Summer is here, which means pooches are beginning to pant all across the country. Besides the obvious fact that dogs are always wearing a fur coat, did you know that they have a higher normal body temperature than humans?
Normal Dog Body Temperature for Dogs
While a normal human body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, a normal dog body temperature is anywhere between 101 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that your pup is a real life hot dog! It also explains why fleas are more attracted to your pets than to you.
Another reason your dog runs a little hotter than you is that unlike humans, dogs only have sweat glands on the pads of their paws. No wonder cooling off can be tough!
So if you own a hot dog - how can you tell if he has a fever? First of all, you should keep in mind that just like us, dogs' temperatures can rise or fall a bit for many reasons, including vaccinations or the general temperature outside, in which case you may not need to worry. However, if your dog's temperature rises above 104 degrees Fahrenheit, something more serious might be going on and you should get to the vet right away.
Taking Your Dog's Temperature
Unfortunately, knowing if your dog has a fever isn't as easy as touching his nose. It is a common myth that a wet nose means a healthy pup and a dry nose means fever. The only reliable way to take a dog's temperature is rectally. A regular human digital thermometer with a flexible end will work just fine. To take the temperature, you will need to apply petroleum jelly on the thermometer bulb and insert the thermometer an inch or two into the rectum depending on whether your dog is a large or small breed. It is best to have a friend or family member hold on to your pets head when you take their temperature. If you don't feel up to taking your pet's temperature at home and are worried they have a fever, you can always go straight to the vet and let them do the dirty work.
In any case, remember that all dogs have a normal body temperature a little higher than our own. This will help you to be aware of when you pet has a fever and when they might need to take a break from summer fun to cool off.