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Checking Your Dog’s Vitals at Home

Saturday, April 16, 2022
posted by Jim Murphy

There are particular vital signs to look for if you suspect that your dog is sick. Make sure that you write these things down so that you can show them to your vet.

Temperature –  A normal temperature for a dog is between 100.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t check his temperature right after exercise or right after he wakes up. Results will not be accurate.

Gums – Gums should be pink in color and moist and slick to the touch. There’s a problem if they are pale, sticky or dry.

Heart Rate –Young puppies and small toy dogs will have a fast heart rate, averaging around 180 beats per minute. Medium and large dogs will have a heart rate – between 60-160 beats per minute. The larger the dog, the slower the normal heart rate.

Pulse – Take the pulse in the extremities. A dog’s pulse should be slightly slower that his heart rate. 60 beats per minute for a large dog and 120 bears per minute for a small dog.

Respiration – Small dogs will have a faster respiration rate around 30 breaths per minute and larger dogs will have a slower rate of respiration around 10 breaths per minute.

Dehyration –  If the dog bowl remains full, your dog may not be drinking enough .Check a dog for dehydration by pinching the skin at the dog’s scruff. Pull the skin upwards into a “tent” and then release. In a dehydrated dog, the skin will take several seconds to return to normal. The longer it takes the dog’s skin to return to normal, the more dehydrated the dog is. Dry gums are also a sign of dehydration.

If your dog stops eating is dog food and is not drinking,and  is spending an abnormal amount of time sleeping in his dog bed, these can be  signs that your dog is not well and must be seen by a vet as soon as possible.

Remember, pets are family!

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