Fever in Dogs - How to Tell If My Dog Has A Fever?
If your dog is part of the family, then you know first hand how difficult it is when your pet does not feel well. Having a sick dog can be a source of anxiety for many pet owners as they try to figure out what might be causing their dog’s symptoms.
You might have read about the trick to check if your dog has a temperature. Touch its nose. If it is cold and wet, he is probably healthy and fine. If your dog’s nose is hot and dry, it might be a sign that something else is going on. Keep reading to learn more about fever in dogs and how to keep your pup safe.
What Is A Normal Temperature For A Dog?
Trying to figure out how to tell if a dog has a fever? A dog’s natural body temperature runs higher than a human’s. A normal dog temperature will measure between 99.5-102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. While in humans, the normal temperature ranges from 97.6 to 99.6 degrees. Accordingly, if your dog appears to have a higher temperature than you, it is likely ok.
If your dog is acting unusual, you are probably wondering, does my dog have a fever? Keep reading for common signs of fever in dogs.
How Do I Know If My Dog Has a Fever?
A fever in a dog is likely not to be the only isolated symptom. A fever might be the result of an illness, infection, a wound, or even a UTI in dogs. If you are concerned, keep an eye out for these common symptoms:
- A lack of energy: If your dog is more lethargic than usual, it might be a sign that they feel unwell
- Coughing: This could be a sign of something more serious, like pneumonia or a respiratory infection
- Loss of appetite: Most dogs love to eat so if your pup is refusing food, there is a good chance that he or she is not feeling well
- Warm and dry nose: A dog’s nose is usually cold and wet, so quickly check his or her nose to gauge the situation
- A wound: If your dog has a wound it might be infected and causing a fever. Check through its fur carefully in case you cannot easily see the wound
- Ear infection in dogs: This can be difficult to see with the naked eye but will likely be causing your dog discomfort and a fever
Other symptoms and signs of fever in dogs, including coughing and shivering, should be taken seriously. If your dog is vomiting, check to be sure your beloved pet did not ingest any poisonous food for dogs.
Taking Your Dog’s Temperature
A normal temp for dogs is usually a good indication your dog is healthy. Any time you notice your dog acting unusually, you will want to consider if he or she is ill.
You can take your dog’s temperature at home in one of two ways. The first is with a rectal thermometer. This is probably not the most fun activity you and your dog can do together. The other option for taking fever in dogs is to check with an ear thermometer. This is a less invasive tool that can give you an accurate reading.
When Should You Go To The Vet?
You should take your dog to the vet if the fever is at a temperature of 103 degrees or higher. It is important to keep in mind that the higher the fever, the more dangerous it can be to your pet’s internal organs. Like humans, a high fever is not something to mess around with. Dog temperatures that reach 106 degrees can cause severe consequences, like organ damage.
How To Bring Down A Dog's Fever
If your dog has a fever, you might want to help alleviate their discomfort by trying to bring down the fever. Remember, never give an animal medication that is intended for human consumption. Monitor your pet’s behavior closely and see if you can convince them to drink some water. To bring down your dog’s temperature, get a rag or small towel wet with cool water and place it on the paws and ears.
It is a good idea to keep your best friend covered by dog health insurance to help prevent major expenses in case of serious illness. It is also good pet ownership practice to ensure your pup is up to date for all the relevant vaccines for dogs. The best rule of thumb is to call your vet and explain your dog’s symptoms. A professional can guide you best on how to proceed and when to seek help in the clinic.