How to Know If Your Dog Has a Fever: Signs and Symptoms to Watch For

How to Know If Your Dog Has a Fever

To check for a dog’s fever, feel their nose, ears, and paws for warmth. A rectal thermometer provides the most accurate reading.

It’s essential to monitor your dog’s health and be aware of signs of illness. A fever in dogs can indicate an underlying health issue that requires attention. Understanding the symptoms and knowing how to check for a fever can help you take prompt action when needed.

In this brief guide, we will discuss the common signs of a fever in dogs and offer simple steps to help you determine if your canine companion is running a temperature. By following these tips, you can provide the best care for your dog’s well-being.

Identifying Common Fever Symptoms

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Identifying if your dog has a fever is essential for their well-being. Common fever symptoms in dogs include, elevated body temperature, excessive panting, shivering and shaking, loss of appetite, lethargy and decreased energy, red or glassy eyes, and warm ears or nose. If you notice any of these signs, it’s crucial to monitor your dog’s condition closely and consult with a veterinarian. Paying attention to these symptoms can help ensure your dog receives the necessary care and treatment in a timely manner.

When To Suspect Your Dog Has A Fever

Reaction to Vaccinations: Keep an eye on your dog’s behavior and bodily reaction after vaccinations. They may exhibit signs of fever such as lethargy, loss of appetite, and warm ears.

Infection or Inflammation Signs: Persistent fever in dogs could indicate an underlying infection or inflammation. Look for symptoms like coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, or nasal discharge.

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Post-Surgery or Injury: Dogs may develop a fever as a response to surgery or injury. Monitoring their temperature and observing any unusual behavior can help detect this.

Unusual Environment or Weather Changes: Sudden weather shifts or exposure to extreme temperatures can lead to fever in dogs. Be attentive to any changes in your dog’s behavior, appetite, and overall condition during such situations.

Tools For Fever Detection

Detecting a fever in your dog is essential for their health. Digital thermometers are a practical tool for measuring your dog’s temperature. Ear thermometers specifically designed for pets offer a non-invasive way to monitor their temperature. In addition, learning proper techniques for obtaining an accurate temperature reading is critical for successful fever detection.

Interpret Your Dog’s Temperature

Normal temperature range for dogs: A dog’s normal body temperature typically ranges from 100.5°F to 102.5°F.

What constitutes a fever in dogs: If your dog’s temperature exceeds 103°F, it indicates a fever. Other signs of fever in dogs include lethargy, decreased appetite, and shivering.

How to read thermometer results effectively: When taking your dog’s temperature, ensure that the thermometer is inserted gently into the dog’s rectum or ear canal. Hold it in place for about two minutes, then carefully remove it. Also, remember to use a pet-specific thermometer for accurate results.

Immediate Actions To Lower Fever

It is crucial to maintain hydration to help regulate your dog’s body temperature. Offering cool water baths can also assist in lowering fever. However, it is important to note that there are certain instances when using cooling techniques should be avoided, such as when the dog is experiencing chills or shaking. Careful observation of your dog’s behavior and consulting with a veterinarian are essential before applying any cooling methods.

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When To Consult A Veterinarian

Persistent fever: A dog’s normal body temperature ranges from 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. If your dog consistently has a temperature above this range, it may indicate a fever.

Accompanying serious symptoms: Keep an eye out for additional signs such as lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, or nasal discharge. These symptoms could suggest a more serious underlying issue.

Specific breed considerations: Certain dog breeds may be more prone to developing fevers due to genetic predispositions. Consult with your veterinarian to understand breed-specific health concerns.

Monitoring And Recovery Tracking

Daily Temperature Logs: It’s important to keep track of your dog’s temperature on a daily basis when monitoring for fever. Use a digital thermometer to measure your dog’s temperature and record the readings in a log. Any reading above the normal range could indicate a fever.

Behavioral Observations: Monitor your dog’s behavior for any signs of discomfort or lethargy, as these could be indications of a fever. Keep an eye out for symptoms such as loss of appetite, excessive panting, or shivering.

Dietary Adjustments During Illness: During a fever, it’s crucial to ensure that your dog stays hydrated. Offer plenty of fresh water and consider providing easily digestible food such as boiled chicken and rice to support their recovery.

Post-recovery Considerations

After your dog has recovered from a fever, it’s important to consider the following aspects:

  • Vaccination follow-ups: Ensure that your dog’s vaccinations are up to date to protect them from potential infections and diseases.
  • Infection prevention strategies: Implement measures to prevent future infections, such as keeping their living area clean and minimizing exposure to sick animals.
  • Ongoing health checks: Regularly monitor your dog’s temperature and overall well-being to detect any potential health issues early on.
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How to Know If Your Dog Has a Fever: Signs and Symptoms to Watch For


Frequently Asked Questions For How To Know If Your Dog Has A Fever

How Do I Know If My Dog Has A Fever?

To check for a fever in your dog, you can use a rectal thermometer, with the normal temperature being around 101 to 102. 5°F. Look for symptoms like lethargy, loss of appetite, and warm ears, which are often signs of fever in dogs.

What Are The Common Signs Of Fever In Dogs?

Common signs of fever in dogs include lethargy, loss of appetite, warm ears, vomiting, diarrhea, and shivering. Keep an eye on your dog’s behavior and check their temperature if you suspect they may have a fever.

When Should I Take My Dog To The Vet For A Fever?

If your dog has a fever lasting more than 24-48 hours, or if the temperature is over 103. 5°F, it’s best to consult a veterinarian. Other signs such as breathing difficulties, seizures, or abdominal pain also warrant a vet visit.

Can I Use A Human Thermometer For My Dog’s Fever?

It’s not recommended to use a human thermometer for dogs, as it may not be accurate. Use a thermometer specifically designed for dogs, and insert it gently into the rectum for around one minute for an accurate reading.


Being attuned to your dog’s health is vital. With the knowledge of the signs of fever and the measures to take, you can ensure their well-being. Regular temperature checks and observation of behavioral changes will aid in early detection. Prompt vet consultation and care are crucial for your furry companion’s speedy recovery.