How to Assess your Pets Condition

Before assisting your pet during an emergency you need to know what to assess and what normal vital signs are for your pet. Here are some guidelines you can follow:

Locating your pet’s pulse:

Lay your pet down on the right side, gently bend the left front leg at the elbow back till it touches the chest, this should be where the heart is. You can also feel it in the inner thigh, halfway between the knee and hip.

Normal Heart Rate or Pulse Values


Small breeds (30lbs or less) 100-160 beats/ minute

Medium to large (over 30 lbs) 60-100 beats/minute

Puppies (under 1 year) 120-160 beats/ minute


160-220 beats/minute

Normal Breathing Rates:

Dog: 10-30 breaths/ minute (not including panting)

Cat: 20-30 breaths/ minute (not including panting)

Normal Temperatures:

Dog: 37.5-39.3 degrees Celsius

Cat: 37.5-39.3 degrees Celsius

* Temperatures under 37.5 degrees and over 39.3 degrees warrant a call to your veterinarian.

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