How to Tell If Your Dog Has a Fever

A dog having a fever may indicate that he is affected by a medical condition or health problem. As an owner, you should learn how to tell if your dog has a fever to be able to administer suitable treatment in a timely manner.

Fever Symptoms

You should be aware of the symptoms that indicate your dog has a fever. When your dog is healthy, you will see that he is playful and energetic and eats normally.

If your dog has a fever, he will be lethargic, he may refuse to eat and may be dehydrated. Your dog may also sleep more and hide from the family. If you touch your dog's skin, it could be warmer than usual. The dog's nose may be dry and warm and the back of the ears may also be warmer than normal.

Dog Normal Temperature

The normal temperature of a dog is between 100 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit. Any values over 102 degrees F indicate that the dog has a fever.

Take Your Dog's Temperature

There are different types of thermometers that you can use for pets, including ear thermometers and rectal thermometers. The most accurate results will be if you take your dog's temperature rectally. Taking the dog's temperature in the ear may give you a wrong value, as the dog may move and the ears may not be the best indicators. Reward your dog after taking his temperature.

You should take the dog's temperature twice per day when you notice that he displays symptoms of fever: once in the morning and once in the afternoon. You should keep a thermometer at hand or in your dog first aid kit.

Additional Symptoms

By noticing the additional symptoms your dog displays you may get closer to a possible diagnosis. Fever may be indicative of numerous health conditions such as a heat stroke, infections, poisoning or indigestion. Your dog may show symptoms such as vomiting, seizures, excessive scratching, diarrhea, blood or mucus in the stool or in the vomit. There may be mucous discharges from the nose or eyes.

Recovery Tips

While you should always check with your vet to see what caused the fever, there are a few fever recovery tips that you can apply to control the dog's temperature and make him more comfortable until you get veterinary help.

Allow your dog to rest and take him to a quiet room where he can sleep and relax. You can cool the dog's body by putting some cold compresses on his face and back.

Change his diet to more liquid foods, as the dog is more likely to eat wet food while sick. Give your pet plenty of water, as fever can dehydrate him.

Inform your vet about all the symptoms of your dog and keep a few urine and stool samples for analysis.