What is the normal temperature in dogs, how to measure, the causes of high or low temperature


Today, many families live pets, and dogs are no exception. The most important thing - do not forget to provide them with proper care and comfortable living conditions.

Many pet owners are interested in how to understand that their pet is sick and needs the help of a qualified doctor. What is the normal temperature for dogs? How to measure her dog? What if the values ​​obtained are far from optimal performance? We will try to answer these and many other questions in this article.

How to determine?

What is a normal dog temperature? It can vary depending on the breed and be in the range from 37.4 to 39.3 degrees. There are certain patterns that relate to the age of the animal and its size. For adult dogs of large breeds, indicators from 37.4 to 38.3 degrees are considered normal, for medium ones - 37.5-39, for small ones - 38.5-39 degrees. For puppies, the temperature will be slightly different. For large breeds, it can be in the range from 38.2 to 39, for medium ones - from 38.3 to 39.1, for small breeds - from 38.6 to 39.3.


How to measure the temperature of the dog? What should be used for this purpose? A mercury or electronic thermometer is usually used. The latter is much easier to use, and the process of measuring the temperature itself takes less time — about half a minute. Thermometer must be individual. After all manipulations, it must be disinfected. You should also thoroughly wash and disinfect hands.


Before measuring the temperature of the dog, it is necessary to perform several simple operations. First, the thermometer must be disinfected and lubricated with petroleum jelly or baby cream. Then the dog should be laid on its side. You can measure the temperature in a standing position, if the animal calmly responds to manipulation. Lift the tail by the base and insert a thermometer into the rectum. The depth of the introduction should be no more than 2 cm. After that, wait a certain period of time (if we are talking about an electronic thermometer - until the sound signal appears). Then gently pull out the device. If you did everything correctly, then the pet will not have any discomfort.


To facilitate the procedure, you can use a few simple tips:

  1. The animal is better at an early age to teach to measure the temperature. Then this process will not cause you much trouble.
  2. You can train an animal to stand still.
  3. During the procedure, the main thing - do not be afraid and behave naturally and calmly.
  4. After completing this process, the pet must be encouraged with some goodies.

Causes of heat

The temperature of a healthy dog ​​can increase with physical exertion, fright, emotional shock. Also, the heat occurs as a result of a reaction to the vaccine, with various diseases and inflammatory processes in the body. In females, one day before giving birth, a decrease in this indicator by 1-2 degrees may be observed.

What if the dog has a fever? This can occur not only as a result of physical and psychological factors. An animal's temperature can be a sign of a serious illness. Heat is observed in such terrible infections as piroplasmosis, diarrhea, and distemper. In addition, poisoning by rat poison can also cause these symptoms. If you have excluded the influence of external factors, you should immediately contact a veterinarian. The specialist will be able to conduct a primary examination, diagnose a disease in a dog and prescribe treatment. If the temperature rises above 40 degrees, you should immediately contact a veterinarian. If the causes of heat are associated with natural physiological processes, such as teething, then you can give the animal one crushed tablet "Analgin". If there is no result when using this method, you can try to inject intramuscularly a mixture of "No-shpy", "Analgin" and "Dimedrol".

With a sharp drop in temperature, if it is not associated with childbirth, the pet must be warmed using a warm blanket or heating pad. The animal must be urgently taken to the veterinary clinic or to call the veterinarian to the house.

The temperature of the dogs before giving birth

It is especially important to monitor the condition of pregnant bitches. For 12-24 hours, the temperature of the dog before childbirth can drop by 1-2 degrees and fall below the mark of 37 degrees. For this reason, in animals in this state, it is recommended to measure this indicator twice a day: in the morning and in the evening. Directly during the birth of the animal, the fever may begin. If you carefully monitor the condition of the dog, then do not miss the beginning of labor. The main thing - do not fuss. A bitch can begin to whine, worry, often breathe.

Temperature before and after childbirth is the main indicator of a dog's condition. When approaching the moment of birth of puppies should be regularly measured. If a veterinarian is present at birth, be sure to give him this information. Normal temperature in large dogs before the start of this process is approximately 37.4-36.6 degrees. Try to not leave the dog alone for 60 days. In the first stage of labor there are contractions. At this time, there is staggering when walking, shortness of breath, refusal to eat, vomiting. This stage lasts about 12 hours. Throughout the time, try to monitor the temperature of the animal. If it remains a little below the norm, then everything goes fine.

