What is A Dog’s Normal Temperature?

Have you ever wondered what a dog’s normal temperature is? While you may not always need to know what your dog’s body temperature is, having a base knowledge of what is normal can really help dog owners to understand if their pup’s body temperature is too hot or too cold.

So, what should your dog’s body temperature be? The normal body temperature range for dogs is between 99.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Anything outside of this range can be dangerous to their health. Read on to learn more about what your dog’s body temperature should be and how to monitor, raise, and lower your pup’s temperature.

dog temperature mishawaka in

What Is A Dog’s Normal Temperature?

A dog’s normal temperature is between 99.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, which is slightly higher than the normal body temperature of a human. A dog’s body temperature higher than this can indicate a fever or overheating, while a lower body temperature can mean that a dog is experiencing hypothermia.

How Do You Take A Dog’s Temperature?

There are two different types of thermometers for dogs: rectal thermometers and ear thermometers. For many dog owners, ear thermometers are easier to use because they tend to be less uncomfortable for the dog. When using an ear thermometer, you should gently place it in a dog’s ear while following the instructions carefully.

When using a rectal thermometer, it is very important that you either put petroleum jelly or baby oil on it before using it. Doing otherwise will create an uncomfortable experience for your pup.

Once you have the thermometer ready, you can gently insert it into your dog’s rectum while following the thermometer’s instructions. Remember, glass thermometers should never be used on animals.

What Does It Mean When A Dog’s Temperature Is Too High?

If your dog’s temperature is above 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, your pup may be experiencing a fever, overheating, or heat stroke. We will explain the signs of fever and heat strokes in pups, and how to cool your pup down when their temperature is high.

Signs Of Heat Stroke In Dogs

Heat stroke or heat exhaustion in dogs is a dangerous raise in body temperature that is caused by being in too hot of an environment. Due to how life threatening heat stroke in dogs can be, it is always better to prevent heat stroke in dogs than it is to treat it. Here are some of the signs of heat stroke in dogs.

  • Excessive panting
  • Excessive drooling
  • Vomiting and diarrhea (may or may not contain blood)
  • Bright red gums
  • Being hot to the touch
  • Dry nose and mouth
  • Being unresponsive
  • Staggering and having difficulty walking
  • Muscle tremors
  • Seizures
  • Coma

Heat stroke is a life threatening medical condition in dogs, so it is crucial that you call your vet immediately if you suspect that your dog is experiencing heat stroke. Calling your vet before taking your dog there can allow you to take steps to safely lower your dog’s body temperature before leaving your home, which could potentially save your dog’s life.

How To Safely Lower A Dog’s Body Temperature

symptoms of fever in dogs

When lowering a dog’s body temperature, it is best to do so slowly and carefully. This is because a dog can also experience hypothermia when their temperature quickly drops below the normal 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

When working to lower your dog’s body temperature, you should call a vet during the process and check your dog’s temperature every few minutes. This will ensure that you are being safe and careful when helping your dog.

Taking your dog into an air conditioned room can help to lower their body temperature, especially if their overheating does not appear to be very severe. It is also a good idea to give your dog some drinking water in this situation.

If you do not have air conditioning it is best to slowly get your dog’s body wet with cool water. When doing this you should slowly splash cool water or pat your dog with a cool, wet towel. This water should be cool, and not cold to the touch. You should also avoid getting a dog’s face wet, and be sure to not completely submerge your dog in water.

Signs Of Fever In Dogs

 

Fevers in dogs normally occur when they have a viral or bacterial infection. However, a fever in dogs can also occasionally be a sign that they have ingested something toxic. Here are some signs that your dog may have a fever.

  • Lethargy
  • Warm ears and nose
  • A dry nose
  • A reduced appetite
  • Other signs of illness, such as coughing, vomiting, and diarrhea

Fever is usually a sign that a dog is sick or has a severe infection. As a result, it is always best to take your dog to the vet as soon as possible when you suspect that they have a fever as a result of a bacterial or viral infection.

How To Reduce Fever In Dogs

It is recommended that dog owners gently rub some cool water on a  dog’s paws and ears when they have a fever. It is also a good idea to take the dog to the vet to receive additional treatment for the cause of the fever as well.

What Does It Mean When A Dog’s Temperature Is Too Low?

hypothermia in dogs

When a dog’s temperature is below 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit, they are experiencing hypothermia. Hypothermia can range from mild to severe, depending on how cold they get and how severe their symptoms of hypothermia are. The signs of hypothermia in dogs include:

  • Shivering and stiff muscles
  • Difficulty walking and signs of confusion
  • Weakness
  • Pale, gray, or pink gums
  • Being cool to the touch
  • Collapse and signs of shock

Like heat stroke, severe hypothermia can also be life threatening to a dog. As a result, it is important that you take action to warm a dog up if you suspect that they are experiencing hypothermia. Having a vet on the phone while you do this can ensure that you raise a dog’s body temperature safely and carefully.

How To Raise A Dog’s Body Temperature

When raising a dog’s body temperature, take them to a warm room or car and wrap the dog in a warm and dry towel or blanket. You can also use things like hot water bottles wrapped in cloth to warm a dog up as well.

As with cooling down your pup, the goal here is to do this process in a controlled manner so their body temperature doesn’t raise too quickly.

Conclusion

Knowing what your pup’s body temperature should be and having ways to monitor, raise, and lower their temperature is important for their health and well-being.

If you have any questions regarding your dog’s body temperature, Lincolnway Veterinary Clinic in Mishawaka, IN is here to help! Reach out at (574) 256-1871 or schedule an appointment today!

About Lincolnway Veterinary Clinic

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