Fever is a common sign of illness in dogs. By using a thermometer you can measure your dog’s current state quickly and easily.
The normal body temperature in dogs is slightly higher than that of humans. In adult dogs it ranges from 38.0°C to 39.0°C, and in puppies up to 39.5°C. In order to get a reliable reading you should measure the rectal temperature. Measuring under the armpit or in the mouth is unreliable in dogs. It is best to ask someone to help when you take your dog’s temperature. This means one person can hold the dog while the other lubricates the thermometer with a little gel and carefully inserts it into the anus. The thermometer should be held in place for approximately one minute. Electronic thermometers beep when the measurement has been recorded.
If your dog has a fever, in combination with other signs of illness such as weariness, refusing food and panting, this can be a clear indication of a problem. If this is the case, always take your dog to a vet. The body temperature is also a very good means of monitoring a patient currently undergoing treatment. In the case of infectious diseases, an easing in the fever is a sign of improvement, for example when an antibiotic begins to take effect.
In order to examine a dog as gently as possible, it is helpful to get the dog used to examinations at a young age. If a puppy is familiarised, for example, with the measuring of temperature in a playful and relaxed atmosphere, it will put up little resistance when it is older. It will know the procedure and be aware that nothing bad will happen.
If a dog is always tired, it's temperature should be taken