When you think your dog might be sick, you’ll probably want to take their temperature. But how do you do that, and how do you know if it’s fine or not?
A Normal Temperature
Dogs have a body temperature that’s higher than that of humans. A healthy temperature for canines is from 99.5 °F to 102.5 °F. Small temperature changes mean minor illness that you can treat at home. Temperatures above 104 °F or below 99 °F require immediate emergency veterinary attention.
How To Take Temperature
First, get a thermometer. A normal human thermometer can be used, but a thermometer specifically for dogs or pets is preferred. Do not use a glass thermometer unless it’s an emergency.
It’s preferable to take your dog’s temperature rectally for the most accurate readings, but it will be unpleasant for your dog. Oral or underarm readings are acceptable if you can’t make a rectal reading work.
Take a form of lubricant, such as petroleum jelly, baby oil, or something water-based and apply it to the thermometer. If possible, get someone to help hold your dog down by placing an arm beneath their belly and an arm around their neck. If not, you can learn to do it yourself. Once your dog is secure, insert the thermometer into their rear end, just about an inch in. A digital thermometer will beep when it’s done taking the reading.
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