How to Know if a Dog Has a Fever

by Betty Lewis
Get her to the vet if she's become a hot dog.

Get her to the vet if she's become a hot dog.

Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Your normal body temperature runs between 97.6 and 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit; your pup's is between 101 and 102.5. Unless Buddy's taken a chill, or you're running a fever, your pooch should always feel a bit warm to your touch. Some symptoms are common to fever, but the thermometer tells the tale.

Checking for Fever

According to WebMD, a fever describes an elevated body temperature due to infection or inflammation. If Buddy's temperature is over 103 degrees Fahrenheit, he has a fever. Symptoms to look for include lethargy, depression, shivering, lack of appetite and vomiting. But taking his temperature is the only way to confirm he has a fever. A digital rectal thermometer designed for dogs will provide an accurate reading in less than a minute. If Buddy registers a reading of 103 degrees or higher, give the vet a call. If he's above 105, you can cool him down by applying cool water to his fur, focusing on his feet and ears. If his temperature is higher than 106 F, it's an emergency situation requiring immediate treatment. Never give your pup aspirin or acetaminophen to help his fever; though they're helpful for your fever, they can be toxic and dangerous for your pup.

Photo Credits

  • Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images

About the Author

Betty Lewis is a writer and editor specializing in pet care, animals, careers and emergency management. She previously ran an animal shelter, where she also served as a kennel attendant and dog trainer. Lewis holds a bachelor's degree in journalism, an M.B.A. and a master's degree in professional studies.

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