How To Check Your Pet’s Vitals

How To Check Your Pet's Vitals

In the event of an emergency, you may need to know how to check your pet’s vitals. Although we hope this is never something that you have to do, you’ll be incredibly thankful if an incident occurs and you know how to do it!

First, it’s important that you know the normal vitals of your pet, which include its heart rate, temperature, and respiratory rate. Try checking your pet’s vitals when it’s in good repair so that you know what to compare its vitals to in an emergency situation.

Heart Rate

Place your index finger and your middle finger on your pet’s chest, right where it meets the elbow. Here you should be able to feel a pulse. Once you locate the pulse, keep a timer handy and count the number of beats you feel in fifteen seconds. After you have that number, multiply it by four. This is your pet’s heart rate. Within this article, there’s a small section that outlines what’s generally considered normal heart rates for cats, big dogs, and small dogs.


Go to your local pet store to purchase a rectal thermometer in order to check your pet’s temperature. Generally speaking, this is the most accurate way to take your dog or cat’s temperature. If the thermometer reads between 100.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, this is normal.

Respiratory Rate

Your pet’s respiratory rate can easily be gauged just by monitoring your pet’s breathing. If your pet is having trouble breathing or breathing unusually fast or slow, something is probably wrong. The best way to determine your pet’s respiratory rate is just by counting the number of breaths it takes in fifteen seconds and multiplying that number by four.


Now that you know how to check your pet’s vitals, give it a try! Make sure to write them down so you’ll be able to compare the numbers in case of an emergency situation. Knowing how to check your pet’s vitals is key to being able to care for it in times of need.

For more information on how to check your pet’s vitals and better insight on your pet’s health, contact Caudle Vet Clinic at (615) 227-6230 to schedule a check-up! Providing compassionate care for your furry friends is our number one priority, and we’re proud to offer an on-site pharmacy, a surgery suite, and a bathing a boarding facility to keep your pet in tip-top shape.

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