How to take basic vitals of my dog?

How Do I Take My Dogs Pulse?

There are several areas on the dog's body where you may be able to feel the pulse. A pulse occurs with every heart beat. Sometimes, you can just place your hands low on your dog's chest, near the elbow joint, and feel the heart beats. You can count how many beats you feel in 15 seconds and then multiply it be 4. That will give you the pulse.

A second place to find the pulse is high on the inner side of the thigh. You will be feeling for the femoral artery. Place two fingers on the middle of the thigh near where the leg joins the body. What you feel is the 'femoral pulse.' The femoral pulse can be very difficult to feel in cats.

It is always best to use your fingers to feel the pulse. If you use your thumb, and press too hard, what you feel will actually be your own pulse.

The normal pulse for a dog ranges from 70 to 180 beats per minute. In general, the larger the dog, the slower the pulse. Puppies generally have a fast pulse, up to 220 beats per minute. Cats usually have a pulse of 120-240 beats per minute.

The pulse of a dog is not always steady. Sometimes, the rate changes as the dog breathes in and out. The pulse will be faster on inspiration and slower on expiration. This is normal and is called sinus arrhythmia.

 

How Do I Take My Dogs Temperature?

You may have heard that you can tell whether your dog has a fever by feeling his nose -- cool and wet is good, hot and dry means fever -- but it’s not that simple. In fact, dog fever often goes unrecognized or undetected.

The only accurate way to tell if your dog has an increased body temperature is to take his rectal temperature. Experts recommend using a digital thermometer specifically designed for rectal use in dogs. Most thermometers intended for use in human ears do not work well for this purpose.

To take your dog’s temperature, first coat the thermometer with a lubricant such as petroleum gel or baby oil. Next, gently insert the thermometer about one inch into your dog’s anus and wait for results. Most thermometers sold for this purpose will take less than 60 seconds to register.

The normal body temperature for dogs is between 101 and 102.5 F, compared to 97.6 to 99.6 F for humans. This means your dog may feel feverish to you even when his temperature is completely normal.

The word “fever” is typically used to describe elevated body temperature caused by infection or inflammation. A temperature of more than 103 F is considered a dog fever.

When dogs have high temperatures that are the result of hot external temperatures or excessive exercise in humid conditions, the condition is referred to as hyperthermia or heat stroke. When temperatures reach 106 F, serious and fatal complications can occur.