Is My Dog Sick?

Is my dog sick? What are the signs and symptoms of a sick dog? What's a dog's normal temperature? How do I check my dog's gums?

“What’s a Dog’s Normal Temperature?”

“Is My Dog Sick?”

“How Do I Check a Dog’s Gums?”

“How Can I Tell if My Dog is Sick?”

“Why is My Dog Shivering?”

Checking if a dog’s nose is wet or cold will not tell you if your dog is sick. This is actually an old wives tale!

Instead, dog owners should perform a quick, basic physical examination of their pet to look for signs of illness in the dog.

How to Check a Dog’s Vital Signs

Start by checking the dog’s gum color by lifting up the dog’s lips. Normal gum color in dogs ranges from a bubblegum pink to a darker salmon color. Abnormal gums in a dog will appear brick red, pale white, yellow or blue/grey.

Next, take the dog’s temperature rectally. A dog’s normal temperature in a dog is between 100.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Abnormal gum color and abnormal body temperature are symptoms of a sick dog.

A sick dog may also show other symptoms of illness, including shivering and trembling, lethargy and excessive sleeping, and refusal to eat and drink.

Should I Take My Dog to the Vet?

If a dog has abnormal gum color and the dog has a fever or abnormal body temperature, combined with other symptoms like a dog who is not eating, it’s time to visit the veterinary clinic!

For more on how to tell if a dog is sick, check out Is My Dog Sick? along with Why is My Pet Shivering and Why Isn’t My Dog Eating?

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One Response to “Is My Dog Sick?”

  1. Jill Browne Says:

    My poor black dog was really sick last fall, lethargic, not eating, all the things you mention, Mia.

    When I checked her gums - which I have seen millions of times, by the way - I was so alarmed I called the vet in panic to say, “The dog’s gums are BLACK!” This was totally true, but in fact my dog has always had black gums so, taking my words literally, there was nothing really to get excited about. Thank goodness the vet and her staff understood that I was talking about more than just the colour.

    Being dehydrated gave the black a completely different look - slack, dry, and scary (like all her teeth would fall out at any second).

    Although what I THOUGHT I was reacting to was the black colour, in fact it was the flatness and dryness - I just didn’t have the words for it.

    I’m so happy to have such a great vet’s office to help me with dog emergencies and routine care. Dog got better, all’s well now.

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