Do you know what the normal dog body temperature is? Read on and find out. This page also shows you how to take a dog's temperature as well as a dog's pulse. It tells you when a dog is considered to have a fever, and the implications of fever from a holistic point of view.
Dogs have higher body temperature than we do. Therefore, even if your dog may feel hot or feverish to you, his body temperature may still be within normal limit.
The normal dog temperature is 101.5°F (38.6°C). A body temperature of 102°F (38.9°C) or above is considered a fever.
Dogs can run a high fever of 104°F (40°C) and sometimes up to 105°F (40.5°C). According to many holistic veterinarians, we need not be alarmed unless the dog body temperature reaches 103°F, since a fever is generally a good sign - read Dog Fever below.
But if your dog's body temperature is elevated due to hot weather, then you need to take quick action to cool down the dog temperature to prevent heat stroke.
Dogs running a fever usually are lethargic, depressed, and may suffer from a loss of appetite. But of course the only way to find out for certain whether your dog has a fever or not is to take his body temperature.
Here are the steps to follow when taking your dog's body temperature:
Alternatively, if your dog is really uncooperative, you may consider getting a non-contact ear thermometer like this one:
Here are the steps to follow when taking your dog's pulse:
Normally, a dog's pulse is between 70 to 180 beats per minute.
Large dogs have a slower pulse - the larger they are, the slower pulse they have. On the other hand, puppies have a much fast pulse, up to 220 beats per minute.
A faster pulse usually indicates shock or fever; a very weak pulse indicates that you should call the vet immediately!
Dog fever is generally regarded by conventional veterinarians as a kind of "disease" - an infection - and they do not hesitate to use medicines such as antibiotics to "treat" the infection.
This way of dealing with fever is not curative, because by using strong drugs to lower the dog's body temperature, the vets are just suppressing the "symptom" and are not tackling the real underlying health problem that is causing the fever in the first place.
Holistic veterinarians view dog fever as it is - a "symptom". It is a sign (usually a good one) that the dog's body immune system is working hard to get rid of whatever bugs there are inside the body.
It is important, therefore, that if your dog is running a fever, look for other accompanying symptoms and try to find out the underlying illness causing the fever. If that is difficult, and if your dog's fever does not go away, then consult your veterinarian.
There are a lot of possible health problems that may cause fever in dogs, such as bacterial or viral infections, like canine flu, distemper, parvovirus, leptospirosis, urinary tract infections, etc.
Tick-borne disease such as Lyme disease can be another culprit.
More seriously, sometimes dogs with certain type of cancer could also have a fever.
These are just a few examples of problems that could cause a dog's temperature to go up. The bottom line? Always get a proper diagnosis if the dog's fever doesn't go down in a couple of days.
If your dog has a fever but no other accompanying symptoms, you may want to use some home remedies and natural ways to help your dog.
For example, using a homeopathic remedy is often recommended to speed up the body's curing process. For more information, visit our page on Fever Remedies For Dogs.