Wednesday Wisdom: The Heart of Racing

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom brings you a fact about greyhounds! With help from our friends at Greyhound Facts, we hope to help expand your greyhound racing knowledge, whether you are an experienced greyhound racing spectator or are new to the sport.

Did you know a greyhound’s heart is typically much larger than the hearts of other dog breeds? This is partly due to genetics as greyhounds generally have larger hearts in overall size. Their heart walls can also thicken due to their athleticism, which is a phenomenon that occurs in marathon runners as well. Similarly to other muscles in the body, the heart can thicken and get larger when it is worked hard. This occurs so that the heart can pump larger amounts of oxygenated blood to muscles, which is important because muscles need oxygen to work effectively.

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Not only is the size of a greyhound’s heart different from other dogs, but greyhounds’ heart rates are also slower than other pups. Dogs can have a resting heart rate of 60-140 beats per minute. Greyhounds fall on the lowest end of the spectrum with a resting heart rate of 60-90 beats per minute. Greyhounds have a low heart rate because their large hearts are able to pump more blood per beat to their muscles.

At the heart of the matter, the heart plays a crucial role in physical exertion. Because of the large size of a greyhound’s heart, we can begin to understand why greyhounds are such excellent athletes and one of the fastest land mammals.

 

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Greyhound Facts is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Their mission is to provide a place to learn about all aspects of present day greyhound racing in the USA from those with hands on experience. Their network of volunteers includes people who are actively involved in the breeding, raising, training, and rehoming of these wonderful hounds, as well as those who adopt them. To find out more, visit: http://www.greyhoundfacts.org/.

Do you have suggestions or questions you would like answered? Let us know in the comments section!

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