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Dog’s Body Temperature: What Is Normal And What Is Not?

If you are a pet parent, it is but normal to be concerned about what is normal and what is not when it comes to your pet’s body temperature. It is as normal as worrying for a child at home.

It eventually a bigger concern because your pets cannot express the fact that they are probably not feeling too well and need you to take special care. If you have recently adopted a dog, situations could be tricky for you since you might fail to identify the red flags or get worried over things that are not really a concern.

This is particularly relevant to the fact that a dog’s normal body temperature is significantly higher than ours and what might seem like a fever is basically the norm.

If you have had a dog before, you would know that even on cold winter nights, it is normal to expect your pet to be a warm fur ball when you cuddle at bedtime. Its internal temperature is higher and that is what makes all the difference. However, this does not allow you to be causal about your dog’s body temperature. You ought to be aware of what is not normal so that you can take precautionary measures before it becomes overwhelming.

What Is Normal?
A dog’s normal body temperature is anywhere between 100 degrees Fahrenheit to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit (37.7°C to 39.1°C). If the body temperature goes below or above this range, it is time to get in touch with a veterinarian. You must quick action whenever the temperature fluctuates because their bodies are not as adaptive as ours and it might lead to fatal conditions if left untreated.

If a dog’s body temperature goes above 104 degrees or stays below 99 degrees, consider both the situations as emergencies and visit a pet hospital right away. It is absolutely unsafe to try and treat such situations by yourself. You must strictly avoid administering over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen because they could react adversely to these medicines. Since the cause of the elevated body temperature is not known till you visit a vet, it is best to stay away from such medication.

Symptoms & Causes
How will you find out whether the elevated temperature of your dog might be indicative of further issues? The best way to find out would be to check its rectal temperature. This is where you need a specially designed thermometer to be used for dogs alone since normal human thermometers will not work efficiently. If the temperature does not fall within the normal range then the other symptoms to look out for will be:

  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Unusual mood
  • Disinclination towards food
  • Nausea
  • Discharge from the nose
  • Shivering

What Can You Do?
If you have called for a doctor or the distance between your home and the hospital is more than 15-20 minutes, you can try bringing down your dog’s body temperature by applying cold water on his feet and around the ears. Keep tracking rectal temperature throughout the way and calm yourself down so that you can function and respond effectively.

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