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What’s a Dog’s Normal Temperature?

December 31, 2009 By: admin Category: All Sick Dog Blog Posts, Dog Fevers, Dog Symptoms, Ear Thermometers for Pets, General Dog Health, Pet Products, Taking a Dog's Temperature

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.)

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How Do I Check My Dog’s Gums?

February 26, 2009 By: admin Category: All Sick Dog Blog Posts, Dog Illnesses and Diseases, Dog Symptoms, General Dog Health

Pale gums are a symptom of a sick dog. (Marjorie Manicke Photo)

This article will answer questions like, “What should I look for when I check my dog’s gums?” “What will a sick dog’s gums look like?” “What does it mean if a dog has pale gums?” and “Help! My dog has dry, pale white gums! What should I do?”

Checking a dog’s gums is a very reliable way to check on a dog’s health in a general sense. In many cases, a sick dog will have white gums or other gum discoloration.

But how do you check a dog’s gums? What should you look for when you check a dog’s gums? Keep reading for a guide on how to check your dog’s gums.

How Do I Check My Dog’s Gums?

Begin by lifting the dog’s lip and examine the gums. It’s best to check a dog’s gums in natural light.

A healthy dog’s gums will be pink. Healthy gum colors in dogs range from bubblegum pink to a darker salmon.

An unhealthy dog’s gums will be discolored. Unhealthy gums will look pale white, grey, yellow, blue or brick red.

In a healthy dog, the gums will also be slick to the touch. If the dogs gums are sticky or dry, this indicates dehydration. Dehydration can occur if a dog won’t eat or drink – a situation that usually occurs when a dog is ill or experiencing discomfort.


More Help for Checking a Dog’s Gums

It’s also important to note that many dogs gums will have patches of darker skin pigmentation. You may also see dark patches on the tongue. These darker patches of skin pigmentation are completely normal in most cases. Some breeds of dog — like the Chow Chow — may normally have black-blue colored gums and tongue. The key is to check your dog’s gums when he’s healthy so you know what’s normal for your pet. When you know what’s normal, it’s much easier to know when a dog is sick.

Another hint: Avoid checking a dog’s gums right after he wakes up; the dog’s gums will appear abnormally pale as a result of slowed circulation that naturally occurs while the dog is asleep.

What Happens if My Dog’s Gums Are Pale or Discolored?

If your dog’s gums are abnormal in color or if the dog’s gums are dry and sticky, it’s best to take the dog to your veterinary clinic for an exam.

To learn more about what it means if a dog’s gums are pale or discolored, check out this article on The Sick Dog Blog titled “What Does it Mean if My Dog’s Gums Are Pale?”

In addition, see the related articles on The Sick Dog Blog (links below) for photos of pale dog gums, photos of healthy dog gums, along with photos of a dog with black dog gums and info on how to check a dog’s gums if he has black gum pigmentation.


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