THREE PET VITAL SIGNS

PART 1

Your Pets Depend On You For Knowing This

Whenever you take your dog or cat to the animal clinic, there are three pet vital signs your vet will want to check out first. These are the heart rate, respiratory rate, and body temperature. 

Even though there are well-established norms, which I will share with you momentarily, what’s “normal” for your particular pet may differ slightly from another. For that reason, it is helpful for a pet parent to establish what’s typical for their dog or cat and use it as a point of reference for potential situations in the future. These could apply when there is an illness or an accident.

Flat-face (brachycephalic) breeds like the English Bulldog are particularly susceptible to overheating, so knowing the three pet vital signs is really important. Photo courtesy of Matitoe
Flat-face (brachycephalic) breeds like the English Bulldog are particularly susceptible to overheating, so knowing the three pet vital signs is really important.
Photo courtesy of Matitoe

Pet Temperature Pulse Respiration (TPR) Norms

In this section you will see the first aid norms that the American Red Cross has published in their guidelines for canines and felines. They make the point that the TPR norms for canines and felines do differ. And, in addition to that, they draw your attention to the fact that rates outside these ranges could signal a medical emergency.

Neither domesticated cats nor feral felines are used to frigid outdoor temperatures, so please don’t let them suffer from the deadly cold. Photo courtesy of Jacob Rush
Neither domesticated cats nor feral felines are used to frigid outdoor temperatures, so please don’t let them suffer from the deadly cold.
Photo courtesy of Jacob Rush

The Three Pet Vital Signs To Watch

Pet Pulse Norms

Normal Heart and Pulse Rates for Dogs

Puppy (less than 1 year old): 

120-160 beats per minute

Small, miniature or toy breed (30 pounds or less): 

100-140 beats per minute 

Medium to large breed (greater than 30 pounds):

60-100 beats per minute

Normal Heart and Pulse Rates for Cats

160-220 beats per minute

Pet Breathing Norms

Normal Breathing Rates for Dogs

10-30 breaths per minute

Up to 200 pants per minute (breathing with its mouth open and tongue out)

Normal Breathing Rates for Cats

20-30 breaths per minute

Pet Temperature Norms

Normal Temperatures for Dogs

A temperature of 100º-102.5ºF is normal

A temperature lower than 100ºF or greater than 104ºF is an emergency

Normal Temperatures for Cats

100º-102.5ºF is normal

A temperature lower than 100ºF or greater than 104ºF is an emergency

To Sum Up

The logical next step dealing with this topic is to explain how you can check your pet’s three vital signs at home. Actually, it’s not as complicated as it may sound. Moreover, it’s well worth investing a little time to learn these techniques and put them into practice periodically. It will give you peace of mind knowing that your pet is well and stable. 

In a few hours from now, the link to Part 2 will go live https://petpeevesunmasked.com/home-check-pets-vitals/. See you all again very soon!

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!