How to Tell if a Dog Has a Fever?

How to Tell if a Dog Has a Fever

How to Tell if a Dog Has a Fever? We all know that the body temperature of dogs is usually much higher than the normal body temperature of human beings. If Your dog feels warm to you, then you can’t exactly specify that your pet is going through a fever because they possess a very high body temperature.

The normal body temperature of dogs falls between the ranges of 99.5 to 105 degrees farad. So now how to specify if your dog has a fever? Shivers, the warmth of ears and nose, low energy and appetite, and hormonal imbalances are some of the indications.

To master identifying if your dog has a fever, go through the entire article.

How to Tell if a Dog Has a Fever?  Without Thermometer?

If the normal body temperature of your dog rises to 103 degrees farad, then you can consider that your pet is suffering from fever. Whereas if the temperature of your pup has risen to 106 degrees farad, then you should visit your veterinarian instantly because it can be a fatal condition.

Instead of using medical equipment, you can also check the fever of your dog by some behaviors that occur naturally in its body. The symptoms are:

  1. If your dog is shivering from a cold, then you should check the temperature because it is a major sign of fever.
  2. You can also check the ears and nose of your pup, as it gets warmer when suffering from fever
  3. Decrease in the energy level; if your dog was super active before and has become lazy and gets tired easily, then you can check the temperature because laziness may also be a sign of fever.
  4. Loss of appetite is also a sign that you can notice while checking for your dog’s fever.
  5. Vomiting and coughing is also a symbol of fever, so you can get your dog treated for this condition.

Regulation of Body Temperature in Case of Dogs

As per scientific research, the hypothalamus is the main part of the brain, which is responsible for the regulation of the body temperature in your dogs.

While maintaining the body temperature, it acts as a thermostat for maintaining the range between normal to medium as possible.

The hypothalamus is attached by a stalk-like structure and is just below the thalamus and placed between the upper side of the pituitary gland.

What are the Causes Behind Dog’s Fever?

The dogs can get fever in various ways like infection or through ingestion or the presence of poisonous materials in their surroundings.

As per studies, it was proved that infections could be the main cause of a dog getting a fever. Here are some of its types:

  1. An infected bite is like if a pathogen carrier has bitten your dog and leaves bacteria, then this bacterial infection will cause fever in the dog.
  2. Ear infections which are caused due to an increase in the number of fungus or ear mites in the dog’s ear can also cause fever in your pet.
  3. The most probable reason behind your dog’s fever is a urinary tract infection. This infection usually occurs due to a weak immune system that happens due to the entering of the harmful bacteria into the urethral opening.
  4. Infected or abscessed teeth can also cause fever in your pup; the tooth of the dog gets affected due to periodontal disease. It is a type of bacterial infection that affects the roots supporting the teeth.
  5. Infected organs are the major reason behind the fever of your pet. The organs of a dog get infected due to the exposure to gram-negative organisms in the blood cells that interrupts the hormonal circulation in the host’s body and infects its organs.

Poisonous Materials Causing Fever in Your Dog

Some materials that humans love to keep at their home can be poisonous to their dogs’ health, below mentioned are some of them which can be avoided to keep your dogs surrounded.

Toxic Plants

The presence of plants like Daffodils, dahlias, and daisies in the surrounding causes fever in your dog, as these plants release a toxic substance named phototoxic polyacetylene that is responsible for its poisonous behavior.

Human Medications

The medications that humans take to get recovery from any disease can sometimes cause fever in dogs. This is because the immune system of animals functions differently from humans, so human medications can harm it by causing fever.

Human Foods

In some cases, the foods that humans used to eat can even cause fever in their dogs. This is because the immune system of dogs is not well designed to bear the oily and fatty constituents of human foods.

How to Tell if a Dog Has a Fever

How to Detect Your Dog’s Fever With a Thermometer?

While checking the body temperature of dogs, the use of a thermometer is the best choice for the owners, among which rectal thermometers and ear thermometers are the preferable ones.

