How to measure blood pressure in dogs at home?
Blood pressure in dogs is often overlooked. Dobermans are one of a few breeds that should be monitored for high blood pressure. I spent a few hundred dollars on blood pressure tests at vet clinics before realized I can do it home for fraction of the price.
Most of the vets say that blood pressure in dogs can’t be accurately detected by devices for humans. On my experience – not true. I measured my dog’s blood pressure at a vet clinic on a Doppler’s monitor, and then used Omron 7 wrist monitor. The results were the same.
I chose Omron 7 wrist monitor for 3 reasons. First – wrist monitor fits on the front leg of a large dog. Monitors with cuffs need a smaller perinatal or veterinary cuff. Second – this particular monitor has 2 sets of memory, suitable for 2 users. I have 2 dogs – with this monitor I can store the results in monitor’s memory for both of them. Third – the cost. This monitor costs about the same as one blood measurement test at a vet clinic (about $50).
You only need to monitor systolic blood pressure in dogs, which is the higher number. Diastolic readings can’t be measured accurately in dogs. The normal blood pressure measurements in dogs are within 120-140 range. Some articles online provide a higher range for normal, which is 130-150. I believe this is because the data is collected at the vet clinics, where dogs feel a bit too excited during the test, which affects the results. My vet considers everything above 120 as “high” for my dogs (for measurements I do at home). Hence, my comment in the video.
The Omron 7 wrist monitor has various settings for more precise measurements of diastolic level and pulse. I switch everything off, as it makes measurements in dogs more difficult. With a new monitor, I make a couple of sets of 8-10 measurements with 10 minutes intervals. That provides enough information to the monitor for averaging the results for you. For my routine measurements (after the monitor is setup) – I take about 10 readings within 10 minutes on a relaxed dog. And then press “memory” button to average the last few results.
I recommend this article for an overview about high blood pressure in dogs.