How Can I Tell If My Puppy Is Running a Fever?

A vet can determine if a dog's fever is caused by an underlying health condition.
Comstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Much like people, dogs can develop fevers, which if left untreated, can cause serious health problems. Fevers in dogs may be caused by infections, certain cancers, vaccinations or numerous other health conditions. Knowing how to tell if your dog has a fever, can help you determine when you should seek veterinarian care.

Signs and Symptoms

Dogs suffering from fevers may display a variety of symptoms including appearing lethargic, experiencing a loss in appetite or exhibiting excessive panting. While these signs may indicate your dog has a fever, these behaviors also can occur in dogs not suffering from fevers. Taking your dog’s rectal temperature with a thermometer is the only way to determine accurately if your dog has a fever. Experts recommend that an owner attempting to take his dog’s temperature should use a digital thermometer specifically designed for dogs. According to WebMD, a dog’s natural body temperature is between 101 and 102.5 degrees. A dog with a temperature over 103 should be seen by a veterinarian.