Dog Fever - Does My Dog Have A Fever? | PetFirst
Pet Care & Health

Dog Fever – Does My Dog Have A Fever?

by PetFirst Pet Insurance
4 years ago


A common misconception is that you can tell if your dog has a fever by feeling her nose. Essentially, a cool and wet nose is good whereas a hot and dry nose means a fever. This is not always the case.

Why is detecting a dog fever difficult for us to determine? Well, if we take a healthy dog’s temperature, most would automatically believe their dog has a fever. This is because a dog’s normal body temperature is higher than humans.

What Is A Normal Temperature For A Dog?

The normal body temperature for your dog is between 101 and 102.5 degrees F. This temperature is completely normal and means your dog does not have a fever.

How Do I Know If My Dog Has A Fever?

A dog is said to have a fever if their temperature rises above 103 degrees F. Fatal temperature for a dog is 106 degrees F.

Dogs that have a fever may also exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Lethargic behavior
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Coughing
  • Nasal discharge
  • Shivering in a normal, warm environment

How Do I Take My Dog’s Temperature?

The only way to truly tell if your dog has a temperature is to take his temperature rectally.

Scruffy black dog laying in a white bed with a thermometer in its mouth

To take your dog’s temperature rectally, coat a thermometer with lubricant like petroleum jelly or baby oil. Then, insert the thermometer one inch into your dog’s anus and wait for the thermometer to beep.

If your dog has a temperature above 103 degrees F, you should call your veterinarian.

If you notice your dog’s temperature rising and reaching 106 degrees F, you should take your dog to the emergency veterinarian immediately.

How Can I Get My Dog’s Temperature Down?

If you do not have an emergency veterinarian available, you can help bring her body temperature down by applying cold water to her fur. Stop the cooling procedure once her temperature gets back down to 103 degrees F. You should also make sure your dog is drinking plenty of fluids throughout this process.

Also, you should never give your dog any human medications for her fever. Medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be poisonous to dogs and result in severe injury or death.

Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.


PetFirst Pet Insurance guest blogger Amber Drake posing for the camera with her black-and-brown dog

Amber L. Drake, a Professional Canine Behaviorist and Adjunct Professor of Biological Science, has extensive experience in the Animal Science Field. She has worked with dogs professionally for over ten years. Her clients range from private pet parents to large canine rescue organizations. In addition to accepting clients on a regular basis, Drake serves as an Adjunct Professor at Jamestown Community College and Kaplan University. Drake has earned a Doctor of Education (ABD), Educational Specialist Post-Masters, Master of Arts in Education and a Bachelor of Science in Biology. She has completed coursework at Cornell University for Pre-Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, Biochemistry at UC Berkeley, Veterinary Technology at Penn Foster and a number of Continuing Education courses to remain up-to-date in her field.

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