Temperature difference between large and small dogs

Representatives of different breeds may have different vital signs. To determine their individual values ​​with your pet, you must regularly measure. What is a normal dog temperature? For an adult animal, the optimal values ​​are from 37.5 to 38.5 degrees.

For a puppy, a value of 39 degrees is considered normal. It also affects the breed of the animal. The bigger the dog, the colder it is. The normal temperature of small breed dogs is from 38.5 to 39 degrees.

Hot dog: what to do?

Many owners want to know how to help your pet with increasing body temperature. First you need to determine what caused it. It is best to start with an inspection of the animal. Pay attention to the behavior of the dog. Aggression, fear or nervous overexcitement can affect the temperature. In dry and warm weather, a pet may experience discomfort. Poor tolerate the heat of the dog in the age and representatives of large breeds. A value of up to 39 degrees is the normal temperature in an adult dog. But it should be borne in mind that everything here can be determined by the individual characteristics of the animal.

Keeping a schedule

If you decide to take your pet to the exhibition, then you should definitely know how to measure the temperature of the dog. In this case, you will need to maintain a special schedule. If during regular measurements you suddenly find a deviation from the norm, try to establish the cause. A significant decrease or increase in temperature may be associated with a pet's illness. In this case, you should definitely visit the veterinary office or call a specialist at home. Monitoring of this basic vital indicator should also be carried out in pregnant bitches.

Another case where constant temperature measurement is required is the period before and after vaccinations. In this situation, one should pay attention to such factors as increased thirst, refusal to eat, pallor of mucous membranes, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions.

Some owners think that the normal temperature in dogs can be determined by touching their nose. However, whether it is cold or hot, this is not at all an indicator. To find out the temperature, you need to measure it. If the dog is sick, the results should be recorded in the morning and evening.

Dog temperature: what is it talking about?

If you notice a fever in your pet, this does not mean that he is sick. The temperature in dogs can grow for a short time in warm weather or as a result of intense exercise. In addition, the heat can be associated with fear and excitement. In females, an increase in temperature is observed during estrus. However, a smooth growth of 1-2 degrees should cause alertness, but with an increase to 40, you can take emergency measures. The causes may be different, from heat stroke to serious diseases such as piroplasmosis and endometritis. Puppies may have fever due to teething. Often, the temperature rises with inflammation of the joints. Low rates can occur with such ailments as parvovirus enteritis. Also in some cases, a decrease in body temperature may be due to the surgery. If these symptoms appear, the dog should be wrapped up warmly. The condition of the animal must be reported to the veterinarian.

What to do when the temperature appears?

If a dog develops symptoms such as lethargy, refusal to eat, and frequent urination, you should immediately determine whether the animal has fever. It should be borne in mind that in some cases it occurs for quite natural reasons. It is estimated that 39.3 is a normal temperature in dogs that have recently experienced childbirth. After the puppies first appear, it is necessary to monitor the condition of the animal. With a significant increase in temperature, the appearance of seals in the mammary glands and discharge immediately consult a veterinarian. Perhaps the fever is caused by mastitis or inflammation of the uterus.

If you are faced with the appearance of heat in the dog, then be sure to note that this is a clear symptom of some internal problems in the animal's body. Many are interested in what to give the dog the temperature. It is worth remembering that by removing the heat, you do not solve the main problem. In no case do not do home treatment, and take the animal to the vet. Only in the event of a rapid deterioration in the condition of the dog can you resort to methods of emergency temperature reduction. Waiting for the doctor, you can give the animal "Analgin". But in any case, not potent drugs.

If the high temperature is associated with teething or stress, then you can try an injection of "Analgin", "Dimedrol" and "No-shpy." When using other drugs that relieve fever, you can get a blurred clinical picture. In this case, the doctor will be difficult to diagnose. Treatment prescribed by a veterinarian must be strictly followed. In any case it is impossible to cancel the preparations at your own discretion.


Significant changes in temperature in dogs can be caused by diseases such as plague, endometritis, enteritis, and piroplasmosis. Heat is a consequence of serious wounds, allergic reactions and vaccinations. Normal temperature in dogs of small breeds can vary from 37.4 to 39.3 degrees. As a rule, it is determined by the age, breed and individual characteristics of the animal. An attentive owner can always determine that the dog is out of order. With symptoms such as lethargy, lack of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea, you should definitely measure the temperature. For carrying out this procedure, you can use both a normal mercury thermometer and a modern electronic thermometer.

