Familiarize yourself with your pet's normal health condition by performing regular checkups, including monitoring heart rate.
Lay your pet on her right side.
Bend her left front leg at the elbow.
Touch the elbow to your pet's chest. The area where the elbow touches is where heartbeats are best heard.
Place your hand or a stethoscope on that area.
Count the heartbeats for 15 seconds.
Multiply that number by 4. This is the animal's heart rate per minute.
Treat your pet's condition as an emergency if her heart rate is outside normal range, and call your veterinarian.
For dogs weighing 30 lbs. or less, the average heart rate is 100 to 160 beats per minute. For dogs weighing more than 30 lbs., the average heart rate is 60 to 100 beats per minute. A puppy up to 1 year of age has an average heart rate of 120 to 160 beats per minute. A cat has an average heart rate of 160 to 220 beats per minute.