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What Cupid Doesn’t Know About Your Dog’s Beating Heart

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Image of two adorable puppies curled up together with heart pillows

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Cupid knows love. He was, after all, the ancient Roman god of love, and today he flits around with that little bow and arrow, urging people to buy boxes of chocolate, utter sweet verses and create exotic, experimental dinners from scratch. Oh boy.

Now, we’re strong advocates of love, and we always liked that Beatles song, but with all this heart talk, we started thinking about our dogs’ real, anatomical tickers – the ones that keep them running and playing and wagging their tails.

So here at your pup’s favorite dog-boarding vacation spot, we wondered: Do you know your dog’s normal heart rate? What if Gruff ate something bad (like, say, chocolate) and started acting sick. It might be nice to have a baseline heart rate for comparison’s sake.

“Small dogs, puppies, and dogs who are out of shape will have faster heartbeats, and large dogs and those in good physical condition will have slower rates. ‘Normal’ ranges from 60 to 140 beats per minute in a resting dog — 60 to 100 in big dogs and 100 to 140 in little ones,” according to vetstreet.com. “Because normal varies so much, it’s difficult to assess abnormal without a baseline, so take your dog’s heart rate a few times and make notes. If you’re concerned about what you’re finding, discuss your results with your veterinarian.”

The “normal” range is slightly different at peteducation.com—70 to 180 beats per minute, depending on size, with puppies around 220. Placing your hand low on the dog’s chest near the elbow joint allows you to measure heart rate directly, but the site also shows how to check the pulse near the inside top of a back leg.

This Valentine’s Day, we wish happy heart health to your pup, and we highly recommend take-out.

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