It hurts to see our furry friends suffer from fever but like everyone, our dogs do get sick and one of the most common symptoms of underlying issues is fever. Dog fever can happen many times in a dog's lifetime hence its important to know dog fever treatment basis fever readings of your dog.

Fever is a manifestation of an underlying problem in the dog’s health. A dog can be having an infection in the tooth or UTI (Urinary tract Infection) but for us, it will show up as a fever.

Fever should always be investigated further because it generally happens when the body is fighting off bacterial infection or inflammation which can be internal or can show up externally.

What is fever in dogs?

Dogs have fever when there is an infection in body and the body decides to increase the thermoregulatory set point in order to kill the infection. To reach a higher temperature the body produces heat i.e shivering and rise in temperature.

What does dog temperature mean?

Humans have different temperatures that of dogs which are termed as normal, humans have normal temperatures ranging from 97.6–99.6F degrees.

Dog's normal temperature ranges from 99.5-102.5F degrees.

Body Temp of DogsIndicator
99.5 to 102.5FHealthy Level
103 to 106FHas Fever
106F or aboveIs Serious

What are the symptoms of dog fever?

While for us, it’s easy to determine that we are having a fever or not, but with pets, we need to judge it ourselves since our furry friends can’t tell us. A pet parent should be well versed in dog fever symptoms. Some of the common fever symptoms of fever are:

  1. Dry and Warm Nose
  2. Warm Paws
  3. Warm Ears
  4. Lethargic/Drowsy pet
  5. Coughing 
  6. Vomiting
  7. Not Eating Food

However, medical instruments will have to be used to determine the exact temperate of your pet. The normal temperature of pet is 99.5 F - 102.5 F. Anything above 103.0 F needs vet to see your dog.

What are the reasons for dog fever?

While there can be many reasons for fever but below are the most common reasons:

  • Infection due to bite or cut
  • Ear Infection
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Infected Tooth
  • The virus of Bacteria induced infection

Dogs can also get fever if they eat one of the following:

  1. Poisonous plant
  2. Human Medication
  3. Chocolate

Note: Please take your pet to vet immediately if you believe that your pet has ingested some toxic food.

How to take a dog's temperature?

Unfortunately, taking dog temperature is not the most convenient procedure for either you or your pet. Medically the fever of dog can only be ascertained from either rectum or ear. A non-glass digital thermometer needs to be inserted into the rectum of your dog for 60 seconds for the reading to be taken.

Ear thermometers are far more convenient since they are not as invasive as rectum thermometers. Ear thermometers with infra-red reading technology measure the infrared heat waves that are emitted from in and around the eardrum. Insert thermometer deep in-ear canal to get an accurate reading.

What to do if dog has a fever?

If the dog has a temperature above 105 F then its time to call a vet or take your pet to the vet to take his medical assistance. If the temperature breaches 106 F it is treated as an emergency since it can lead to bleeding in internal organs.

The temperature of the pet above 103 F means there is a fever and your first course of action should be to reduce the body temperature of the pet by applying cold water-soaked damp cloths(not icy cold) on the fur of the pet, especially around-ear and paws. Keeping fan ON will also help reduce the temperature. While you do this cooling temperature, keep checking the pet's rectal temperature and stop once the temperature goes below 103 F.

You can repeat the process if the temperature again goes up but if this keeps happening for more than 2-3 times then it's best to approach a vet for consultation.

Note: Do not give human medicines to dogs without consultation with the vet. Human medicines for fever can be life-threatening to dogs.

6 foods for dogs when ill or having fever?

Since fever leads to dehydration and might accompany vomiting as well, its best to give bland food (light on stomach)which is high on water content (to hydrate).

  1. Steamed Rice with a little bit of water in it.
  2. Vegetable Stalk made out of veggies like carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce etc.
  3. Boiled potato
  4. No-salt chicken broth
  5. Mashed Pumpkin
  6. Bone Broth

Note: Its important to keep your pet hydrated. Urge your pet to drink water but if he does not drink then don't force it down your pet throat as it can lead to other complications like pneumonia.

How to make dog drink water in a fever?

If your dog is having a fever and is not drinking water by himself then it's imperative for you to keep your dog hydrated.

Following are the ways to keep your dog hydrated in fever:

  1. Give ice cubes to lick
  2. Make him drink from your hand in small amount but often
  3. Give food with high water content
  4. Use a syringe and give water in very small amount

How to check for dehydration in dogs?

Check the hydration level of the dog by checking the color of the gums of dog. If the color of gums looks pink and wet then that means the dog is hydrated. If not sure, press on your dog’s gums until you see the color change from pink. Remove your finger, and see if the gum goes pink again instantly. If it takes a while for the gum to go pink then it means your dog is dehydrated and might need IV fluids at vet clinic.