The Power of Observation: How to Perform a DIY Dog Physical Exam

The Power of Observation: How to Perform a DIY Dog Physical Exam

The Power of Observation: How to Perform a DIY Dog Physical Exam

Regular check-ups are crucial for maintaining your dog's health, but did you know that you can also perform a DIY dog physical exam at home? By learning how to observe and assess your furry companion's well-being, you can become an active participant in their healthcare. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the essential steps of a DIY dog physical exam, including checking body temperature, heart rate, pulse, and overall condition. By mastering these skills, you'll be better equipped to monitor your dog's health between veterinary visits and provide timely care when needed.

The Importance of Regular Check-Ups for Dogs

Regular veterinary check-ups are essential for dogs to ensure their health and well-being. These visits allow veterinarians to detect any potential issues early on, provide necessary vaccinations, and offer professional advice on nutrition and preventative care. While professional check-ups are vital, performing a DIY dog physical exam at home between vet visits can help you catch early warning signs and address minor concerns promptly. By actively participating in your dog's healthcare, you can foster a stronger bond with your furry friend and contribute to their overall well-being.

Key Steps of a DIY Dog Physical Exam

Performing a DIY dog physical examination involves a series of steps to assess your dog's general health. Here are the key aspects to consider:

  1. Temperature Check: To measure your dog's body temperature, use a digital rectal thermometer and lubricate it with petroleum jelly. Gently insert the thermometer into the dog's rectum and wait for the reading. Normally your pet's temperature should range between 100.5°F and 102.5°F. Your dog's temperature is too high if it exceeds 103°F and indicates a fever.
  2. Heart Rate Evaluation: Place your hand on your dog's chest, just behind the elbow, to feel your dog's heart rate. Count the number of beats in 15 seconds and multiply by four to calculate the heart rate. A normal heart rate for a puppy is typically between 120-160 beats per minute.
  3. Pulse Assessment: To check your dog's vital signs and pulse, locate the femoral artery on the inner thigh. Lightly press your fingers against the artery and count the number of pulses in 15 seconds. Multiply by four to calculate the pulse rate. A healthy dog's pulse rate is generally between 60-160 beats per minute.
  4. Overall Condition: Observe your dog's overall appearance, behavior, and body condition. Look for any signs of abnormality, such as changes in appetite, weight loss or gain, lethargy, coughing, sneezing, or limping. Examine their eyes, ears, teeth, and coat for any visible issues or abnormalities. Your dog's body weight
  5. Additional Considerations: Take note of any specific concerns or symptoms your dog may be experiencing and share them with your veterinarian during regular check-ups. Keep a veterinary physical exam template handy to record your observations and share them with your veterinarian.

The Cost of Dog Check-Ups


The cost of a dog check-up can vary depending on various factors, including your location, the specific services provided, and your dog's individual needs. Generally, a routine check-up can range from $50 to $100, excluding any additional tests, vaccinations, or treatments that may be required. However, performing a DIY dog physical exam at home can help you monitor your dog's health between vet visits, potentially reducing the frequency and cost of professional check-ups. By actively engaging in preventive care and promptly addressing any concerns, you can contribute to your dog's well-being while potentially minimizing the need for frequent vet visits.


Now that you have a deeper understanding of how to perform a DIY dog physical exam, it's time to prioritize your furry friend's overall well-being. At PawShop, we are dedicated to providing high-quality and stylish clothing and toys for your beloved dogs. Our faux luxury dog clothes are not only fashionable but also comfortable, ensuring your pup looks and feels their best. Explore our wide range of dog toys designed to engage and entertain your furry companion, promoting both mental and physical stimulation. Visit our online store today and give your dog the gift of style and play! Remember, a healthy and happy dog deserves the best, and PawShop is here to make that happen. Shop now and elevate your dog's lifestyle with PawShop!