Normal Temperatures, Pulse Rates and Respiration Rates for Pets

by VetDepot on September 30, 2011

dog-cat-temperaturesA pet’s temperature, pulse rate and respiration rate are all indicators of whether an animal is sick or well. It’s a good idea to have a thermometer in the house that is designated for pet use only.

Using a rectal thermometer for dogs and cats is a relatively inexpensive and easy option if your pet is cooperative. Ear thermometers are another option. Follow the directions that came with your specific thermometer to get an accurate reading.

For the respiratory rate, count the number of breaths your pet takes in 15 seconds and then multiply that number by four.  Either watch for each rise of the chest wall or place your hand in front of the nose and count each exhale that you feel.  Pulse rates can be taken by feeling for a pulse over the femoral artery in the upper inner thigh for small animals or the artery that runs just inside the back of the jawbone in large animals.  Alternatively, place your hand on the lower, left side of the chest and feel for the heartbeat.  Again, count for 15 seconds and then multiply by four.

The normal vital parameters for common pet species are as follows:

species

heart rate

(beats per minute)

respiration rate

(breaths per minute)

body temperature (۫°F)

cat

120-170

20-40

100-103.1

dog

70-120

20-34

99.5-102.5

ferret

200-400

33-36

100-104

guinea pig

240-310

42-105

99-103.1

horse

28-40

10-14

99-101.3

rabbit

120-150

30-60

101.3-104

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