How to Tell if a Dog Has a Fever

Dogs are adorable, but they can be very hard to tell when they’re sick. They might pant more, or vomit a bit when they’re sick. But you can be certain that their temperature is elevated if they’re panting wildly. But what if their panting is just their normal breathing rhythm, and you aren’t sure if they have a fever? How to tell if a dog has a fever?

What is a fever?

A fever is an increase in the body’s temperature caused by an infection, an injury, an illness, or a reaction to a medication. A fever is the body’s way of fighting off the infection, injury, or illness. The body begins to release chemicals and heat to fight off the infection or illness. When the body releases these chemicals and heat, the fever is said to be raised. A fever can also occur in a dog when they are drowsy, overheated, or stressed. This is called a “febrile seizure”.

Detecting the fever

Dogs have a fever from time to time. The best way to tell if your dog has a fever is by feeling its nose and ears. You can also take their temperature, but this may require a high-quality thermometer, which you should carefully calibrate beforehand. When they have a fever, their nose will be dry and hot to the touch, and their ears will feel warmer than usual. They may also exhibit lethargy, which is a sign that they are not feeling well. Other signs of fever in a dog include excessive panting, increased heart rate, or elevated temperature. Changes in behavior, appetite, sleep, attitude, voice tone, and eye contact with the owner may also indicate a high temperature, runny nose, and diarrhea.

Dog’s body temperature

Dogs’ body temperatures can range from 101° to 102 °F. This is the ideal temperature for dogs, and one that they can’t regulate by themselves. Most dogs prefer higher external temperatures, but they shouldn’t be exposed to extreme heat or cold. A dog’s resting heart rate is around 70-120 bpm, and a healthy respiratory rate is 15-30 breaths per minute. If your dog’s temperature is 102 °F or higher, your dog could be suffering from several conditions. Dogs that are exposed to the cold are more likely to have a fever than dogs that are not exposed to cold temperatures. Colds can make a dog feel worse and can also make the fever worse.

Common causes of fever in dogs

Many common causes of fever in dogs are due to bacterial infections, which can be prevented by keeping your pet’s vaccinations up-to-date. A wide range of bacterial infections can cause elevated body temps, including strep throat, Lyme disease, pneumonia, and kennel cough.

Some non-bacterial causes of fever may occur when your pet is fighting an infection caused by a virus, parasite, or fungus. These include viral infections like distemper, parvovirus, and ringworm. When your dog is fighting an infection, his body temperature can increase until he has a fever. Other times, the infection can take longer to go away, and your dog’s body temperature may remain elevated for weeks or months.

Other causes of increased body temperature can occur when your dog has an injury or is experiencing an allergic reaction.

Prevention of fever in dogs


The best way to prevent most pet illnesses is to be vaccinated on a regular basis. This will help your dog build up a protective immune system against disease. A dog that is not vaccinated can be exposed to many dangerous bacteria, viruses, or parasites that can cause serious illness. Regular vaccinations can prevent many illnesses that can lead to high temperatures.


A healthy, well-balanced diet is a key part of maintaining a healthy pet.

The proper way to take a dog’s temperature

Properly taking a dog’s temperature can help give you the peace of mind needed to finish out the day. There are several ways to take a dog’s temperature, and all of them should provide you with an accurate reading. The best way to take a dog’s temperature is by the rectal thermometer because it provides a more accurate reading than any other method, your dog may be uncomfortable with this method but it is really the best method.

As your dog is resting comfortably in your lap, gently insert the thermometer about 1 inch (2.54 cm) into your dog’s rectum and gently hold it there for a few seconds until the thermometer reports the result.

What to do if your dog has a fever

If your dog has a fever, it is very important to call your vet and get their advice on what treatment to give them. Dogs with fevers should not be given paracetamol or aspirin, as this may lead to damage to the stomach lining and liver. If your dog has a temperature of over 102.5ºF, then he/she should not be left alone, as they can become too hot. It is also essential to check your dog’s breathing, as your pet may have difficulty breathing if they get too hot. If you notice any of the following, then take your dog to the vet.


In conclusion, it is essential to keep an eye on your dog’s temperature if you are concerned about their health. The easiest way to tell if a dog has a fever is by taking its temperature rectally with a thermometer, or by using the old-fashioned method of checking the animal’s ears. If you have any questions about whether your dog has a fever, it is best to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *