Normal Vital Signs for Dogs and Cats

Small breed dogs (30 lbs or less): 100 – 220 beats per minute
Medium to large breed dogs (30 lbs plus): 60 – 180 beats per minute
Puppy (up to 1 year of age): 60 – 220 beats per minute
Cats: 140 – 220 beats per minute

Normal Respiration

Dogs: 10 – 30 breaths per minute and up to 200 pants per minute
Cats: 24 – 42 breaths per minute

Normal Temperatures

Dogs: 99.5º – 102.5º F
Cats: 100.5º – 102.5º F

Finding a dog or cat’s pulse

There are several areas on the dog or cat’s body where you may be able to feel the pulse. Sometimes, you can just place your hands low on your pet’s chest, near the elbow joint, and feel the heart beat. You can count how many beats you feel in 15 seconds and then multiply it be 4. That will give you the pulse. A second place to find the pulse is high on the inner side of the thigh. You will be feeling for the femoral artery. Place two fingers on the middle of the thigh near where the leg joins the body. What you feel is the ‘femoral pulse.’

It is always best to use your fingers to feel the pulse. If you use your thumb, and press too hard, what you feel will actually be your own pulse.

Feeding your pet

Ask your veterinarian at your pet’s next physical for their ideal weight. Other indicators to consider are activity level, coat condition, stage of life and overall health status. Using a higher quality food will limit the number of empty carbs and fats your pet will intake. We never recommend “people food” for your pet. Overfeeding treats can be just as damaging to your pet’s health. After a thorough physical is completed, the veterinarian and staff can work with you to develop a plan to ensure your pet is getting the proper nutrition. Weekly “weigh in’s” can be done free of charge to track progress. Malnutrition as well as obesity in pets can be deadly but by partnering together with you, the owner, we can help you to enjoy many happy, active years with your pet.

Training and Behavior Issues

The staff is always available to assist with behavior and training questions. It’s never too early or too late to start training your pet. Below are some basic training sheets that you may find helpful.


External parasites – fleas and ticks. Because our area does not have hard freezes in the winter months (ground frozen below 18 inches), has an abundance of vegetation, a large wildlife population as well as water sources we have seen an ever growing problem with fleas and ticks. We have several product options, oral and topical, for your pet and we can discuss what would be best based on lifestyle.  

Internal parasites – tapeworms, hookworms, heartworms, roundworms, etc. While your pet may contract each of these parasites from different sources they all can be detrimental to their overall health. Tapeworms are contracted by your pet ingesting infected fleas. Heartworms can be transmitted from infected mosquitoes. Others are found in the environment. A simple test is recommended to determine if a parasite is present and the appropriate medication can then be administered. The staff can then work with you to help prevent the recurrence of infection.

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