Normal puppy heart rate is faster than that of both adult dogs and humans. If you place your hand over your puppy's chest and feel as if his heart is racing, it does not necessarily mean that something is wrong with his heart.
Normal Puppy Heart Rate
Though the heart rate will vary depending on your dog's breed, the normal heart rate for puppies is around 220 beats per minute. As your dog matures, his normal heart rate will slow down to between 60 to 160 beats per minute depending on his size. Larger breeds have a slower heart rate than toy breeds.
Checking Your Puppy's Heart Rate
You can feel your puppy's heart beating by placing your palm on the left side of her rib cage, just behind the elbow of her front paw. You can also determine your puppy's heart rate by feeling for her pulse in her groin, where the femoral artery passes. Have your puppy lie down, then press your fingers inside her inner thigh, right where the leg meets the body. You can also listen to your puppy's heart by resting your ear over your puppy's chest, where your hand had been before.
The Significance of Heart Rate
Regular, strong heartbeat is normal in puppies, with minor changes in rhythm. When you listen to your puppy's heartbeat, you should hear a constant and even "lub-dub" sound, separated by a short pause.
Fast heart rate can indicate anxiety, dehydration, fever, infection or a more serious illness such as anemia, heart or lung disease. Slow and erratic heart rate can indicate heart disease or circulatory problems.
Get to Know Your Puppy's Heart
Make a note of your puppy's heart rate when she is well rested and hydrated, then take the measurement again after playtime. Do this from time to time to evaluate your puppy's health. A change from the normal heart rate will alert you to possible health issues.