Dog HealthDOGS

Dog vitals: temp, heart, breaths

As a dog owner, it’s essential to know your pet’s vital signs to ensure they are in good health. Three key indicators to keep an eye on are their temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate.

Dogs have different vital sign ranges than humans, so it’s crucial to understand what’s considered normal for your furry friend.

Key Takeaways

  • Normal temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate differ between dogs and humans.
  • Knowing your dog’s baseline vital sign range is crucial for detecting issues early on.
  • Regularly monitoring your dog’s vital signs can increase overall health and well-being.
  • If you notice any abnormal changes, seek veterinary care promptly.

The Importance of Monitoring Vital Signs

As a pet owner, monitoring your dog’s vital signs is crucial in ensuring their overall health and well-being. By regularly checking your dog’s temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate, you can detect any deviations from their established baseline and seek veterinary care if necessary.

Establishing baseline readings for your dog’s vital signs is essential in detecting any potential health issues early. This knowledge provides valuable insights into when your dog may need medical attention. Observing changes in their vital signs can indicate that there may be an underlying condition or disease that needs further investigation. Regularly monitoring your dog’s vital signs can help spot these changes early and prevent any serious health problems from developing.

Additionally, monitoring your dog’s vital signs at home is easy and inexpensive. With a thermometer, stethoscope, and respiratory rate monitor, you can keep a record of your dog’s baseline readings and track any relevant deviations. It is a simple and affordable way to take an active role in your dog’s health.

Ultimately, by monitoring your dog’s vital signs, you can maintain their health and help them live a happy and comfortable life. Remember that changes in your dog’s vital signs can signify underlying health issues, so it’s best to seek veterinary care if you notice any abnormal readings.

Normal Temperature in Dogs

It’s essential to understand what is considered normal body temperature for dogs, as they have a higher normal temperature than humans. A dog’s normal body temperature typically ranges between 99.5°F to 102.5°F (37.5°C to 39.2°C). The easiest and most reliable way to measure your dog’s temperature is to use a digital thermometer specifically designed for pets. Your veterinarian can demonstrate the proper technique to follow.

Dog Thermometer Ear,Designed for Dog,1 Second Reading,Fast and Accurate Measurement of Dog Body Temperature

It’s important to note signs of fever, which could indicate an underlying health issue. Signs of fever in dogs include:

  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Shivering or shaking
  • Warm ears and paws
  • Reddened eyes and nose

If you notice any of these symptoms along with a temperature above the normal range, contact your veterinarian for guidance. Monitoring your dog’s temperature regularly at home can help detect early signs of illness.

Normal Heart Rate in Dogs

A normal heart rate is vital to ensure your dog’s heart is functioning correctly.

The average heart rate for dogs is between 60 and 140 beats per minute, and this may vary based on several factors, including age, breed, and size. To check your dog’s heart rate, place your hand on their chest, behind the elbow, and count the number of beats per minute. Alternatively, you can use a stethoscope and count the beats while listening to their heart.

BreedHeart Rate (beats per minute)
Basset Hound60 – 80
Boxer60 – 90
Chihuahua90 – 120
Dachshund100 – 140

If you notice any irregularities in your dog’s heart rate, it’s essential to contact your veterinarian immediately. Some factors that can influence heart rate fluctuations include exercise, stress, excitement, and medications.

Remember, monitoring your dog’s heart rate is crucial in maintaining their cardiovascular health, and regular check-ups with your veterinarian are necessary to ensure your pet is healthy.

CONTEC CMS60D-VET Veterinary Pulse Oximeter Handheld Machine for Cat and Dog with Pulse Rate Tongue/ear SPO2 Probe

Factors Influencing Heart Rate

A dog’s heart rate can vary based on various factors that affect their physiological state. Understanding these different factors and their influence on heart rate can help you identify when your dog’s heart rate is within the normal range or if it requires attention.


Exercise is an important aspect of a dog’s overall health and well-being. But it can also have an immediate impact on their heart rate. During physical activity, the heart works harder to pump oxygen-rich blood to the muscles, resulting in an increase in heart rate. After exercise, the heart rate typically decreases as your dog’s body recovers.


Stress can also affect a dog’s heart rate. Just like in humans, stress can lead to an increase in heart rate. Factors such as loud noises, unfamiliar surroundings, and interactions with other dogs or people can cause stress and anxiety in some dogs.


Dogs are naturally excitable creatures, and just like with stress, excitement can cause an increase in heart rate. For example, when a dog sees their owner return home after a long day, their heart rate may increase due to the excitement of the reunion.

Note: It’s important to distinguish between a healthy and increased heart rate due to excitement and abnormal heart rate changes that require veterinary attention. With regular monitoring of your dog’s heart rate, you can learn to identify what is normal for your pet.

