When Does a Dog Have a Fever?

Suddenly our four-legged friends seem limp and tired, which unfortunately happens again and again. A possible cause can be fever.

On this page, you can read how you can recognize fever quickly.

There are many possible causes of fever in dogs. It can be a harmless stomach upset, or a viral infection, but also a serious illness.

How do I know if my dog ​​has a fever?

It is important to observe the dog and pay attention to its symptoms. Your darling hardly wants to eat and the prospect of a long walk does not please him either.

When that happens, dog owners are initially unsure. What is wrong with the dog and how can I help him? Going to the vet is of course a good option, but you don’t want to drag the animal straight into the practice.

An alarm signal that you should react to quickly can be a fever.

Recognize fever in dogs

Fever is not so easy to recognize at first glance. If the dog is listless and tired, these are the first signs that something is wrong.

If there is also a loss of appetite or apathy, it can be a serious illness.

Normal temperature in the dog

In such a case, the body temperature often rises. The animal only feels warm at higher temperatures.

A sign of recognition is hot ears. Even those areas that are not very hairy feel warmer than usual when you have a fever and the nose is dry and warm.

Under certain circumstances, the dog can ruffle its fur and it comes to chills. In this case, the temperature is already significantly increased. In addition, there is a high pulse and the breathing rate increases significantly.

The normal body temperature of dogs is a maximum of 39 degrees and is measured in degrees Celsius (°C):

  • Normal temperature between 37 °C and 39 °C
  • Elevated temperature between 39°C and 40°C
  • From 40 degrees: Temperatures above 40 °C are considered a fever

Measure fever in dog

A clinical thermometer should not be missing in a dog household. Digital thermometers that display the temperature quickly are ideal.

In dogs, the temperature is taken rectally. Most dogs understandably don’t like this procedure at all. It is therefore helpful if you ask a second person for support.

Hold the dog tight and calm it down. A little Vaseline on the tip of the fever thermometer helps to make measuring easier. Insert the thermometer very carefully into the anus.

If the dog moves quickly and impetuously because it is uncomfortable, it can injure itself. Therefore, fixing by a second person and a muzzle is ideal.

If the temperature is elevated, you should consult the veterinarian. If you do not dare to take your temperature with a thermometer, the veterinarian will be happy to help. He has the appropriate practice in it.

When do dogs have a fever?

A fever can indicate that your dog is ill. Fever itself is not a disease, but merely a symptom. If the temperature rises above 42 degrees, it can be very dangerous or life-threatening.

The dog’s normal body temperature is between 37 °C and 39 °C. The temperature is only considered fever if it rises above 40 °C. Below that is elevated temperature.

The temperature can quickly rise if the dog is overheated in summer or has been lying under a warm blanket for a long time. Romping around and playing extensively can also ensure that the temperature is higher for a short time.

If you can explain the increased temperature with that, then you don’t have to worry. Most of the time, as a dog owner, you don’t even notice that your body temperature has risen.

The dog panted for a while. And shortly afterward everything is back to normal.

Reduce fever in dogs

Fever in dogs can have many causes. It is a sign of an underlying disease. Rarely, fever can occur without an identifiable cause.

Fever usually occurs in connection with viral or bacterial infections, as well as with inflammation or immune diseases. The immune system tries to kill pathogens via increased body temperature.

However, fever can also be due to rheumatism, fungal infections, infections, side effects of medication, or,  other diseases.

Your vet will first determine the cause of the symptoms and initiate treatment accordingly.

You can support your dog by taking it easy on him shortly. His sleeping place must be in a quiet place. Be sure to avoid drafts.

Give the animal fresh water regularly to keep it hydrated. Some animals like to drink herbal teas such as chamomile or cheese popular tea. These teas support recovery.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I recognize a fever in a dog without a thermometer?

Taking a dog’s temperature without a thermometer

If the dog has a fever, it can usually be determined without a thermometer. The sick dog’s ears and paws feel very hot. The lumbar region also shows a noticeably increased temperature with fever.

Why does a dog have a fever?

Triggers are often infections with bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi. Inflammation, poisoning, or tumors can also lead to this. Dogs occasionally get a slight fever after vaccination. This is usually very mild and goes away on its own within three days.

Can a dog get a fever from stress?

One usually speaks of fever from 39.4 °C. Since your dog may be a little excited and nervous in the practice, body temperature often rises in the practice environment. That’s why it makes sense to take your body temperature at home in familiar surroundings and tell your veterinarian.

Do dogs have warm ears?

If your dog has hot ears, this is usually an indication that he has a fever. As in humans, the fever is caused by viral or bacterial infections.

When does a dog start a fever?

How do you recognize a fever in a dog? Fever in dogs is primarily characterized by an elevated core body temperature (values over 39.0°C). Other signs include fatigue, loss of appetite, and increased breathing and heart rate.

Can I give my dog paracetamol if he has a fever?

Paracetamol in dogs – is that possible? First of all: Yes, theoretically you can give dogs paracetamol and in rare cases, this is done. Despite this, we strongly advise against simply giving your dog paracetamol when they are in pain or have a fever.

Can I give my dog ibuprofen?

Medicines such as ibuprofen, paracetamol, aspirin, or diclofenac are generally well tolerated by us – but they are often very toxic for dogs and cats.

Which medicine can I also give the dog with a fever?

If a dog with a fever is very weakened by the disease that caused it, it makes sense that it should be given antipyretics. The veterinarian prescribes antipyretics, such as carprofen, firocoxib or metamizol.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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