Just as with humans, the body temperature of your dog should be monitored from time to time. Under normal conditions, dogs and other household pets have warmer body temperatures than humans, but you should always be on the lookout that their body temperatures do not reach levels that can be considered extreme. Extreme body temperatures are regarded as those that fall above the prescribed normal body temperatures. The question then becomes, what is the normal body temperature for your dog?
It is very important to know what constitutes a normal body temperature with respect to your dog. This will help you to notice any major fluctuations of your dog’s body temperature so that you can act appropriately. According to the American Kennel Club, the normal body temperature for your dog should fall between 101 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Under such temperature conditions, your dog is considered to have a normal body temperature with no need for concern.
What Constitutes Abnormal Body Temperature for a Dog?
In addition to knowing what constitutes your dog’s normal body temperature, it is equally important to know what is considered an abnormal temperature or an extreme temperature for your pet. The American Kennel Club points out that you should consider your dog as having an abnormal temperature if it falls below 99 degrees Fahrenheit or goes above 104 degrees Fahrenheit. This might be an indication that something is wrong and you need to establish the cause of the abnormal temperature.
What Causes Abnormal Temperature in Dogs?
Any instance of extreme temperature in your dog is an indication that the animal might be ill and you need to contact your veterinary physician as soon as possible. Several causes are considered typical when it comes to temperature fluctuations that your dog might experience. The most obvious situation is when your dog is ill. Dogs are not any different than human beings and being sick will result in a substantial increase or decline in body temperature. This is why it is strongly advisable to seek professional intervention as soon as you realize that your dog is exhibiting body temperature conditions that are significantly higher than normal.
In addition to indicating the possible presence of an ailment, another reason why your dog might exhibit a higher than normal body temperature is when the animal has ingested a toxic substance. The presence of a toxic substance in your dog’s body will result in various chemical reactions taking place which can eventually translate to a substantial increase in temperature. Therefore, it is important to establish the cause of the rise in temperature as soon as possible in case the increase is caused by ingestion of a toxic substance. The worst case situation here is that it could prove fatal to the animal.
Sometimes the increase in body temperature might actually come about by scenarios that are less serious. For instance, the body temperature of your dog might increase because they might have spent a substantial amount of time outdoors in high temperatures. If this is the case, the body temperature of your dog should normalize within a relatively short period of time which means there is no need for professional intervention.
How to measure the body temperature of your dog
Finally, besides simply just understanding the implications of extreme body temperatures in your dog, it is equally important to understand how to go about taking your dog’s temperature. You should use the right approach so as not to scare them or make them nervous when trying to establish their temperature. The best device to use is a digital thermometer. Typically these are made of plastic, and you can even use one designed for human use. In the case of taking a dog’s temperature, it is best to use a rectal thermometer. A traditional mercury thermometer might break inside the dog’s body which could end up harming your pet and causing more harm.
In the end, we love our pets like family, and we want to be sure we do all we can to keep them happy and healthy.