Monitoring Your Rabbit’s Vital Signs: A Guide to Ensuring Their Health

Keeping track of your rabbit’s vital signs, including body temperature, heart rate, and breathing rate, is crucial for assessing their overall health.


You’ll want a plastic thermometer in your rabbit’s emergency medical kit. Consult with your rabbit-savvy veterinarian or watch the video below to learn the proper technique for taking your rabbit’s rectal temperature.

respiratory rate

When checking your rabbit’s respiratory rate, observe and count the breaths taken in a 15-second interval and then multiply by four to get the rate per minute. This can be done by watching the chest rise and fall or by placing your hand near the rabbit’s nose to feel each exhale.

Heart Rate/Pulse Rate

To determine the pulse rate, you can feel for the pulse over the femoral artery located in the upper inner thigh. Another method is to place your hand on the lower left side of the rabbit’s chest to sense the heartbeat. Similar to the respiratory rate, count the beats for 15 seconds and multiply by four to calculate the beats per minute.

Ideal Vital Sign Ranges for Rabbits:

  • A rabbit’s body temperature should ideally be between 101.5°F and 104.2°F.1
  • The normal respiratory rate for rabbits ranges from 30-60 breaths per minute.2
  • A healthy rabbit’s heart rate averages 2053 and has a resting range from 180-350 beats per minute.4

Regularly monitoring these vital signs can play a pivotal role in the early detection of health issues, enabling prompt veterinary care. Remember, understanding and monitoring your rabbit’s health metrics is key to ensuring their well-being.

  1. Merck Veterinary Manual: Normal Rectal Temperature Ranges. ↩︎
  2. Texas A&M Veternary Extension: Normal Physiological Values for Select Animals (pdf) ↩︎
  3. Ibid. ↩︎
  4. Merck Veterinary Manual: Resting Heart Rates. ↩︎
  • Paige K Parsons

    Paige has been a house rabbit educator for over 25 years. Her education efforts began when she designed and created in 1994. She is currently a live concert photographer and previously was a user experience designer. She lives with her husband, Carl, and her two house rabbits, Moe and Mimzy.

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