A stethoscope is an essential tool in diagnosing cardiac, breathing, and gastrointestinal problems in humans and animals. While medical professionals most commonly use them, you can also choose and buy one of the top dog stethoscopes in 2022 to add to your first-aid kit. If you have a dog, a stethoscope will help you keep a regular check on their health. This way, you can immediately identify if your pet's breathing patterns seem erratic and take them to the vet on time before their condition becomes any more serious.
Stethoscopes are sensitive equipment, and before you make a purchase, it is important to fully understand the various features such as the diaphragm styles, the tubing weight, and the earpieces.
In this post, we will detail all the information you need to know about dog stethoscopes so you can make a more informed choice. We have also included a top 5 list of the most popular dog stethoscopes—complete with features, pros, and cons to getting you started. Read on!
This ergonomically designed headset is manufactured from hand-polished, pre-angled aluminum in a patented dual leaf spring construction. This ensures that you get optimum performance from the lightweight equipment. The dual-head chest piece has a rotating system, so you don’t have to fumble when changing sides, either.
The tubing is longer than regular stethoscopes, and the clear earpieces are designed to provide maximum comfort.
If you’re looking for a reliable dog stethoscope that won’t burn your bank, then this excellent option by the FriCare store may be just what you need. This equipment’s simple, sturdy design and matte finish make this an excellent choice for home use.
The O-ring on the diaphragm side is removable so that you can disinfect it after every use.
The Littmann brand needs no introduction. It is one of the best in the market, and it is one of the top choices for medical professionals.
The3M Littmann Classic III Monitoring Stethoscope is the best choice for general diagnostic use. The tubing doesn’t include any latex material, so this is a safe choice if your pet is allergic to latex!
This lightweight option from ADC comes with long tubing and snap-on silicone ear tips for maximum comfort in use. The AFD technology allows you to listen to low frequencies by applying light pressure on the chest piece and high frequencies by applying firm pressure.
If you’re looking for a basic option without the bells and whistles, then this single head stethoscope by Paramed is a great choice for you. Manufactured from latex-free material, you can be sure that your dog stays safe without having any allergic reaction to it. Additionally, the no-chill chest piece will make the health checkups for your dog quite comfortable.
Angled headset for better sound channeling
Two replacement soft ear tips included
Not good for listening to heart murmurs
Make the Right Choice for Your Pet’s Health with Our Buying Guide for the Best Dog Stethoscopes
Medical professionals require stethoscopes that offer complete auscultation, i.e., the ability to listen to all internal sounds in the body, especially around the heart, lungs, and stomach. However, for pets, you may not need a high-end device like this. A simple device that enables you to hear your dog’s breathing is enough so that if you notice erratic patterns, you can take them to a vet immediately and prevent severe cases of issues like bronchitis.
But where to start? That’s the question. This guide will define and describe the technical features of stethoscopes so you can easily compare options and buy the leading dog stethoscope in 2021.
Types of Stethoscopes
Let’s start with the types:
Single head and dual head
The dual-head stethoscopes have two sides to allow you to hear both the low sounds like cardiac murmurs and higher sounds like breathing. The downside of this is that you may have to switch sides when changing the position of the chest piece. This problem is mitigated by models with double frequency diaphragm, which allows you to use either side without remembering which side was for low voices and vice versa.
The single head has only one side that allows you to listen to sounds. However, similar to the dual head option, certain single head stethoscopes are equipped with the technology to listen to both low and high-frequency sounds.
Acoustic and electronic
Acoustic stethoscopes work on the principle of trapping sound vibrations and allowing a contained channel (tubing) to pass through before reaching the earpiece. Because the vibrations are not lost to the environment, the sound you hear in the stethoscope is louder.
While acoustic stethoscopes are great for listening to breathing and for any stomach issues, they use a manual method of sound transference. They cannot possibly amplify the output noise without external help.
Electronic stethoscopes provide this aid by first translating the sound waves into signals, then optimizing them by either or both removing the background noise and amplifying it. Therefore, this type of stethoscope gives better results than its acoustic counterpart.
5 Things to Consider when Looking for the Best Dog Stethoscopes
Here are some of the most crucial considerations to keep in mind before you go shopping for a dog stethoscope:
Comfortability of the ear tips
The ear tips of stethoscopes are usually quite hard. However, if worn correctly with the correct sizes, you will be fine. Always check for products that offer multiple ear tip sizes so you can wear the size that fits you perfectly. However, if you are buying a stethoscope for the first time and are unsure, try opting for products that feature soft ear tips.
Weight of the stethoscope
Stethoscopes can be lightweight or sturdy. If you choose for home use, either option will be acceptable because you won’t need to wear it around your neck all day. However, a lightweight option would be better if you are a veterinarian, considering long work hours.
Length of tubing
There are multiple variations in lengths of stethoscopes available in the market. Medical professionals who treat adults and animals use the longer ones commonly. The shorter ones are more used explicitly by pediatricians.
If you need one for home use, you need to decide based on the size and behavior of your dog. If they are more comfortable checking their breathing from a slight distance, get the longer size. If it’s the opposite case, get the shorter length of tubing.
Material of tubing
Always check the tubing material before buying to ensure that you don’t accidentally purchase a stethoscope with substances that may induce allergies in your dog.
Vendors offer certain customer-centric features to stand out from the rest. These are always great benefits, so if you have two products with the same basic features, the extra add-ons can help you break the tie. Some of the common features you can find are as follows:
Spare parts: A dog stethoscope that comes equipped with spare parts—especially multiple sizes of ear tips—is a great option.
Lifetime warranty and parts: Lifetime warranties always give users the peace of mind that you are getting a good quality product. Getting spare parts for life is an excellent addition to the warranty.
Return policy: In online purchasing, you often face the issue that the product may cause some issue that you may not have foreseen. In these cases, return policies are a lifesaver.
Best Dog Stethoscope FAQs
Q: Are dog stethoscopes different from regular ones?
A: Yes. Dog stethoscopes are usually only mechanical, while medical practitioners also use other types for human adults.
Q: Why do I need a dog stethoscope at home?
A: With a dog stethoscope, you can perform regular health checkups for your pet and check if there are any irregularities in their breathing.
Q: How to wear a dog stethoscope?
A: Ensure that the ear tips face your nose to get the best fit and audio. If you need to adjust the width, gently push towards or pull apart the tubes.
Destin has experience working with dogs in the most high stress environments on earth. He currently is a canine handler as a security contractor, helping to keep US diplomats safe in some of the most dangerous regions of the world.