How To Tell If Your Dog Has A Fever

December 18, 2019


All true dog lovers need to be able to tell when their precious furry friend is ill. Now, you probably already know about the famous “feel the nose” method: if it’s wet and cold – he’s fine; if it’s hot and dry – possible fever.

But even though this method is completely legit, it is not nearly enough as sometimes it is much more complicated than that.

When the nose test alone fails for an accurate fever assessment, you need to bring out the big guns.

Most Common Signs Of Fever In Dogs

Fever, or medically pyrexia, is defined as a higher than normal body temperature in dogs (the normal temperature being between 99.5 and 102.5 F), and a body temperature of at least 103.5° F can mean your dog has a fever.

No matter how smart your canine buddy is, he himself can’t tell you that he is sick, but his body can. This is why you must learn all the usual symptoms that indicate a possible presence of fever.

The symptoms include:

  • Red eyes
  • Lethargy/lack of energy
  • Warm ears
  • Warm, dry nose
  • Shivering
  • Loss of appetite
  • Coughing
  • Vomiting

What causes fever?

The cause of the dog fever is not always obvious and high temperature on only one occasion might be a false alarm.

According to, if your pooch has an elevated temperature on at least four occasions over a 14-day period without any obvious cause, it is referred to as a fever of unknown origin (FUO).

Otherwise, fever is considered a healthy biological response to a bacterial or viral threat.

We should also note that that a fever can actually be beneficial for our pooches. It lowers the rapid division of bacteria and enhances the body’s immune system response.

But, When To Bring Your Dog To The Vet?

A fever that is too high and goes on for a prolonged period of time is a rather serious one and it means your dog needs medical treatment.

However, since you always want to be on the safe side, make sure you take your four-legged friend to the vet once his temperature reaches 103 degrees, or you notice any of the aforementioned signs.

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