Heart Rhythm in the Dog
When I listen carefully to my dog’s heart, I have noticed that it is not regular. The heartbeat goes faster and then slower, then faster again. Is this normal?
It is normal! The rhythm of a healthy dog’s heart at rest is called sinus arrhythmia. This is a normal arrhythmia where the dog’s breathing influences how fast the heart beats. If you listen carefully, you can hear a slight increase in the rate with inspiration (breathing in) and a slowing of the rate with expiration (breathing out). If the dog becomes excited or starts to exercise causing the heart rate to speed up, this arrhythmia disappears and the heart beat becomes even.