How to Tell Your Dog Has A Fever


What is a dog’s normal temperature?

Compare with humans dogs temperature is high. It’s between 38°C to 39.2°C (100°F to 102.5°F).

If temperature is higher than that normal level considers as fever and if lower consider as low body temperature(hypothermia).

If temperature if above 40°C (104°F) is consider as high fever and immediately consult the vet.

Note: After normal workout or exercise temperature can go up to 40°C and that not consider as fever.  


Common signs of fever in dogs

Here are the common signs of fever according the the experience vet

  • loss of appetite
  • shivering (not caused by stress or pain)
  • panting
  • lethargy / not wanting to move

If you can identify anything not normal on your pet, he is probably unwell.


What causes a fever in dogs?

This could be based on different infection or inflammation.

  • Infections –  UNIs, Bacterial, viral infections, internal organs such as kidney infections , ear infections etc…
  • Inflammations – infected wounds, abscessed teeth, auto immune disease etc…


Take your dog’s temperature from thermometer

To take dogs temperature it’s good to use rectal thermometer.

Step 1: Make your dog calm or get another person to hold the dog

Offer some treat in the process and with that dog will get calm.

Step 2: Put some lubricant the end of thermometer.

If you dint have lubricant gel, you can use jelly, vegetable oil or soap

Step 3: lift your dog’s tail slowly

Rectum is the opening under the tail and can see clearly.

Step 4: insert thermometer to the rectum and put on the thermometer

After you in the thermometer, you can lower the dog’s tail slowly, when tail is back on normal position, your dog is not likely to fuss about temperature taking.

Step 5: wait 15-20 seconds

This type of thermometer usually takes 15-20 seconds to display the correct reading.

Step 6: read the thermometer

Now read the thermometer carefully.

Step 7: Clean the thermometer 

Once you read the thermometer, clean the thermometer from hot water or some ani bacterial liquid.

Now a days ear thermometers also available and taking temperature from that lot easy than this.


When he has fever, how to bring down to normal

Highly advice to bring pet into Vet when you identify dog has fever on above method.

if you cannot bring to vet immediately, you can try following

  • try a cool bath without any shampoo or soap
  • Put some cotton ball into rubbing alcohol(isopropyl) to dogs ear flaps and paw pads.
  • If no vomiting tries to encourage drinking some cool water
  • Give some healthy food if no vomit

Check fever on every 30min until it gets to normal, otherwise body temperate will go too low,

Do not try to give any antibiotics without vet’s advice.


How long does the normal fever continues?

Its highly dependent on the cause, some bacterial fevers can last for 5-7 days and some infections will go out with in few hours.

If fever caused on any infection or inflammation, it will last until proper treatment is received from the vet.


When to bring your dog to the vet

For temperatures over 40°C(104°F), you must consult a vet and above 41°C(106°F) gets as high-risk level

If it goes 41°C (106°F) and continues high chance of getting damage to internal organs.


By Priyanka Joshi author

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