Pet Temp Instant Ear Thermometer. Available for $49.99 at PetSmart. Click photo to learn more or purchase.
If a pet owner is wondering, ‘Is my dog sick?” one of the first steps is to take the dog’s temperature. But many dog owners don’t know what’s a normal temperature for a dog. So if you’re wondering, “What is a normal temperature in a dog?” read on!
What’s a Normal Temperature for a Dog? – Dog Fevers vs. Normal
A dog’s normal body temperature is much higher than a human’s – 100.5º to 102.5º Fahrenheit is a normal dog temperature when the reading is taken rectally.
Pet owners can also take a dog’s temperature using an ear thermometer. While, pet ear thermometers are much easier to use (and they’re versatile, since they can be used for dogs, cats, and small animals too), readings do tend to be a bit less precise. So if using a pet ear thermometer, the dog’s normal range is between 100º and 103º Fahrenheit.
Whatever the method, a dog’s temperature is below 100º or above 103º, it’s time to visit the veterinary clinic for an exam. A dog with a fever may be sick with a virus, or he may be suffering from an infection or any number of other ailments. Illnesses and medical conditions (i.e. a disease affecting the circulatory system) can cause the dog to have a temperature that’s lower than normal.
What’s a Dog’s Normal Temp? – Determining a Dog’s Temperature Baseline
Unfortunately, this normal temperature range in dogs can complicate matters. If a dog’s normal temperature is 100.5º, then a temperature of 102.5º may mean that this dog is sick. In other dogs, 102.5º is normal. Unlike humans, “normal” varies among individuals.
For this reason, it’s important to determine the dog’s baseline when he’s healthy. Take the dog’s temperature at various points during the day over the course of several days. Once a couple dozen temperature readings have been taken, calculate the average to determine the dog’s baseline.
To ensure accurate readings, avoid taking the dog’s temperature after exercise (the temperature will be higher than normal) and avoid taking the dog’s temperature after sleeping (the dog’s body temperature is lower than normal during and immediately following sleep.)
(Pictured: Pet Temp Instant Ear Thermometer, $49.99 at PetSmart. Click photo to learn more or purchase.)