Like humans, there are numerous occasions in which animals can experience fear. As a result of what they feel in a panic situation, their heart rate can increase considerably, resulting in a health problem if the pet suffers from the heart.
In this post, in particular, let’s focus on the dog, to talk about how fear affects their heart rate and how it can affect their health in that way.
It is very common in this animal to feel fear in different circumstances: noise from firecrackers, storms … In most cases it is stressful situations related to noise. It should be noted that the dog has a very developed sense of hearing, capable of hearing sounds inaudible to humans, that is why any loud sound can cause alarm in the dog and alter its physiological functions.
In situations of panic, anxiety and fear, the stress levels of this pet get higher. They increase the levels of cortisol hormones (stress response) and the amount of adrenaline produced by your glands. But it also increases the intensity and frequency of their breathing as well as the acceleration of their heart rate.
In adult dogs, up to 40 kg, the beats per minute vary from 100 to 160, while those dogs weighing more than 40 kg their beats decrease from 60 to 100 beats per minute.
When the dog increases its heart rate, a sinus tachycardia can occur. This tachycardia arises when its rhythm is faster than normal. It cannot seriously affect the health of the dog, but in sick hearts the increase in this heart rate may stop compensating for the decrease in volume, decreasing cardiac output and coronary blood flow, thus increasing the demand for oxygen.
It is true that heart diseases can be due to different reasons, such as fever or infection, but in environmental situations, we can try to calm the dog to avoid that acceleration in the rhythm of the heart.
That is why it is important to keep dogs away from situations of stress and fear, and if in some cases it is not possible to prevent those situations that cause that anxiety, we must apply relaxation techniques for the animal.
Communication is very important, we must take into account their body language, if the dog bends the ears, has the tail between the legs or pant uneasily. It is at this moment that we can identify what is happening to him and be able to act accordingly.
The sound of radio or anti-stress pheromones can be remedies to calm a restless dog, but it is always convenient to take it to the veterinary specialist if these symptoms are repeated as they can cause health problems.
For more information see also:
Auscultation, an important step to identify cardiovascular diseases in pets.