Knowing the normal temperature for a dog is important if your dog develops a high fever. A dog’s normal temperature should range from 101 to 103 degrees Fahrenheit.
A fever is the body’s normal response to fight an infection. But if your dog’s fever rises above 105 degrees, it can cause damage to its vital organs and may cause your dog to go into shock.
Determining whether your pet has a normal temperature for a dog or whether it has a fever requires the use of a rectal thermometer. But using a rectal thermometer can sometimes be difficult because the dog does not want to remain still while you take its temperature. Most dogs find this invasive procedure uncomfortable and will squirm and try to move away from you.
If you notice your dog displaying any of these symptoms, you should use a rectal thermometer to see if it has a temperature higher than the normal range:
* Sleeping more than usual during the day (unless you have a senior dog who always sleeps a lot during the day)
* Lack of interest in eating or drinking anything
* Lack of interest in usual activities
If your dog’s temperature is not unusually high and does not require a visit to your veterinarian, you can try to lower the fever naturally.
Start by bathing your dog in a cool bath. Make sure the water is not too cool or ice cold. If it is, this can cause your dog to go into a state of shock if it has a high fever.
Make sure that your dog is drinking plenty of fresh, cool water. When a dog has a fever, it usually doesn’t have any desire to eat or drink. But your dog can go longer without eating than it can without water, so if your dog has a fever and is not drinking plenty of water, it can lead to dehydration and more serious complications.
Medication for a Fever
If your dog’s temperature exceeds 104 degrees Fahrenheit, you need to seek medical attention immediately. This level of body temperature and higher can cause critical organs such as the heart, kidneys and lungs to fail.
Your veterinarian will probably suggest leaving your dog for a few hours or possibly overnight to allow the monitoring of its fever. If the fever remains elevated after administering medication, more invasive methods such as surgery may be required.
Knowing the normal temperature for a dog is necessary to distinguish between a simple fever versus a dangerous one. High fevers are just as serious in a dog as they are in small children and care should be taken to treat a dog whose temperature rises above a safe range.