As responsible dog owners, understanding the normal temperature for dogs is as vital as being able to detect if your dog is showing any other signs of illness or injury. Vets and indeed doctors.

Normal Temperature For A Dog – A Guide For All Dog Owners

Let’s get straight to it shall we, the normal resting temperature for a dog is between 101 and 103 degrees Fahrenheit. If your dog is showing the tell tale signs of high temperature / fever – which would include symptoms such as:

– Panting
– Heavy breathing
– Lethargy
– Exterior heat

then you must enable the dog to be seen, quickly, by a vet.

Like humans, any abnormalities when measuring the normal temperature of a dog is one of the first indicators of their current state of health. A rise in the dog’s normal temperature can be an indicator, an early warning sign that something is not right and a failure to address the initial signs of a high temperature can have serious consequences, including shock and damage to internal organs.

To determine the dog’s temperature a vet will usually use a high quality thermometer via a rectal insertion. Some dogs do not enjoy this and will squirm so help your vet out by holding the dog steady and reassuring them.

In the initial stages of a high temperature, such as exposure to heat, you can try to cool your dog down by using a damp towel and providing them easy access to cold water. Dehydration is extremely serious and in some cases fatal so treat any signs of high temperature rapidly and engage your vet at the earliest possible opportunity.

You need to know and remember the normal temperature for a dog in an effort to be able to distinguish for yourself (by using a thermometer) if urgent veterinary intervention is required. It could save your dog’s life.

– How To Take Your Dog’s Temperature
– How To Read A Dog’s Pulse
– How To Collect Stool Samples

As your dog’s constant companion, you are probably very attuned to fluctuations in his behavior. If you observe that your dog seems more sluggish or less comfortable than normal, take a careful look at him. Does your dog have a runny nose? A cough? Is his appetite normal? Does he have diarrhea? Is he drooling excessively? Is he whining? These are all examples of warning signs that may accompany an illness and you may have to do some minor investigating. Here are some tips:

How To Take A Dog’s Temperature

If your dog seems sluggish, has a hot, dry nose, dull eyes, and/or feels warm, he may have a fever. The only reliable way to take your dog’s temperature is with a rectal thermometer. Shake down the thermometer and grease it well with petroleum jelly.

Not many dogs will stand still while you insert a thermometer into their rectum, so it is best to get someone to help you. If no help is available, make your dog lie down on his side and hold him as best you can, all the while talking to him soothingly. Lift his tail and gently push the thermometer in with a twisting motion. Insert the thermometer from one to three inches, depending on the size of your dog. Hold the thermometer in place for at least two minutes.

Remove it, wipe it clean, and determine the temperature by the height of the silver column of mercury on the thermometer scale. A temperature of 100.5 degrees to 102 degrees is normal. A temperature above 103 degrees or below 100.0 is cause for concern, and merits a call to your veterinarian. Do not let go of the dog or of the thermometer. You do not want to risk having the thermometer break in the dog’s rectum. If the thermometer does break off, do not attempt to find and extract the broken end. Give the dog one to two teaspoonfuls of mineral oil and call your veterinarian.

How To Take A Dog’s Pulse

The most reliable way of taking your dog’s pulse is to locate the femoral artery. Your dog can either be standing or can be lying on his back for this. Put your fingers inside your dog’s groin, where the leg joins the trunk. Feel around until you detect a pulse. Another method is to press against the rib cage over the heart while your dog is standing. You should be able to detect a pulse just below the elbow joint.

Count how many beats there are in a fifteen-second period, and then multiply that number by four. The normal range is wide – anywhere from 70 to 130 beats per minute. Smaller breeds
and puppies usually tend toward faster pulse rates, while larger breeds and healthy dogs who get plenty of exercise often have a slower pulse.

Collecting Urine Samples From Dogs

For male dogs, use a wide-mouthed jar. When your male dog lifts his leg to urinate during a walk, reach down gently and collect about a quarter cup of urine. For a female dog, place a flat pan under her when she squats to urinate.

Collecting Stool Samples From Dogs

Stool samples are used to determine the presence of intestinal parasites. A sample is often requested as part of your dog’s routine examination. Try to collect as fresh a sample as possible and place it in a plastic bag. If you are taking it from outside, avoid soil; organisms on the ground could make their way into your dog’s fecal material, resulting in an inaccurate reading.

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