The term “hot dog” doesn’t just refer to the favorite food of American baseball fans. A dog’s natural body temperature tends to run high, which can prove alarming for pet owners who fear their precious pups may be overheating.  While problems like overexertion and dehydration are viable concerns, most dogs are perfectly fine if they are a little warmer than we are.

The American Kennel Club describes canine body temperature norms to hover between 101-102.5 degrees Fahrenheit (38-39 degrees Celsius). For humans, (whose body temperature ought to stay close to 98.6 degrees), taking their dog’s temperature can raise enough of a concern to merit a panicky trip to the vet. Rest assured that your coat-clad canine may actually be perfectly fine even if the thermometer soars up into triple digits.

Fever Symptoms

These are some tell-tale symptoms that your dog will have, if he is fighting a fever:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Low energy/Lethargy
  • Shivering
  • Runny nose
  • Coughing
  • Signs of dehydration
  • Vomiting (in some cases)

If the pet is exhibiting any of these symptoms, it would be advisable to take their temperature to ascertain if there is any inflammation. If the thermometer indicates that they have a temperature over 103 degrees, then your dog is feverish. Anything over 106 degrees Fahrenheit can be severely dangerous, and attempts to decrease the temperature ought to be made immediately. For more in-depth details, review some of tips on how to take a temperature and lower the body heat.

If your dog is overheating, bear in mind though their bodies do allow heat to escape through their paws and by panting, they often need a little help from us.  Keep plenty of cool water nearby, add fresh ice to the water dish, and consider wiping them down with cool wipes, or even providing a fan, or cool pool of water just a few inches deep to help their temperature drop.