm).

Small dogs generally have faster heart rates while large dogs and those in good physical condition have slower rates. Heart rates may also be higher when your pets are in the clinics or at events, due to anxiety and excitement.

HOW TO MEASURE RESPIRATORY RATE

The chest rises with inspiration and falls with expiration. One cycle of inspiration and expiration equals one breath. When your dogs or cats are at rest, check their respiratory rate by counting the number of breaths for 1 minute.

Practise these steps at home until you are familiar with your pets’ normal vital signs and know when they seem “off” and require vet attention.

Dr Putri Iin, Mount Pleasant Animal Clinic (East)