A dog fever can signify a number of pet health conditions. As such, when your dog is sick, one of the first things you will need to do is check its temperature. A normal dog temperature taken rectally is anywhere between 100.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. If your canine has a temperature above 103, you will want to seek veterinary attention.
Simply feeling your dog’s head or nose is not a reliable way to determine if it has a fever. For you to obtain a reliable reading, you will need a rectal or an ear thermometer. It is relatively easy to take a dog’s temperature; however, you must use proper techniques as described below.
Taking Your Dog’s Temperature Rectally
If you choose to take your dog’s temperature rectally, you will need someone to help you keep your pet still. It is best if this is a person who your dog knows and likes. First, lubricate the thermometer with a bit of petroleum jelly. Then, lie your dog down on its side and have your helper keep it still while lifting the tail.
When using a mercury thermometer, shake it down to 94 degrees before gently sliding it into the rectum. Use a slight twisting motion while inserting about one to two inches of the thermometer into the rectum. Leave it in place for about two minutes, at which point, you can pull it out.
If you are using a digital thermometer, a beep will signify when it is time to pull it out. In any case, after you remove the thermometer, carefully wipe it off and take note of the reading. Temperatures below 99 or above 103 degrees Fahrenheit signify that your canine needs medical attention right away.
How to Use an Ear Thermometer
Ear thermometers offer a great way to take your dog’s temperature, in that they are much less invasive than rectal thermometers. Furthermore, your dog is more likely to be cooperative when you check its temperature in the ear rather than the rectum. However, you must make sure that use the thermometer properly.
Carefully place the thermometer into the horizontal ear canal for an accurate reading. Within just a few seconds, the thermometer will beep signifying that it is time to pull it out. A canine’s normal ear temperature is anywhere between 100 and 103 degrees Fahrenheit. Again, anything below 99 or above 103 is cause for concern.
How to Take Your Canine’s Temperature: Useful Tips
When placing a thermometer into your pet’s rectum, do not slide it in too deeply, as it could cause pain to your dog and can be hard to remove. Additionally, it helps if you tie a string to the end in case it slips in too far. In this way, you will be able to pull it out easily.
It is also essential to note that digital or ear thermometers are safer to use than those that contain mercury. This is because mercury can be dangerous to your dog should the thermometer break. Finally, if you cannot keep your dog calm enough to take its temperature, take it to the vet.
A high fever in dogs can be a warning sign of a vast array of pet health conditions. Low temperatures can signify shock whereas high temperatures could mean your pet is suffering from heat stroke or a serious infection. As such, if your dog has a fever, you need to take it to a veterinarian right away.