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What is a dog's normal body temperature?

According to Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook, the average normal body temperature for an adult dog is 38.5 degrees Celsius (101.3 degrees Fahrenheit). However, a healthy adult dog can have a body temperature range from 37.7 to 39.2 degrees Celsius (100 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit). Body temperature is a great way to monitor a dog's health.

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Puppies have slightly lower temperatures than adult dogs. Newborns have temperatures of 34.4 to 36.1 degrees Celsius (94 to 97 degrees Fahrenheit). By the time they are one month old, this will rise to 37.7 degrees Celsius (100 Fahrenheit) .

Pregnant dog

Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook notes that a female dog's body temperature will suddenly drop 12 to 18 hours before she is about to give birth.


A dog has a fever when its temperature is above 39.2 Celsius (102.5 Fahrenheit). This means that the dog is fighting an infection.

New medicines

When giving a dog a new kind of medication, the dog may come down with a fever. Should this happen, please contact your vet right away and note if there are any other symptoms like vomiting, diarrhoea, problems breathing or loss of coordination.

Taking temperature

Coat a rectal thermometer in petroleum jelly or KY Jelly and gently insert into the dog's rectum with a twisting motion. Insert 2.5 to 7.5 cm (1 to 3 inches), depending on the size of the dog, and leave in place for three minutes.

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About the Author

Rena Sherwood is a writer and Peter Gabriel fan who has lived in America and England. She has studied animals most of her life through direct observation and maintaining a personal library about pets. She has earned an associate degree in liberal arts from Delaware County Community College and a bachelor's degree in English from Millersville University.

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