normal dog heart rate

What’s a Normal Dog Heart Rate?

Reviewed by Rachel Katz, VMD

Knowing what a normal dog heart rate is, is never a bad thing as a responsible dog owner.

Learning as much as we can about our dog’s wellbeing is never wasted information., and sometimes can be the difference between life and death. 

The three vital signs that will help you determine your dog’s health are: heart rate, temperature, and the rate at which your dog breaths.

Small dog’s heart rates will differ from big dogs, and your dog’s rate will be important to know.

How to Check Your Dog’s Heart Rate

normal dog heart rate

There are four places on your dog where you can measure for an accurate heart rate count.

The first is on your dog’s ribs just behind his elbow on each front leg; left side and right side.

Another spot will be inside the hind leg in the spot the leg comes together with the rest of the dog’s body.

The third place to measure heart beats per minute is right above the middle paw pad on your dog’s front paws.

And finally you can measure your dog’s pulse on the hind legs just below the ankle on either leg.  

Your dog should be calm and quiet when you check their heart beat for best results.

Count the beats for 15 seconds and multiply by four to get beats per minute when checking for a normal dog heart rate.

What’s a Normal Dog Heart Rate?

normal dog heart rate

The normal heart rate of a dog will depend on its size and will range between 60 and 160 beats per minute.

Small dogs, even puppies, have normal heart rates of 120 to 160 beats a minute, with larger dogs having slower heart rates.

What If It’s Irregular?

normal dog heart rate

If you count the number of beats and come to the conclusion that your dog’s heartbeat is not normal.

The best course of action is to contact your nearest veterinary practice without delay.

It is always best to ensure that your pet gets the best possible care whenever needed.

Other Vitals To Check

normal dog heart rate

It is good practice to check your dog’s respiratory rate, or breathing rate on a regular basis.

Having an accurate count of the number of breaths your dog is taking every minute is useful information.

Again, make sure your dog is quiet and calm, then count their shallow breaths; not heavy panting.

A normal resting rate for a dog is between 10 and 30 breaths per minute.

It is also a good idea to check the dog’s body temperature through the use of a rectal thermometer. 

In order to take the dog’s temperature, lubricate the tip of a thermometer, and insert into the dog’s rectum while the dog is standing.

Hold the thermometer for the required time and remove to read.

A normal dog temperature is 100 to 102.7 degrees fahrenheit or 37.7 to 39.2 celsius.

There may be a slight difference up or down that will be considered normal for your dog.

If the temperature rises above 104 or drops below 99, then take your dog to the vet immediately.

When to See a Veterinarian

normal dog heart rate

If you suspect that your dog’s heart rate is abnormally low, and does not seem to be improving over the day.

Or if the slower heart rate is accompanied by any other symptoms, then a call or visit to your vet is recommended as soon as possible.

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