Why is my dog’s body temperature higher than what’s normal for humans? Does this higher temperature affect my pet’s behavior in any way?
From the Editors of The Dog Daily
First, consider three factors: your dog’s basal metabolic rate (BMR), its core body temperature (CBT) and its size. The BMR is the minimum calorific requirement needed to sustain life in your dog when it is resting. It’s therefore the amount of energy, measured in calories, expended by your dog’s body when your pet is asleep.
The CBT for dogs is between 100.5 F and 102 F. While that’s higher than the normal temperature for humans, 98.6 F, even our temperature can vary during the day, sometimes going as low as 97 F in the morning and as high as 99 F in the evening.
Throughout the animal kingdom, there is a general relationship between an animal’s BMR, its CBT and its size. Smaller body size predicts higher BMR and higher CBT.
Your dog’s metabolism is therefore higher, as is the amount of heat energy released by your dog. Cats and birds also have higher CBTs, while elephants have a predictably lower measurement.
The slightly higher temperature of your dog does not affect its outward behavior. If you wish to take your dog’s temperature, you can use a digital rectal pediatric thermometer lubricated with petroleum jelly.