How to Check Your Dog’s Vitals

March 14th, 2017

A common school of thought says a wet nose means a healthy dog. That’s likely true, but the wetness could also be due to humidity, a runny nose, or allergies. So it’s important to learn how to check your dog’s vitals. 

These are the 3 things you should be checking:


  • gum color
  • heart rate or pulse
  • temperature

Here’s how to check your dog’s vitals:

10151200_866599933362605_4756949098954046285_nGum Check

Lift up your dog’s lip and check out the color of his gums. They should be pink. If they’re dark blue, red, or white, call your vet.

Heart Rate

Hold your hand against your dog’s chest and count the number of heartbeats for 15 seconds. Multiply that number by 4. This gives you total beats per minute (bmp). Healthy small dogs under 30lbs should be in the 100-160 bpm range. Healthy dogs 30lbs+ should be in the 60-100 bpm range.  If the number you get is way off, or the heartbeat feels irregular, call your vet.


Place some vaseline or KY jelly on a digital thermometer and place it about 1″ into your dog’s rear end. Wait until the thermometer beeps to get the reading. Normal temperature is 101.5F. If your dog’s temperature is over 102, call your vet.

Now that you know how to check your dog’s vitals, you’ll be prepared for anything that comes up in the future.