Dog Fever Temperature

When you suspect the onset of dog fever, it can be quite alarming. Fevers are natural responses made by a dog's body in reaction to bacterial or viral invaders. A dog's body naturally raises its baseline temperature in an attempt to kill off infection. If a dog fever increases to an unsafe level, however, it can be life threatening and most definitely warrants immediate medical attention.

Normal Ranges

Before you can decide if your dog has a fever, you need to know the normal temperature range for dogs. A dog's temperature can be considered normal when ranging between 101 degrees and 102.5 degrees. A dog fever of 104 or higher is generally considered cause for concern. A dog fever this high indicates that infection is most definitely present in the body, and medical attention is needed to bring the body temperature down to a safe level.

If a dog's temperature spikes higher than 105 degrees, seek medical attention immediately. While the fever is a natural process meant to protect the body, a dog fever of this degree can send your pet into a comatose condition. The organs in a dog's body simply cannot operate at temperature levels this high.

Symptoms of Dog Fever

Dog fevers are usually pretty easy to spot because of how a dog acts when affected by them. Because dog fevers range from mild to life threatening, it is best to be aware of the signs. Any of the following signs may indicate dog fever:

  • General weakness and fatigue
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Difficulty waking
  • Loss of appetite
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Shaking/chills

Taking the Temperature

In order to take your dog's temperature, you will need to have a digital thermometer. Theoretically, there is no harm in using a mercury thermometer. However, because there is a risk of breakage with mercury thermometers, it is always best to use a digital thermometer. Simply insert the thermometer approximately one inch into the dog's rectum. Most thermometers don't need more than 30 seconds to give an accurate reading, but you should be sure to read the manufacturer's instructions to ensure that the reading is accurate.  

Home Remedies

Depending on how severe the dog fever is, you may or may not be able to get your dog to the veterinarian right away. In the meantime, it is best to be proactive about your dog's health. If your dog is not willing to drink on his own, you must administer fluids. The unfortunate side effect of dog fever is dehydration, and because hydration is essential to sustenance, you must make sure that your dog drinks or is given liquids. Depending on the size of the dog, try an eyedropper or a turkey baster, and administer liquids manually.