When you know your pet's normal body temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate and other characteristics, you can know it better whether your companion needs medical help. The following table provides information on the normal physiologic values and characteristics of cats and dogs. Please note that most of the values are given in ranges, and you may find other ranges in other sources.

CharacteristicsCATSDOGS
Body temperature*, adult 100 - 102.5 F
37.7 - 39.2 C
101 - 103 F
38.3 - 39.4 C
Body temperature, newborn 96 - 97 F
35.5 - 36 C
92 - 97 F
33.3 - 36 C
Heart rate**, adult (beats per minute)100 - 24070 - 120
Heart rate, newborn (beats per minute)Over 200160 - 200
Respiratory rate***, adult (breaths per minute)16 - 4012 - 35****
Respiratory rate, newborn (breaths per minute)15 - 358 - 35
Puberty (months)4 - 124 - 12
Gestation period (days)58 - 7058 - 71
Average litter size4 - 63 - 7
Weaning age (weeks)4 - 84 - 8
Loosing baby teeth (months)3 - 93 - 9
Gum colourPinkPink


Photo by badlikamiri
* Body temperature in animals is taken rectally.

** The heartbeat can be felt on the left side of the chest at the area where a raised elbow will touch the chest.

*** The breathing rate should be counted when your pet is asleep or relaxed. An animal that is in pain, having heart or respiratory problems, suffering from heatstroke, or stressed will usually have increased respiratory rates.

**** Larger dogs breathe slower and deeper than smaller breeds.