Tips and Tricks to Use a Rectal Thermometer

The rectal thermometer is preferred because the shorter and stubbier tip of the probe makes it easier to insert into the rectum. Here are the tips to use,

  1. Use of a digital rectal probe is the best choice while measuring temperatures. They are easy to use and are specified only for dogs but are a little bit expensive.
  2. Petroleum jelly should be rubbed on the end of the probe, which is going to be inserted in the dog’s rectum to reduce the pain.
  3. It’s very important to soothe your dog during the process and make them feel comfortable so that they might not run away.
  4. Now gently insert the upper tip of the probe into the rectum of the pet and wait for two to three minutes.
  5. The thermometer will make a beep sound after detecting the temperature of the dog’s body.
  6. Read the temperature detected by the probe and give your pet appropriate medications as per the veterinarian’s consultation.

Tips and Tricks to Use an Ear Thermometer

It is preferred because the design makes it unique and comfortable to use, and it measures the temperature through the infrared heat waves getting released from the eardrum. Here are the tips to use.

  1. Most ear thermometers need not be calibrated while inserted into the dog’s ear, whereas in some cases, you need to do so.
  2. Strictly avoid the use of a glass thermometer while taking the reading by an ear.
  3. Hold your dog’s head in a straight position so that the thermometer will not hurt its ear.
  4. Now, insert the probe of the thermometer horizontally in your pup’s ear by maintaining a 90-degree angle.
  5. Take out the thermometer from your puppy’s ear after it beeps and records the reading recorded in it.

By using these thermometers, you can check the temperature of your dog’s body in an easy way, whereas we all know that testing the dog’s temperature is the most unpleasant moment that we spend with our dog.

It happens because animals don’t have the knowledge that the thermometer inserted in their rectum is for their welfare, and it also makes them feel uncomfortable.

When Should You Take Your Dog to a Veterinarian?

If you have detected that your dog is suffering from fever, then you can take the medications on your own. However, until the condition doesn’t go critical, if the body temperature of your dog rises to 106 degrees farad, then it’s time that you should take your dog to the veterinarian.

Otherwise, in this condition, the internal organ of the pet can also get damaged. As the blood gets warmer and the metabolic activities also get slower during this high temperature of the body.

It is very important to consult with the veterinarian during critical conditions because the vet will go through the entire history of the pet and can specify which chemicals and medicinal extracts will suit the dog to recover from the fever and then will describe the course of medicines required.

In some cases, intravenous fluids will be preferred to aid the hydration and also to maintain a balance of the regulation of electrolytes which is responsible for the increase of the energy level. But if there is a severe and different case, then the doctor may prefer a small surgery to treat the internal disease or infection.

How to Take Care of Your Dog During a Fever?

Just like humans get uncomfortable and suffer from some other issues like cough and vomiting when they get a fever, dogs also suffer from these types of issues like indigestion, vomiting, severe pain, etc., when they get a fever. So that’s the time that the owner should give the pet some extra love and care so that the pet gets more courage to recover from the disease rapidly.

The owner should give the pet a cool and calm place to rest to maintain a balance between the increased body temperatures of the pet.

Giving the pet fresh and cool water for refreshment and putting some wet and cold pieces of cloth on the paws of the pet for cooling can help reduce the temperature, whereas alcohol wipes can also be helpful in this.

The owner should never use human medications on their own to treat their dogs because there are some substances present in the medicines that can be harmful to the dogs, like Aspirin and acetaminophen.

The dog might take some more time to recover if the fever is due to some other issues like pancreatitis, as several anecdotal treatments are given to your pup during this disease, and the medications are to alleviate the symptoms. That’s why it can take almost two to three weeks of recovery in some cases.

Aapt Dubey
Aapt Dubey

Aapt Dubey, a devoted canine enthusiast and experienced dog Owner, brings boundless passion to our team. With a heart full of love for our four-legged friends, Aapt is dedicated to sharing insights on dog care, behavior, and training to make every pup's life happier and healthier at

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