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Fever in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms & Care – All About Dog Body Temperature

If your dog is behaving differently and showing uneasiness, it’s the right time to check your pet’s temperature. As your loving pet cannot express what dogs feel, this unusual behavior signifies illness. Finding out if your dog is ill or not is quite simple. Documentation of body temperature can also help the vet to diagnose the illness and cure it as soon as possible. All you need is a reliable thermometer for your canine friend in their first aid kit. This temperature for a dog article will help you know more about a dog’s temperature, signs of fever, causes, remedies, and steps to measure temperature. 

What is a Normal Temperature For a Dog?

Wondering what is a normal temperature for a dog? The average normal dog temperature ranges between 101 and 102.5º Fahrenheit (38.3-39.2º Celsius. The average body temperature of a dog is comparatively higher than humans, which runs between 97 to 99.9 degrees Fahrenheit. Dogs are considered hypothermic when the body temperature drops below 99°F (35°F). Above 103 degrees Fahrenheit (39.4⁰) is considered high for dogs. The symptoms will be mild, similar to viral infections in humans. When the dog’s body temperature reaches 106º F.(41.1⁰), it could be fatal, life-threatening, and cause severe complications. It can cause severe problems, causing seizures, or organ shutdown. The rise in temperature of your dog can result from infections, excessive exercise, or environmental heat. This rise in body temperature is known as Pyrexia, commonly known as fever in humans.

Signs Of Fever In Dogs

There are a few symptoms that can be found in your dogs when they are having Pyrexia. However, sometimes there might be no signs of fever in dogs. It would help if you kept a close eye on your dog and did not change signs. Here is the list of some dog fever symptoms that are usually present when there is a rise in Temperature.

  • Lethargic behavior
  • Dehydration
  • Panting and Coughing
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Change in eye color
  • Warm ears and nose
  • Nasal Discharge
  • Several times Vomiting
  • Eating less (Loss of appetite)
  • Continuous Shivering in Body

How to Tell If Dog Has Fever?

Dogs can’t tell us when they don’t feel well, so it’s important to be able to recognize the signs of a fever. Knowing how to tell if dog has fever is an essential part of being a responsible pet owner. A fever in dogs can be caused by many different factors, from infections and diseases, to environmental factors such as heat or cold. By recognizing the signs of a fever in your dog, you can take the necessary steps to get them the help they need quickly.

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There could be a variety of reasons behind the causes of dog fever. Sometimes they cannot determine the cause behind fever or rise in temperature. It usually happens because of immune system abnormalities, blood and bone marrow disorders, and cancer. Some of the reasons for rising temperatures in dogs include.

#1 Bacterial/viral/ Fungal Infection

Whenever an infection enters a dog’s body, the body temperature rises. A dog’s immune system increases the body’s temperature to fight against bacteria, viruses, and fungi. These bacteria are heat sensitive and cannot survive at high temperatures.

#2 Allergy and inflammation

They can cause a rise in temperature and fever because of any allergy.

#3 Ingestion of Toxins

They consume poisonous materials such as human food, medicine, or toxic plants.

#4 Consumption of Medicine

There might be instances when the vet has recommended some medicine. These medicine for dog fever can elevate the body temperature of your pet.

#5 Tooth or urinary tract infection

Dogs can not share what problem they are facing. Toothaches could severely affect the temperature of the Body.

#6 Response to Vaccination

The body’s immune system responds to the vaccination with a mild fever that can last upto 48 hrs.

#7 Anxiety

Increased heartbeat and panting are signs of anxiety that can lead to rising body temperature.

Axillary Temperature Vs Rectal Temperature

Axillary Temperature measures temperature by placing the best dog thermometer in the ear canal at a 90-degree angle. In this process, the temperature ( body heat) is measured. Usually, an axillary temperature is slightly lower than the temperature measured in your mouth or rectum. The slight variation occurs because it is outside the body.

On the other hand, Rectal temperature measures body temperature by gently inserting the thermometer into the rectum of the dog. In this process, the thermometer is lubricated before inserting into the genitals. The thermometer size varies for puppies and adult dogs, ranging from 1 inch to 2-3 inches, respectively.

There is only a slight difference (1 degree) between axillary temperature sensors and rectal thermometers. If the axillary temperature is placed and appropriately measured on a dog, then the temperature of both processes will be the same. Axillary temperature offers are simpler to calculate and put less stress on dogs than rectal temperatures.

How to Take a Dog’s Temperature?

The task of measuring your dog’s Temperature can be tiring and tricky simultaneously. Typically, the temperature also rises when a dog is excited or stressed. The temperature also constantly varies at night and day. Then, how to take a dog’s temperature? The best way to check your dog’s temperature is using a digital thermometer instead of any home trick. There is a customized pet thermometer also available in the market. Below is the step-by-step procedure to check the temperature using rectal and Axillary Temperature.

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#1 Using a Rectal Thermometer

  • Bring a digital rectal probe and read the mentioned instructions carefully.
  • Apply a lubricant (petroleum jelly or baby oil) on the end of the probe that you will insert.
  • Make the dog comfortable by patting its back and holding its chest using your arm.
  • Lift your dog’s tail and gently insert the thermometer into the genital.
  • Wait for at least 2 minutes and wait for the Thermo to record the temperature.
  • Stop taking the temperature if your dog is reacting aggressively or is uncomfortable.

#2 Using Axillary Temperature

  • Switch on the digital and wait for a few seconds to calibrate.
  • Hold the dog and place them in a comfortable position. Lift the ears if they are floppy.
  • Hold the probe at a 90° angle to the dog’s head.
  • Keep the thermometer in the same position for at least 2 minutes ( you will hear a beep sound).
  • After the beep sound, read the temperature on the digital thermometer. Take the dog to a vet immediately if the temperature is above 104°.
  • Don’t use this method if there is an ear infection. Stop the temperature measuring if your dog is aggressive.

How Should I Care For A Dog With A Fever?

When the temperature is not much high and you can do dog fever treatment at home, follow a few tips below.

  • Wipe the body with cold water or mildly cold water. You are especially wiping down the abdomen, ears, and paws to bring down the temperature. and if you are thinking what can i give my dog for fever? You can give them a bath in lukewarm water if the temperature is slightly high.
  • Keep hydrating your pet, and make sure they drink enough water.
  • Feed them with best dog food for gastrointestinal problems.
  • Feed them a small amount of chicken soup. Chicken can boost the dog’s immune system.

When To Visit a Vet?

Don’t think twice before visiting a vet if your dog’s temperature is 106 F( 41 C) or higher. Fever above this temperature can be dangerous for a dog’s health, especially internal organs. Provide the dog veterinarian with the dog’s history so you can treat your pet promptly.


Never try to treat your pet with your human medication, as it can be poisonous for them. Along with this, follow the instructed remedy provided by the vet carefully. Many people are required to measure the temperature by touch. But this process is ineffective and can mislead you and make conditions uncontrollable. Don’t be stressed when your pet’s temperature is high, as your loyal companion may get that too. Stress can make situations worse, so keep your calm and be vigilant.