What's a dog's normal body temperature?

What's a dog's normal body temperature?
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Just because your pet may feel warm to the touch doesn't necessarily mean he has a fever. Dogs normally have a warmer body temperature than humans do. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), a temperature of 101 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit (38.3 to 39.2 degrees Celsius) is typical for pooches, whereas humans' normal body temperature is just 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius), with an average range of about 97 to 99 degrees Fahrenheit (36.1 to 37.2 degrees Celsius).

Much like humans, a dog's temperature may rise or drop for various reasons, including infection, shock, inflammation, the external temperature, vaccinations or accidentally ingesting something toxic. Usually, it's nothing too serious, and you may not even notice anything's wrong with your pet. However, there are always exceptions.

If your dog's temperature falls below 99 degrees Fahrenheit (37.2 degrees Celsius) or rises above 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius), you've got a fairly serious situation on your hands, and should get him to a vet immediately. While there's no definitive sign that a dog is hypothermic (low temperature) or hyperthermic (high temperature), he may exhibit one or more of the following symptoms: lethargy, shivering, stiffness, stupor or decreased activity if it's hypothermia; excessive panting, lethargy, red gums or warm to the touch in the case of hyperthermia.

So, here's the million-dollar question: How do you know for sure what your dog's temperature is?


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