What is fever?

Fever is a condition in which the average body temperature rises. In general, an infection or an inflammation in the body will cause this elevation in the body temperature. A dog’s body temperature slightly above 103 degrees may also be caused by some intense activities, extreme moods, hot climates etc. A body temperature of 106 degrees Fahrenheit is considered dangerous for the dogs.

What are the Causes of Fever in Dogs?

  • Infections, including viral, fungal, and bacterial causes
  • Tick-borne diseases such as Lyme Disease
  • Toxic reactions to certain foods or medicines, especially antidepressants for humans
  • Vaccination shots leading to the dog’s immune system to work harder
  • FUO or unknown causes of fever in dogs include cancers, bone marrow disorders, or other infections left undiagnosed

How to tell if dog has fever?

To determine the actual body temperature of your dog, you will need a rectal thermometer specially for dogs. Insert the thermometer in the anus about half an inch to take the temperature. Make sure that you apply coconut oil or Vaseline before inserting it. If your dog’s body temperature is about 103, you need to consult with your vet. If it is above 106 degrees, your dog will need immediate medical assistance.

Since dogs’ body temperatures are always more than our own, we can often not understand the signs of fever in dogs. Watch out for the following signs and symptoms in dogs that may indicate fever.


One strong indicative symptoms of fever in dogs is sudden lethargy in their demeanor. Also, lethargy does not always mean that your dog does have fever. If he is lethargic for a long time, it would be wise to visit a vet.

Reddish, Pinkish Eyes

Reddish eyes is a symptom of fever as well as other allergies or infection in a dog. If you see the symptom of pinkish or reddish eyes for a long time, visit a vet for proper diagnosis and treatment of the underlying problem.


Dogs may shiver when they feel cold. If you think your dog is feeling cold, give them warmth of a blanket. If you suspect shivering because of fever, you will need to avoid the blanket as it can make dogs’ bodies even more hot. The skin on dogs does not have the mechanism to sweat, unlike humans. Their bodies work differently and need different treatment to the symptoms.

Nasal Discharge

Nasal discharge is one of several signs of fever in dogs. Just like other standalone symptoms, nasal discharge may be caused by fever or other problems such as kennel cough, certain allergies, or even cancer.


Coughing is generally found in dogs who are infected with kennel cough, a viral and bacterial infection. This infection is also likely to cause fever in dogs. It is highly contagious among dogs but fortunately, there is a vaccine for this problem. It is suggested that if you often leave your pets at a boarding or day care, you must keep them updated with this vaccine.


Sometimes, your dog may be vomiting because of fever. Out of curiosity or excitement, dogs can ingest inedible things that may lead to obstructions in the movement of bowel. These obstructions can cause vomiting coupled up with fever, and may even need surgeries. If your dog is vomiting and has fever, keep them hydrated and visit a vet at the earliest.

Reduced Appetite

If suddenly your dog shows less or no interest in their favourite food or treats, you can understand that something is not right. Sudden reduced appetite in dogs can be associated with several things and fever is one of those. Consult a vet to rule out other problems and work on a temporary diet plan for the sick dog.

Warm or dry nose

For ages it has been passed on to us that a dog’s nose can tell a lot about its health and well-being. Though doctors do not completely vouch for this, you can still see some signs of illnesses with the condition of their nose. When a dog has fever, his nose will feel dry and warmer than normal. However, this alone cannot be termed as a sign of fever. You will need to read and understand other symptoms, and possibly a temperature test.

How to Treat fever in dogs at home?

  • You can help them by applying cool water near ears and paws to bring down the temperature.
  • You can also switch on the fan along with the cool packs.
  • Keep monitoring their temperature and stop these packs when the temperature has reached 103 degree fahrenhiet.
  • Offer your dogs water in small quantities several times to keep them hydrated.
  • You must give them a relaxing and quiet place where they can take ample of rest.
  • If you have more than one pet at home, keep the healthy ones away from the sick one for a few days. It will help in the prevention of the spreading of the problem.

Can you give human fever medicines to dogs?

No. Never give any human fever medicine to dogs. Medicines like ibuprofen can be toxic to dogs and may only make the matter worse. It some cases, it can also lead to death.


High Fever in Dogs,” www.pets.webmd.com