Dog Has a Fever What To Do

Dog Has a Fever What To Do

5 minutes read

There is one thing that most of us dog owners can agree on and it is feeling the dog’s nose to ascertain whether if it has a fever or not. If its nose is cold then there is no fever but if it feels dry and hot then your dog does have a fever. This is perhaps the most simple and straightforward way to check your dog for a fever. There isn’t anything wrong with this method per se but, sometimes the situation calls for a more thorough and subtle approach. The nose test is rendered obsolete and ineffective in these cases and that is why you should better prepare yourself when it comes to fever and your dog.

The first thing that you need to know is what the normal temperature is for a dog. Well, a dog usually has a normal temperature of 99.5 to 102.5F degrees. This is different from humans and you should be aware of this important detail. Because now that you know the normal range of temperature for your dog you can now better determine if there is any irregularity in its body temperature.

How to tell if your Dog has a Fever

Certain signs corroborate the presence of fever in your dog. These signs are enumerated as follows for your information and convenience:

  • Your dog’s eyes will appear red
  • Your dog will be lazier than normal and will be lacking in energy
  • Its ears will feel warm
  • The dog’s nose will be dry and warm to the touch
  • Your dog will also shiver uncontrollably
  • It is also normal for your dog to cough during a fever
  • Your dog might also vomit during a spell of fever

Now, for the big question, what causes fever in dogs? Several reasons can be the culprit when it comes to fever in dogs, the most prominent of which is an infection or inflammation. The latter and former invoke a fever in your pet’s body while it fights them off. There are other internal and external factors to consider as well and they can be listed as follows:

  • A bite, cut or scratch may become infected and cause fever
  • An infection in your dog’s ear can also cause a fever
  • UTI or Urinary Tract Infection can also cause fever in dogs
  • A tooth that is abscessed or infected can also cause fever
  • A viral or bacterial disease
  • A fever might also spring if the lungs or kidneys of your dog become infected
  • Ingestion of toxic plants may cause fever
  • Antifreeze ingestion by dogs can also cause fever
  • A dog can develop a fever if it swallows medications intended for human use
  • Human edibles or foods that are toxic to dogs can also cause fever

How to check your Dog’s Temperature

This is one of the things that your dog and neither you will enjoy nor want to repeat. That is because the best way of determining a dog’s temperature is by way of an ear or rectal thermometer. Sounds pretty gross right? Well, this is one gross step that you will need to perform without fail if you value your dog’s health. There are plenty of good digital thermometers that are designed for taking the temperature reading of pets. You should make it a compulsory part of your dog’s life as they are very convenient and give you an accurate temperature reading in about 60 seconds.

If you are going to be using a rectal thermometer then there are some steps that you need to perform first. The first thing that you need to do is lubricate the thermometer with baby oil or petroleum jelly. Then, insert it gently in your dog’s anus up to an inch. Remove it as soon as you get a reading as the dog rarely likes this sensation and can get fed up pretty fast.

We recommend that you use an ear thermometer if you want a less invasive method of taking your dog’s temperature. These are a bit more expensive as compared to rectal thermometers but you shouldn’t spare any expense when it comes to your dog’s wellbeing. These thermometers measure the infrared heat waves that emanate from the area surrounding the dog’s eardrum. To get an accurate reading, you need to place this thermometer deep into the horizontal ear canal of your dog. We also recommend that you read the instruction manual carefully before attempting to use any thermometer for your dog.

How do you break a Dog’s Fever?

There are some measures that you can take to break or mitigate the fever of a dog. The first thing that you need to do is not panic. This is a fever and can be controlled if you remain calm and organized. So, if your dog has a fever that exceeds 103F degrees then you should immediately get into action. Take some cool water and apply it to the area around your dog’s ears and paws. Use a cloth or towel to do this and keep monitoring your dog’s temperature. You can stop applying the water if its temperature falls to below 103F. You should also try to get your dog to drink some water as well. Once the fever has been brought down, monitor your dog so that its fever doesn’t return. If the fever returns or your dog develops any other more serious symptoms then waste no time in taking it to the vet.

Another grave mistake that most people end up making is feeding aspirin intended for human use to their sick dogs. This does more damage than good as these medications are toxic to dogs. So, remember to be vigilant and safe always and keep these materials away from your dogs.


In conclusion, it is very easy and rewarding to keep a dog but it is another matter when it comes to taking care of the critter. Your priority should be the safety and health of your dog and you should spare no expense when it comes to these parameters.