How to Check the Pulse on a Dog

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In order to check a dog's pulse, it's important to first understand that small dogs will have faster pulses than larger dogs. Learn how to check a dog's pulse inside its thigh where itsleg meets its abdomen with help from a veterinarian in this free video on checking a dog's pulse.

Part of the Video Series: Dog Health
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Video Transcript

Hi I'm Dr. Greg McDonald and we are here to talk about dog health. I'm just going to talk a little bit about how to find a pulse in a dog. It's very important to understand what you are looking for and why you are looking for it. Obviously if you think your dog is stressed or having a bad time, it would be good to know if he had an increase or decrease pulse. Basically the smaller dogs have faster pulses and cats have a much faster pulse and the bigger dogs have slower pulses so, sixty beats a minute would be kind of slow and you'd see that in a Great Dane or a big dog but possibly even up to a hundred and twenty could still be normal in a small dog like a small poodle. There's a couple of different places that you can check their pulse but the one that's easiest is inside of their thigh. And you put some pressure on their and you can actually feel a pulse when you roll it back and forth so you can actually do a little hunt for it and then find it and you'll be able to feel it quite easily. So on Zack here you can see that my fingers, I just take my fingers like this and I put them right on the inside of the leg, go right up where the leg meets the abdomen. And you can feel a nice pulse and his pulse right now is going probably about eighty. He's not too nervous being with us today cause he's one of our regular models. You can also feel a pulse down in their neck area occasionally and again if you kind of stretch their neck out just a little bit and feel then in this area just to just where the neck joins the chest, you can often times feel a pulse right in here and I can feel his right now. Sometimes pulses are really hard to feel if an animal is shocky or there is some kind of other medical problem going on with them. And so it's kind of important to kind of test your dog while your dog is feeling well and you know it's normal, because then you'll know where to go and where to feel that pulse when your dog is really, really sick. Sometimes down in the pad right behind the foot here you can also feel a pulse there but that's a little more difficult to feel in there.

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