Knowing how to get your pet’s vital signs is very important. It will come in handy during emergency situations that may involve your pet; oftentimes, it can spell the difference between the life and death of a pet.
The vital signs of an animal include its temperature, pulse or heart rate, and respiratory rate. To get the heartbeat, lay your dog or cat down on his right side and place your finger at the point where your pet’s elbow touches his chest. Gently lift your pet’s upper hind leg away from his lower leg so you can feel his pulse on his inner thigh.
The normal temperature of cats is between 37.7 and 39.1ºC (100 – 102.5ºF); normal heart rate is 160-220 beats per minute; and the normal respiratory rate is 20-30 breaths per minute. Dogs have a normal temperature of 38.3 – 39.2ºC (101 – 102.5ºF), a normal respiratory rate at rest of 10 – 35 breaths per minute and 60 – 130 heart beats.