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Heart rate is an important tool for determining your dog or cat's health. Because it can vary so much based on activity, a pet's pulse should be taken while at rest. Dogs' rates can vary between 40-100 bpm, cats' between 80-140. Anxiety or exercise or being at the vet will all affect these numbers. To take pulse, rest your fingers on the femoral artery along the inner thigh and count how many beats occur over six seconds, and then multiply by ten. Any abnormalities in heart rate might indicate a problem.