Homedog health & care

How To Tell If Dog Has Fevers

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Fever is a common abnormal medical sign when our immune system combats an infection. This condition happens not only on humans but also on dogs. However, unlike humans, dogs can’t tell their owners what they feel or what’s wrong with their body. So, it is necessary for us to know how to tell if dog has fevers.

Everything you must know about fever in dogs will be presented in this article. Let’s find out!

What Causes Fever in Dogs?

There’re myriad of things that can cause a dog’s fever, but in general, three most major causes include:


Dogs are curious by themselves and can devour anything they don’t know. It can be a chocolate, macadamia nut, xylitol product, human medicine, toxic plant, etc. These dangerous foods to dogs contain a high amount of toxins that can kill your furry friends within several days of infection.

The increase in temperature in your dogs’ body can be the first sign. Having fever due to consuming toxic foods is sometimes confusing as we can’t know what our dogs actually ate.


This is an uncommon cause of fever in dogs. Usually, after injected vaccines, some dogs have a low-grade fever that lasts from 1 to 2 days as a result of immune system’ response. This kind of fever is quite abnormal, but luckily, it can go away itself.

Infection and Inflammation

Infection and inflammation are the most common cause of fever in dogs. Nearly 80% of dogs’ fever comes from bacterial, fungi, or viral infection. Infection and inflammation can happen anywhere in their body: it can be in teeth, throat, lungs or just a small scratch. Besides, it can be a consequence of more serious disease like UTI (Urinary Tract Infection).

Symptoms of Fever in Dogs

Dogs cannot directly tell you what they feel or what wrong with their body. Therefore, you must watch them for these signs to make sure whether they get fever or not. These signs include:

  • Red eyes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lack of energy
  • Depressed mood
  • Coughing
  • Shivering
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting

What Should You Do When Your Dogs Have Fever?

If your furry friend has some symptoms of fever as mentioned above, follow these tips to help him treated right way:

Take the Temperature of Your Dogs

The first thing to do is taking the temperature of your dogs to evaluate the condition using a thermometer.

Talking about thermometers, they are very accurate. Two most common kinds of thermometers on the market nowadays are the rectal thermometer and the ear thermometer. The rectal thermometer takes dogs’ temperature through their anus, while the other takes temperature through the ear canal. Both of them are accurate, but the ear thermometer is easier to use and your dogs won’t have any fierce reaction with the rectal thermometer. In return, it tends to be more expensive.

Also note that you shouldn’t use a glass thermometer. It is only produced for humans, and it doesn’t work well on dogs. Besides, glass thermometers usually contain quicksilver – a toxic substance to humans and animals. Therefore, it’s best to purchase a thermometer which is specially made for dogs. Or at least, using either a rectal thermometer or an ear thermometer which is not only accurate but also safe.

After getting the body’s temperature of your dogs, watch for the number. Because dogs’ body is hotter than humans, their normal temperature is usually between 100 and 102 degrees F. If the number on the thermometer is over 102 degrees F, be careful, your dogs are having a fever.

If you don’t have any thermometer, you can asset your dogs’ temperature through their armpits and groin area or examine their gums. However, these ways don’t give you the correct result.

Control Your Dogs’ Fever

You can try to control the fever in your dogs if it isn’t too high before taking them to the vets.

  • Keep your furry friend’s bed warm. Make sure where you put their bed is warm, too. And it should be far from the bathroom.
  • To cool down a fever, you should take a bath for your dogs. Try to keep the water cool enough, not too cold or too hot, so that it can reduce your dogs’ high temperature. For better result, you should place ice packs on your dogs’ forehead, belly, armpits, and paws.
  • At this time, dogs may be too tired to eat but they can drink. You should give them a full water bowl with a little salt and sugar. This mixture not only helps reduce fever but also avoid dehydration. 

Take Your Dogs to a Vet

If your dogs’ temperature is too high or the fever last for more than a day, a trip to a vet is a must. The vet has enough knowledge and experience to find out the real causes of fever in your dogs and give them a correct treatment. Although not all cases of fever are serious, there’re some situations that dogs need an emergency treatment. So, in most cases, visiting the vet is necessary.

Be Cautious

Do not give your dogs any medicines, especially human medicines, without the instructor of the vet. Human medicines are not designed for dogs, and more dangerously, they may contain substances that are toxic to dogs.

If your dogs have a fever above 106 degrees F, take them to the vet immediately.


In summary, how to tell if dog has fevers is quite easy as long as you pay attention to their odd behaviors. Since then, you should follow some rudimental tips to control the fever of your dogs. If the situation seems to be worse, take them to the vet right away if you don’t want their lives to be at risk.

Hopefully, this article is useful. If you have anything to ask us, don’t hesitate to leave your comment below. Thank you for reading!

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