The average temperature of a healthy dog is 101 °F or 38 °C, however, the normal temperature of a healthy dog may range from 99 °F to 102.5 °F (37.2 °C–39.2 °C).
Dogs are homeothermic or warm-blooded animals. Their body temperatures are maintained at a fairly constant level regardless of the temperature of their environment. The hypothalamus is the main part of the brain that regulates body temperature. When the body temperature is low, the hypothalamus stimulates the body’s muscles to shiver. When the body temperature is high, the hypothalamus will stimulate the sweat glands and stimulate the blood vessels of the skin to allow more heat to escape from the body.
How can you tell if your dog has a fever or illness? Some people say you can tell by your dog’s nose. Some say if his nose is cool and wet, that’s normal, but if it’s hot and dry, that could indicate fever.
Either way, there’s more to it. Because your dog is not able to tell you what’s wrong, it’s up to you to look for signs. Here is a list of the most common signs, if your dog displays any of them, it’s time to see a veterinarian:
Lethargy/lack of energy: Depression, Red Eyes, Warm ears, Warm, dry nose, Shivering, Loss of appetite, Coughing, Vomiting.
If you feel comfortable, you can take your dog’s temperature using a special ear or rectal thermometer (made specially for dogs). If your dog’s temperature is above 103F (which is considered a fever) or below 99F, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Like people, dogs can get sick too. So remember temperature matters. And it’s always best to turn to a veterinary professional for the sake of the dog’s health, and the peace of mind of the entire family.