Taking a Pulse

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4 min 1 sec
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Checking Your Pet's Pulse: Step-by-Step Guide

1. Locating the Pulse

The femoral artery is the ideal spot to measure your dog's or cat's pulse, easily found on the inside of the back leg.

2. Measuring the Pulse

Follow these steps for an accurate pulse measurement:

  • Timing is Key: Measure the pulse when your pet is at rest.
  • Avoid Your Thumb: Do not use your thumb, as it has its own pulse.
  • Keep a Clock Handy: Ensure you have a visible timing device nearby.
  • Counting the Beats: Count the number of pulses over 15 seconds.
  • Calculate the Rate: Multiply the count by four to determine the pulse rate.
  • Record the Result: Make a note of the pulse rate for future reference.

3. Understanding Normal Pulse Rates

Normal pulse rates can vary, so it's crucial to know what's typical for your pet:

  • Varying Ranges: A dog's pulse rate typically falls between 40 to 100 beats per minute.
  • Reference Chart: Refer to our downloadable chart for specific heart rate ranges based on pet size and type.

4. Considering Veterinary Visits

During vet visits, pulse rates may differ due to excitement or anxiety:

  • Expected Increase: Be prepared for an elevated rate during vet visits; for instance, a cat's resting pulse of 100 to 140 may rise to 220 when at the vet.
  • Resting Pulse: Always be aware of your pet's resting pulse as a baseline reference.