How to Check Your Dog’s Pulse - dummies

By M. Christine Zink

To check your dog’s pulse, you need to locate the femoral artery, which lies just below the skin on the inside of the back legs, between two large muscles where the leg joins the body.

With your dog standing, reach around in front of the rear leg where it joins his body, and slide your fingers into the groin area. You can feel the femoral artery pumping each time the heart beats.

When you have found the artery with your dog standing, try it with your dog lying on his side. Count how many pulses you feel in 15 seconds and multiply by 4 to get the number of beats per minute. Dogs normally have a pulse between 70 and 120 beats per minute. In puppies, the pulse ranges from 120 to 160 beats per minute.

Become familiar with your dog’s pulse rate and how his pulse feels when he is relaxed as well as after exercise.

If you have reason to believe your dog is suffering from an emergency, a dramatic change in pulse (such as, a slowed pulse indicating shock) can be one sign and symptom.