Normal Respiratory Rate in Dogs

Monitoring your dog’s breathing patterns is essential to assessing their respiratory health. A dog’s normal respiratory rate can vary depending on their size and breed, but the average rate is between 10 to 35 breaths per minute.

To observe your dog’s breathing, watch for the rise and fall of their chest and abdomen while at rest. A breathing rate higher than their normal or difficulty breathing (such as panting) can be signs of respiratory distress. Additionally, any unusual sounds when breathing, such as wheezing or coughing, warrant examination by a veterinarian.

It’s important to note that certain factors can also impact a dog’s respiratory rate, such as exercise or heat. However, if you suspect any respiratory issues, consult with your veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Abnormal Respiratory Patterns

Abnormal breathing patterns in dogs should not be ignored as they can be indicative of underlying health problems or respiratory distress. Some abnormal patterns that you may observe include:

  • Rapid breathing (tachypnea)
  • Slow breathing (bradypnea)
  • Shallow breathing
  • Labored breathing
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Panting when at rest

The potential causes of abnormal breathing patterns in dogs include:

Airway obstructionCoughing, gagging, wheezing, and struggling to breathe.
Heart diseaseLabored breathing, coughing, wheezing, and lack of appetite.
InfectionCoughing, congestion, wheezing, and fatigue.
AllergiesCoughing, sneezing, wheezing, and itching.

If you notice any abnormal breathing patterns or respiratory distress symptoms such as restlessness, blue-tinged gums, or excessive panting, seek veterinary attention immediately. Your vet can diagnose the underlying cause and provide appropriate treatment.

Monitoring Vital Signs at Home

Regularly monitoring your furry friend’s vital signs is a proactive way to stay on top of their health. As a responsible pet owner, you can learn to monitor your dog’s temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate to help detect potential issues early on. Here are some tips on how to properly monitor your dog’s vital signs at home:


The first step in monitoring your dog’s temperature is to purchase a reliable digital thermometer designed for canine use. Next, insert the thermometer rectally and hold it in place for 2-3 minutes or until it beeps. A dog’s normal temperature range is between 99.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s essential to record your dog’s temperature readings and monitor them over time to detect any deviations from their baseline. Consult with your veterinarian if you notice any abnormal temperature changes in your dog.

Dog Thermometer Ear,Designed for Dog,1 Second Reading,Fast and Accurate Measurement of Dog Body Temperature

Heart Rate

The easiest way to measure your dog’s heart rate is by feeling their pulse. Place your hand on your dog’s chest, just behind their elbow joint, and count the beats for 15 seconds. Multiply that number by four to obtain your dog’s heart rate per minute. A healthy dog’s heart rate usually ranges from 60 to 140 beats per minute, depending on the breed, size, age, and exercise level. Regular monitoring of the heart rate can alert you to any issues and help you seek timely veterinary care.

Respiratory Rate

To monitor your dog’s respiratory rate, observe their breathing pattern while they are resting and at a normal, calm state. Count the number of breaths they take in 30 seconds and multiply the number by two to calculate their respiratory rate per minute. A healthy dog’s respiratory rate is between 10 and 30 breaths per minute, depending on size. If you notice any signs of respiratory distress, such as wheezing, coughing, or difficulty breathing, seek veterinary care right away.

By monitoring your dog’s vital signs regularly, you can help them maintain good health and detect any potential issues early on. If you notice any abnormal changes, it’s crucial to seek veterinary care and follow through with the recommended treatment plan.

When to Seek Veterinary Care

Monitoring your dog’s vital signs is essential to maintaining their overall health and well-being. However, even with regular monitoring, abnormal vital signs can still occur. Knowing when to seek veterinary care can play a crucial role in your pet’s recovery. Here are some red flags to look out for:

  • Abnormal Vital Signs: If your dog’s temperature, heart rate, or respiratory rate falls outside of the normal range, it’s essential to seek veterinary care immediately.
  • Signs of Discomfort: Dogs can’t communicate their discomfort verbally, but they may exhibit certain behaviors that indicate they are feeling ill, such as licking or biting at a specific area, vocalizing, or hiding.
  • Signs of Distress: More severe symptoms like difficulty breathing, pale gums, loss of appetite, lethargy, or collapse require immediate medical attention.

If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian right away. Your veterinarian will perform a thorough examination and run any necessary tests to diagnose and treat any potential health issues.


Welcome to our pet blog, where we celebrate the joy and companionship that pets bring to our lives. Our team is passionate about all things related to pets, from care tips to heartwarming stories, and we are dedicated to sharing our knowledge and experiences with fellow pet lovers.

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