Normal Heart Rate For Small Dog & How To Check Heart Rate

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, so do their hearts, and they usually have heart rates that vary greatly. Knowing what’s normal for your pet will help you be aware when a reading is amiss. You can measure them via a watch, stopwatch, or your smartphone. An individual dog’s heartbeat varies with their size. Smaller dogs have an increased rate of heartbeat as compared to large ones. However, a young dog will also have a faster heartbeat as compared to an old one. The heartbeat will also vary depending on what your dog has done. For instance, if he took a nap his heartbeat would be slower than if he had undertaken vigorous exercise on their own.

According to the ASPCA, small dogs average between 90 and 120 beats per minute; medium dogs generally average between 70 and 110 beats per minute; and large dogs average between 60 and 90. Puppies may exceed 180 beats per minute. The normal heartbeat of a dog varies with its age and size. A small dog’s resting heart rate is higher than that of a large or adult dog.

Upon birth, puppies can have resting pulses between 160 and 200 beats per minute, which can rise to as high as 220 beats per minute after two weeks. A pulse rate of up to 180 beats per minute is normal until a year old. While large adult dogs usually have a resting heart rate of 60 to 100 beats per minute, small adult dogs may have a normal heart rate of 100 to 140 beats per minute.

Pets’ hearts are located on the left side of the chest where an elevated elbow would touch it. Pets should be relaxed and calm. Place a hand over this area and check for a pulse. You may also use a stethoscope if you have one. It is normal for a dog’s heartbeat to slow and speed up with each breath. This isn’t an abnormal heart rhythm and doesn’t require veterinary care. Count the number of heartbeats for 15 seconds and multiply that number by 4. Pets with smaller hearts have heart rates of 120 to 160 beats per minute with pets over 30 pounds having heart rates of 60 to 120. The more large the dog, the slower the heart rates. If your pet has a heart rate outside the normal range, contact your veterinarian immediately.

How To Measure Your Dog’s Heart Rate

Your dog’s heart rate can be measured using a stopwatch or clock that gives you the amount of time between each beat. You can feel your dog’s heartbeat by touching the inside of his front leg, or you may feel the inside of his hind leg.

Count your heartbeats for 15 seconds and multiply the result by four to get your pulse beat rate. Repeat the measurement at least twice, as the reading can vary quite a bit. In addition, you should also take this reading in order to establish a baseline so you can tell if anything is wrong. Personal dog health also plays a role in this; a healthy dog is likely to have a higher heart rate than one who is not quite so healthy. When you suspect your dog’s heart rate is far above or below normal, talk to your veterinarian. A significant increase in or decrease in his heart rate could indicate a more serious medical condition such as dehydration, heart disease, shock or fever.

Causes of Changes In Your Dog’s Heart Rate

In some individuals, the heart rate increases in response to normal exercises or reactions like excitement or stress, but it is usually not a concern unless it causes additional complications as well as worsens an existing condition.

However, if you have an increased resting heart rate in your dog, that is a sign of a serious heart or blood condition, or it signals that your dog is out of shape and at risk for health issues. If such changes are noticed, you should consult your veterinarian immediately.

As well, you can check the dog’s heartbeat by placing one hand under his left side, just behind his front leg. Counting the number of beats in 15 seconds and multiplying by four gives you his heart rate in beats per minute.

Large dogs and those in good physical condition will have slower heartbeats, while dogs who are small, puppies and dog who haveout of shape will have faster heartbeats. As a resting dog, the heartbeat ranges from 60 to 140 beats per minute, over 60 in big dogs and over 100 in little ones. You can check the rate by gently touching the top of your dog’s hind leg. The heart rate will be the same both places, so choose the one that is easiest for you and your dog to do. Because normal happens so quickly, it’s challenging to assess abnormalities without a baseline, so check with your veterinarian if you’re concerned about what you’re finding.

Breathing Rates As the level of activity increases, so will his breathing rate. In addition, there are other factors that might affect his breathing rate, such as the temperature (dogs cool themselves down with panting since they have limited sweat glands), various illnesses, pollution, and fear. Your dog’s rate of breathing can be affected by a variety of factors, so understanding what is normal is critical to determining when something is not okay. The American ASPCA indicates that most dogs take on an average of 12 to 24 breaths per minute, depending on the breed, other factors, as well as how active the dog is. The normal rate of respiration is silent and more difficult to monitor than panting, but you may easily measure your dog’s rate either by observing his chest rising and falling or touching his chest. Count the number of breaths he takes in 10 seconds and then multiply this number by six. 

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