What to do if my Dog has a Fever

What To Do If My dog has a fever. Being a pet owner can be a difficult task, especially if you don’t know all of the signs that your dog is experiencing. Knowing what to look for and having an idea of what could have caused certain ailments will allow you to be better prepared to handle situations with your animal in the future! If you find yourself concerned about your pup’s temperature, we have the answers here from our Orange County vet staff.

What is a Normal Body Temperature of a Dog?


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A dog’s body temperature is normally between 101 and 102.5 Fahrenheit. This temperature is quite a bit higher than yours or mine. (Human body temperature hovers at around 97.6 to 99.6 F). If your dog starts having a high fever of 103 or above. There are necessary things you should do like take your pup to the veterinarian right away. Because it can be dangerous for both you and your pet if you don’t act quickly enough.

How Can I Measure My Dog’s Temperature

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Detecting heat in animals is challenging because their body temperatures can shoot up when they are either confused, agitated, or overly excited. This is why it’s important to understand your pets ‘normal’ temperature so you’ll be able to determine when something’s off.

You see, most dogs have a rather predictable heat pattern that repeats itself pretty much every day at the same times and duration thus giving you fair warning if something seems amiss like when they act differently or stop yelping as often as they normally do just before quickly reacting with an excessive increase in body temperature.

A lot of people believe that if the dog’s nose is wet and cold, it means it’s healthy. But if its nose is dry and hot, this means that your dog has a fever. Incorrect! It is not an accurate way of determining whether or not your dog is sick.

Check the Temperature Regularly

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The most accurate way to check your pet’s temperature is to use a digital thermometer. You can get these at PetSmart or online. It is recommended that you keep a detailed record of daily and nightly temperatures, with some extra space on the side for notes. You’ll want to keep a separate thermometer just for your dog, in an easy-to-find place like his food bin. This way, when you check his temperature every day. Then you won’t have to fish around in corners after him who has run off somewhere and might be sicker than you realize.

Start by lubricating the tip of the rectal thermometer with petroleum jelly or a water-soluble lube. Then lift up your dog’s tail to one side as you carefully insert the end of the thermometer about an inch into your pup’s rectum. Have someone there to assist if they can by holding their hind legs if needed in order to keep them from sitting back down on top of the thermometer. From there, see how long it takes for that readout to appear on the display screen so you can then remove the thermometer and note your findings.

What causes fever in dogs

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There are many reasons why your dog could develop a fever. Have you ever wondered if your dog’s skin condition was the culprit? Find out what other conditions cause temperatures to rise in canines here:

  1. Viral or fungal infection as well as bacterial.
  2. Infection in the ear.
  3. Cut, scratch, or an infected bite can cause high fever in dogs.
  4. Abscess or infection in teeth.
  5. In fiction in the Urinary tract.
  6. If your dog has eaten human medicine, human food, and toxic plants.

In some cases, you might be able to pick out the cause of your dog’s fever more—if not all. In these cases, the vet may diagnose your pooch with a fever of unknown origin or FUO (this basically means we can’t tell you specifically why your dog is feeling so hot). Sometimes FUO could also be caused by underlying disorders of the immune system, bone marrow problems, or cancer.

What Are the Common Signs of High Fever in Dogs

If you catch your dog looking unusually lethargic or unresponsive, it could be a symptom of an illness. It’s important to keep an eye out for these warning signs. It isn’t impossible that Fido is just a little under the weather and would benefit from some ginger ale, but it’s also possible he needs more serious attention from a veterinarian. If your dog exhibits any combination of the following symptoms, have him examined by a vet as soon as possible.

Here I want to list some common indicators of fever in dogs. These indicators are:

  1. Glassy eyes or red color eyes.
  2. Warm nose or ears or most probably both.
  3. Body Shivering
  4. Panting
  5. Runny nose
  6. Low level of energy
  7. Cough
  8. Vomiting or throwing yellow bile
  9. Loss of hunger.

Key Factors to Reduce high Fever in Dogs

If your dog’s fever hits 106 degrees Fahrenheit or higher they need to see a vet right away. Contact the local emergency veterinarian in your area immediately. To relieve minor fevers in dogs, apply cool wet rags to your dog’s ears and paws. Run a fan nearby to help cool things down even further. 

How can I minimize the temperature of my dog?

You can minimize the number of rags used by rotating them out with new ones that have been cooled down in buckets of ice water from your freezer, which will make them as effective as possible before applying them. Stop reapplying the water when your dog’s temperature drops below 103 F. Continue to monitor your dog closely for any indication that their fever is returning due to the holding being too strong and working too quickly.

How to keep your dog safe from dehydration in high fever

It is important not to force a dog to drink water, but this doesn’t mean that you never offer them a possible source of hydration. In fact, it is advisable to try and persuade your pet dog into drinking small amounts of water as a way of keeping their system full or hydrated which can help your loving hound think much clearer than ever before! It is best if you avoid even feeding pills of human medication such as Ibuprofen or acetaminophen as these types of pills can be toxic for your pet and therefore lead to serious injury or death.

Note: The advice in this post will help to provide an understanding of your pet’s condition, but please don’t use it as a substitute for medical advice from a vet! Consult with your veterinarian to schedule an appointment that can determine the root cause of your dog’s ailment, and discover effective relief methods.


What can I give my dog for a fever?

Emergency veterinarians are available around the clock to help when your dog is in need. In order to reduce your dog’s fever, use a towel or cloth dampened with cool water to their ears and paws and aim a fan in their direction. When the temperature falls below 103 F, discontinue the water application.

How can I treat my dog’s fever at home?

To reduce a pet’s fever, apply cool water around his paws and ears. You can use a light-wet towel or cloth, or a dog cooling vest. Continue to check his temperature, and when it drops below 103. You can stop using the water. See if you can coax him into drinking a bit of water.

Can you tell if a dog has a fever by touch?

The advice in this post will help to provide an understanding of your pet’s condition, but please don’t use it as a substitute for medical advice from a vet! Consult with your veterinarian to schedule an appointment that can determine the root cause of your dog’s ailment, and discover effective relief methods.

How long do fevers last in dogs?

A temperature of 103 or less should be taken care of at home, but a higher one, or one that lasts longer than a day, requires a trip to the vet. A fever between 106 and 109 degrees is heatstroke. At this point, it can cause damage to an animal’s internal organs and could be fatal.

Why is the top of my dog’s head hot?

As such, your dog may feel warm to the touch simply because they’re at a normal body temperature and this is not a cause for alarm. Even if you believe the side of your dog’s head is warm, there might not be anything wrong with them because dogs have naturally higher temperatures than humans.

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