Dog The Bounty Hunter believes his weekend hospitalization was caused from a broken heart suffered from the death of his wife, Beth.

Dog described the sensation as an intense pain in the center of his chest — a feeling like he'd just run 3 or 4 miles — even though he only did a simple workout. He told FOX31 Denver he could barely breathe and knew something had to be done quickly … so his assistant took him to get help.

Halfway through the interview, Dog breaks down a little bit, saying he believes the leading factor behind his chest pain was that he'd suffered a broken heart.

TMZ broke the story … Dog was rushed to a hospital over the weekend for what was first thought to be a heart attack. Docs ran tests and determined that not to be the case … and Dog's family has stressed the importance of living a healthier lifestyle since the incident.

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