As a pet parent and human parent I have come to notice that caring for both types of children have a lot in common. Especially when it comes to getting sick. When a child laments about not feeling well often the first thing a parent will do is place a hand on the forehead to feel for a temperature. If the child feels warm, we take that as an indication of true sickness.
But what about your pets? Have you ever taken your dog’s temperature when you notice they are a bit sluggish or not eating like they normally do? I will take a guess here and say no. You might not even know how to take the temp of your dog (one hint: you use a thermometer- but it’s not going in their mouth).
A dog’s temperature is supposed to hover between 100°-102.5°, anything else and the dog should be headed immediately to the vet. Especially if the temp is higher than 102.5°. Once it rises, the dog will start to overheat, become dehydrated and, of course, a high temp means there is something more serious going on inside your dog.
For the cat pet parents out there, the safe temp range is also 100°-102.5° and newborn puppies and kitties temp is 96°.
But how will you know when your dog has a high or low temp? By following these simple steps:
- Turn on your digital thermometer. Never use a glass thermometer; it may break off inside your dog posing a serious health risk.
- Apply a non-petroleum based lubricant to the thermometer for easy, pain-free insertion.
- Hold your pet securely or get help from another person if possible. Hold up the tail and gently insert the thermometer into the anus about 1/4 inch, a very short distance in, and keep in place until it beeps, which indicates it has measured the current body temperature.
- Remove and record temperature.
- Clean thermometer and store safely, marking it for pet use only.
It is important to keep a running log of your pet’s temperature and check as often as hourly when sick. Any slight variant in temp when sick should be an immediate trip to the vet. With pets it is often hard to tell exactly when something might be wrong and since they cannot speak up, we must have protocols in place to eliminate hesitations on taking them to the vet. If you get an inkling that something is not quite right with your pet, take the temp immediately and take them to the vet. Simple and easy as that, no hesitations needed.