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The best place to take a dog's pulse is over the femoral artery, this runs down the inside of the back leg and you can find it quite easily.

  • Take the pulse when the dog is resting
  • Don't use your thumb as it has a pulse
  • Have a clock or timing device that you can easily see
  • Count the number of pulses over 15 seconds and multiply by four to calculate the pulse rate
  • Make a note of the pulse rate for future reference.

A normal pulse rate for a dog is going to be between forty to one hundred, that is a wide range, so it is important for you to know what is normal for your pet. We have provided a chart in the download area so you can see the different heart rate ranges for different sizes of dog and different pets.

If you take your pet to the vet, they will allow for an increase in rate, as your pet may be anxious or excited, for example a cat can have a resting pulse of 100 to 140 beats per minute, this could increase to up to 220 when taken to the vet.  Again it is important to know the resting pulse

  • Taking your cat's pulse using your fingers
  • Take it when your cat is at rest
  • Take it over the femoral artery on the inside of the back leg 
  • Count pulse for 15 seconds and multiply by four
  • Make a note of the pulse rate for future reference.