Normal Temperature, Heart, and Respiratory Rates in Dogs

Know What's Normal for Your Dog

Veterinarian Examining Smiling Bulldog Puppy
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Getting a new dog is an exciting chapter in your families life. You'll want to learn everything you can about your dog which includes health information. Being aware of what is normal for your dog will help you recognize when your pet is sick and needs to seek veterinary attention. Many illnesses have a better prognosis (and lower expenses) with prompt veterinary care. Here

Body Temperature

Canine "normal" body temperature range is 100.5–102.5 Fahrenheit (38–39.2 Celsius).

A body temperature below 100 F or above 103 F warrants a call to your veterinarian. Body temperature in dogs is most often measured rectally, ear thermometers can also be used, but it can be difficult to get an accurate reading. Gauging body temperature by the moistness of the nose or how warm the ears feel is not reliable. Learn how to assess your dog's body temperature.

Dogs can overheat just like humans can. It's very dangerous to leave dogs in parked cars in the summer. The interior temperature of the car can rise dramatically higher than the temperature outside. If you need to leave your dog in the car make sure the air condition is on or the windows are open. You should also leave water for your dog to drink. 

Respiratory Rate

The standard respiratory rate for dogs is 10–34 breaths per minute unless panting.

Respiratory rate is the number of breaths per minute. Normal respiratory rates are assessed when the dog is resting.

A dog that is in pain, having heart or respiratory problems, suffering from heatstroke, or simply excited will usually have increased respiratory rates. It is important to gauge the overall situation and condition of the animal to assess the respiratory rate. Panting is how dogs release heat so don't be concerned if you see Fido panting on a hot summer day.


Heart Rate

The standard heart rate in dogs is 60–100 beats per minute for large breeds, and 100–140 for small breeds.

Larger dogs have slower rates than small dogs, and dogs that are in good physical shape will have lower heart rates than dogs of similar age and size who are not physically fit. Puppies typically have higher heart rates, up to 180 beats per minute is normal up to one year of age.

Duration of Pregnancy

On average, canine pregnancy lasts 63 days but can vary from 58 to 68 days.

You'll want to learn more about pregnancy in dogs and the canine estrus (heat) cycle especially if you plan to breed your dogs. If you don't plan on breeding you should consider spay surgery. Most vets recommend that you spay or neuter your pets to cut down on unwanted litters. 

Number of Teeth

Puppies have 28 teeth, where as adult dogs have 42 teeth.

Puppies usually lose their deciduous (baby) teeth by 6 months of age, which are replaced by the adult teeth. Look here for more Tips and tools for home dental care for pets.