If you decide to have a dog, do not forget that you are responsible for its health. So try to provide all the conditions for a carefree pet.

Normal body temperature in dogs

  • Normal temperature indicators in dogs are not the same as in humans, and fluctuate in between. 37.7-39 ° C.
  • In some situations, the limits can be extended from 37.5 to 39.3 °WITH.
  • On average, the temperature rises above 39 ° C in adults it is no longer the norm.
  • Moreover, a smooth increase in temperature is much more dangerous than sudden jumps, since the vigilance of immunity is literally “put to sleep” and the fight against the cause of the heat does not immediately occur.

The temperature of the dog (the norm) depends on:

  • age (the older, the lower the physiological norm - in small puppies it is considered normal up to 39.2 ° C, in old ones it can be in the range of 37.3-37.8 ° C),
  • sex (the temperature of the bitches is slightly higher than that of the males, due to the nature of the hormonal regulation),
  • pedigree features (in small breeds, the rates are slightly higher than in large breeds at the same age),
  • physiological state (pregnancy, estrus, recovery after an illness, etc., factors provoke a fluctuation of indicators in one direction or another).

How to measure the temperature of the dog?

The following instruments may be needed to measure the temperature:

  • Classic mercury thermometer or veterinary,
  • Digital Thermometer,
  • rectal (mercury or electronic) thermometer,
  • infrared ear thermometer.

Ideally, an animal will have its own personal measuring device that is not used by humans.

Usually the procedure of thermometry does not cause discomfort to the dog, but the helper does not hurt, especially if the dog is a large breed.

  1. Have small dogs temperature is measured in the prone position - on the side or abdomen. If there is an assistant, then he slightly presses the animal to any horizontal surface, and someone measures the second. If there is no helper, the dog is placed across the knees, with one hand holding the tail along the entire length and moving aside, the second is inserted into the thermometer.
  2. Have big dogs it is better to perform thermometry together, and at least one pet should know very well (for example, the owner). One person holds a dog by the neck and girth of the body, the second inserts a thermal thermometer. Large breeds must be in muzzles or with a rope loop fixed to the mouth with an ordinary bandage (single knot on top, torsion from the bottom and fixation on the back of the head below the ears).
  3. End of measuring device Before starting the measurement, it is smeared with a fat cream, glycerin or petroleum jelly.
  4. Tail gently retracted to the side and a neat rotational movement from side to side, the thermometer is introduced into the rectum to a depth of 1-2 cm, depending on what size the pet.
  5. Digital Thermometer aged to a beep, classic mercurial - on time 3-5 minutes infrared earplug The result gives out almost instantly.
  6. After removing the thermometer from the rectum, its tip must be wiped with a swab moistened with any disinfectant solution.

During the procedure, you need to talk to the dog in a soft, relaxed voice. You can accustom your pet to the team, like, “we are treating” or “thermometer”, because the procedure must be carried out on a regular basis. At the end you can give any delicacy, praising the good behavior at the time of thermometry.

Unlike cats, dogs on the body have places where the owner can determine the presence of fever without resorting to instrument thermometry. Such places include the ears, underarms and inguinal cavities, as well as gums.

  • Ears. Many vessels pass through the auricles, which expand at high temperatures, giving higher degrees than usual. Both ears should be equally hot. It is not a sign of fever that the local temperature is raised by only one ear — this is more evidence of a local inflammatory process.
  • Axillary and inguinal cavities. The dogs do not have sweat glands in these areas, so the rise in the overall temperature of the body is perfectly felt there by the apparent heat. The hands of a person with a tactile measurement should not be cold, so as not to have false-hot sensations.
  • Gums. In normal condition, the gums of the dog are wet and pink. If the animal begins to beat the fever, they become intensely red and, literally, almost dry.

Signs of increasing or decreasing the temperature of the body of the dog

There are a number of signs that should give the pet owner an idea to perform thermometry and find out the body temperature. Decreasing body degrees (hypothermia) in a dog is as dangerous as growing (fever).

