Normal Ranges

Normal Temperature, Heart and Respiratory Rates:

Stage of Life

*Heart Rate


(Degrees Fahrenheit)

Young Dog




Adult Dog
(Small Breed)




Adult Dog
(Large Breed)




*The above numbers are determined when the animal is at rest, and depend on the condition of the individual pet. Even normal animals can have heart rates, respiratory rates, and a temperature that differ from the above numbers. It is a good idea for an owner to collect and record the above information on a regular basis. Then, when an animal is sick or has a problem, the normal values can be compared to those obtained during an illness. See pages I 10 and I 632 for places to record this information.

Capillary Refill Time (CRT): This should be less than two seconds. See page B105 for additional suggestions on CRT.

Mucous Membrane Color: (Mucous membranes include the gums and vulvar tissues.) The membranes should be pink and moist.

Odors and Discharge: The mouth and ears should be checked on a routine basis. If a foul odor is noticed in either the mouth or the nose, the animal should be examined by a veterinarian. If discharge from the ears is noticed, additional professional examination is recommended. The eyes may normally have a small amount of clear, watery discharge, depending on the particular pet and the surrounding environment. If this discharge is significant, becomes cloudy, or the eye becomes red and inflamed, a veterinarian should be contacted.

Normal Food and Water Consumption: All dogs should have clean, fresh water available at all times. For specific diet requirements, refer to the nutrition information on page A575.