Symptoms of fever:

  • dry and hot nose (unless at night and not after sleep),
  • lethargy and apathy,
  • refusal of food, and, sometimes, of water,
  • pale and dry gums, tongue,
  • sometimes vomiting,
  • convulsions
  • hard breath,
  • cardiopalmus.

Warning: dry and hot nose has a diagnostic value only if this phenomenon is observed for a long time, and not sporadically!

Possible reasons for the increase in body temperature of the dog:

  • estrus and pregnancy
  • state of stress
  • long active games
  • feeding,
  • period of teething (usually indigenous).

  • bacterial infection
  • viral diseases,
  • purulent-inflammatory processes (often hidden),
  • bacterial poisoning.

  • any necrotic processes
  • the effect of drugs affecting thermoregulation centers in the brain,
  • тепловой удар,
  • реакция на вакцинацию,
  • аллергии,
  • воспаление суставов,
  • наследственная лихорадка шарпея (аутоиммунная болезнь данной породы).

Температура падает при:

  • глистных инвазиях,
  • пищевых отравлениях (неинфекционных),
  • heavy blood loss
  • hypothermia,
  • some viral infections that suppress immunity (for example, parvovirus enteritis),
  • chronic liver and kidney pathologies in old dogs,
  • multiple injuries (for example, fractures),

  • in the prenatal period (one or two days before the birth),
  • the postoperative period at the time of separation from anesthesia.

First aid for raising or lowering body temperature in dogs

High or low temperature is a sign that adverse changes have occurred in the dog's health, i.e. it is not an independent disease, but an integral symptom. At home, it is allowed to independently influence its performance only in cases where it is impossible to immediately visit a veterinarian or a life threatening pet with critical numbers.

With fever

The dog does not sweat the entire surface of the body, so it is very important to lower the temperature as soon as possible if it has reached a critical point. An independent medical temperature reduction will lubricate the clinical picture of the disease, which will make it difficult to make an accurate diagnosis. Antipyretic drugs for humans on dogs act somewhat differently and can cause fatal poisoning and internal bleeding.

Remember: dogs are not allowed to give paracetamol! Also, you should not give any other antipyretic drugs from the human first aid kit, and nothing without the appointment of a veterinary specialist.

If it is impossible to deliver the animal to the veterinary clinic, the temperature can be slightly reduced on its own without medication:

  1. Conduct contact cooling. To do this, to the neck, inner thigh and paw pads attach ice, wrapped in a kitchen towel or any medium-density cloth or tissue napkin.
  2. In the absence of ice wet the hair of the animal with cool water, including the paw pads.
  3. Sure to water cool water (not cold!).
  4. Put your pet in any cool place in the house (for example, in a tiled bathroom). Usually, the dogs themselves are looking for a similar place at times when they are in a fever, which may initially serve as a signal that the pet should check the body temperature.

All the above procedures usually manage to lower the body temperature below the critical limit in order to be able to get to the veterinary specialist.


At home, when the temperature drops below normal, the dog needs to literally warm up. Put in a warm place, put a heating pad with water up to 38 ° C to the paws, cover with a woolen blanket, drink warm drink (milk, broth). After normalization of temperature, the need to visit the vet remains.

General therapy will include:

  • antiviral or antimicrobial drugs,
  • antiparasitic agents
  • immunostimulants,
  • vitamin and tonic complexes,
  • detoxification and rehydrating intravenous droppers, removing toxins from the body and restoring the water-salt balance.

You can not ignore any signs that are not characteristic of the daily state and behavior of your pet. It is possible that the dog's fever or temperature has dropped and how quickly the pet will recover, will depend on the speed of the meeting with the veterinarian and the timely diagnosis.

When to pay attention

It makes sense to measure the temperature if your pet has the following symptoms:

  • refusal to eat
  • rejection of water
  • lethargy,
  • pallor of the mucous membranes of the mouth and tongue
  • dry nose and fever,
  • diarrhea,
  • vomiting
  • convulsions.

How and what to measure

The body temperature of the dog is measured by a normal thermometer.It can be mercury or electronic. The latter is more convenient to use, since the measurement takes less time (up to 30 seconds).

Measurement requires a series of simple steps:

  1. Disinfect the thermometer and grease its tip with a greasy cream (petroleum jelly or regular baby cream).
  2. Lay the dog on its side (and standing, if it is calm).
  3. Lift the tail up, holding it by the base.
  4. Enter the thermometer into the rectum to a depth of 2 cm.
  5. Wait for the time required to measure (5 minutes or before the beep).
  6. Carefully remove the instrument.

If done correctly, the pet will not experience any discomfort.

A few tips to facilitate this procedure:

  • It is better to accustom an animal to measurements in the childhood, then at adult age this manipulation will not give you trouble.
  • Perform manipulation on the team ("Treat" or any other at the discretion of the owner).
  • During the procedure, behave naturally and with a firm hand to perform the measurement.
  • After the procedure, encourage the pet delicacy.

Possible reasons for the change

Temperature can to rise at:

  • physical exertion
  • emotional turmoil
  • scare
  • heat
  • on hot days
  • teething,
  • vaccination reactions
  • diseases: distemper, endometritis, inflammation, inflammation of the joints, piroplasmosis, adenovirus infection.

Temperature can go down at:

  • close births (within 1 day),
  • diseases: parvovirus enteritis puppies, worm infestation.

What to do if the temperature is not normal?

The temperature may rise and fall in a dog not only from physical and psychological factors, but also to be a symptom of a serious illness.

Changes can provoke diseases such as distemper, diarrhea, piroplasmosis. It can also be a symptom of poisoning with rat poison.

If you have excluded the action of external factors, you should immediately show your pet to the veterinarian. He will make an examination and make the correct diagnosis, and after that he will prescribe an effective treatment.

If the change is caused by a clearly physiological factor or teething, it is recommended to give a crushed analgin tablet when it is raised. In the case of the ineffectiveness of this method, intramuscular injection of a mixture of three components is allowed: no-shpy (0.2 ml), analgin (0.4 ml) and diphenhydramine (0.2 ml).

If there is a decrease in temperature, not related to the upcoming replenishment of the offspring, then the pet must be warmed (using a heating pad or a warm blanket) and urgently delivered to the pet aid station or to call the doctor to the house.

If there are signs of an increase or decrease in temperature in dogs, it is recommended to immediately seek help from a veterinarian, and only in the absence of this opportunity can measures be taken to normalize it.

Rule temperature for dogs:

  • For small breeds. Puppies of such breeds often have a temperature from 38.5 degrees to 39.2. And adult animals from 38.4 to 39 degrees.
  • For medium breeds. The temperature standard for puppies of an average breed should be as follows: from 38.2 to 39 degrees. And adult dogs - from 37.4 to 39 degrees.
  • For large breeds. Puppies of large dogs should have a temperature of 38.1 to 39 degrees, and adult dogs from 37.3 to 38.4 degrees.

It should also be remembered that the body temperature in dogs may increase or decrease due to many factors. For example:

  • Before childbirth, the dog's body temperature drops slightly.
  • The temperature of the dog is influenced by the time of year. That is, if a dog is in the sun for a long time, then it will increase, or if it is in the cold, then, accordingly, it will decrease.
  • Also, the dog's emotions can affect the body temperature: anger, aggression, excessive joy and fear.

To the question: "What is the body temperature of a dog is considered normal?" Can not be answered unequivocally The animal organism is individual, and in order to know the normal body temperature of your pet, you must constantly measure it.

How to measure the temperature of a dog?

To measure the body temperature in dogs, you must use a thermometer (thermometer). To measure the body temperature in dogs, it is best to take an electric thermometer, because this procedure is not pleasant, and animals react badly to it. And the electric thermometer will allow to measure the temperature in less than 30 seconds, while with a mercury thermometer it is necessary to measure it for 5 minutes.

How to measure the temperature of the dog?

  1. First, take a thermometer (it should be exclusively for animals) and lubricate its tip with baby cream or vaseline.
  2. Then put the dog on its side, lift its tail and enter the thermometer 2 centimeters into the rectum.
  3. During this procedure, keep the pet so that it does not jump. Stroke him and talk to him. Try to calm the dog.
  4. After the thermometer has fixed the data, gently pull it out and rinse. Then disinfect with alcohol. Do the same with your hands.

If your pet's body temperature is not normal, or there are any signs of illness, then immediately take the dog to the veterinary clinic.

In this article, you learned how to measure the temperature of a dog and you will need this knowledge for a long time. Take care of your pets and do not allow them to hurt.