How to Know if Your Dog Has a Fever (Comprehensive Guide)

Greetings, fellow dog owners! As responsible pet parents, it’s essential to keep an eye out for any signs of illness in our furry friends. One common ailment that can affect dogs is a fever. But how can you tell if your dog is running a temperature?

how to know if dog has fever

Worry not, for we’re here to guide you through the process. In this article, we’ll explore the telltale symptoms of a dog fever and teach you how to spot them with ease.

Key Takeaways:

  • Red eyes, lethargy, warm ears, and a dry nose are common symptoms of a fever in dogs.
  • Keep an eye out for shivering, loss of appetite, and unusual coughing or vomiting.
  • Infections, toxins, vaccinations, and ongoing diseases can cause fevers in our canine companions.
  • Rectal or ear thermometers designed for pets are the best tools for measuring a dog’s temperature.
  • Always follow the instructions provided with the thermometer and avoid using glass thermometers.

By being aware of the signs and equipped with the right knowledge, you’ll be able to promptly address any concerns regarding your dog’s health. Remember, a healthy and happy pup is a cherished member of the family!

What Causes a Fever in Dogs?

Fevers in dogs can be caused by various factors. One common cause is infections or inflammations, such as infected bites, scratches, or urinary tract infections. These conditions trigger the body’s immune response, resulting in a fever as the body tries to fight off the invading agents. It’s essential to promptly identify and treat the underlying infection or inflammation to alleviate the fever and prevent further complications.

Another possible cause of fever in dogs is the ingestion of toxic materials. Certain plants, chemicals, medications, and even certain human foods can be toxic to dogs and induce a fever as their body reacts to the harmful substances. Pet owners must be vigilant in keeping potentially hazardous items out of their dog’s reach to prevent accidental ingestion and subsequent fever.

Additionally, vaccinations can sometimes cause a temporary fever in dogs. This is a normal reaction as the dog’s immune system responds to the vaccine’s components. The fever should subside within a day or two, but it’s always advisable to consult with a veterinarian if the fever persists or if there are other concerning symptoms.

Chronic bacterial or viral diseases can also be underlying causes of recurring fevers in dogs. Conditions such as tick-borne diseases, respiratory infections, or systemic illnesses can lead to ongoing fevers. Identifying and addressing these underlying conditions is crucial for effective treatment and the overall well-being of the dog.

In summary, a fever in dogs can be triggered by various factors, including infections, inflammation, toxic ingestions, vaccinations, and underlying diseases. Pet owners should closely monitor their dogs for any signs of fever, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, coughing, vomiting, or changes in body temperature. It’s important to consult with a veterinarian to determine the cause of the fever and establish an appropriate treatment plan to ensure the dog’s prompt recovery.

How to Take Your Dog’s Temperature

When it comes to monitoring your dog’s health, knowing how to measure their temperature accurately is essential. A dog’s body temperature can indicate whether they have a fever, which is an important sign of underlying health issues. Here’s a simple guide on dog temperature checking methods.

To measure your dog’s temperature, you can use a rectal or ear thermometer specially designed for pets. To start, make sure the thermometer is clean and lubricated. For a rectal reading, gently insert the thermometer into your dog’s anus and hold it in place for a few seconds. Be mindful of your dog’s comfort and handle them gently throughout the process.

If you prefer an alternative method, you can opt for an ear thermometer. Insert the thermometer deep into the horizontal ear canal, following the instructions provided. Remember to never force it in or go beyond the safe depth. This method is quick and efficient, especially for dogs who may become agitated during rectal temperature checks.

When using any thermometer, it’s important to follow the instructions carefully and avoid using glass thermometers, as they can break and cause harm to your dog. Always prioritize your dog’s safety and well-being during temperature measurements.


How can I tell if my dog has a fever?

You can look for symptoms such as red eyes, lethargy, warm ears, warm and dry nose, shivering, loss of appetite, and coughing or vomiting. These signs indicate that your dog’s body temperature may be elevated, signaling a fever.

What are the common causes of fever in dogs?

Fevers in dogs can be caused by infections or inflammations, such as infected bites, scratches, or urinary tract infections. Other causes can include ingestion of toxic materials, vaccinations, and ongoing bacterial or viral diseases. It is important to identify the underlying cause for proper treatment.

How can I take my dog’s temperature?

You can use a rectal or ear thermometer designed for pets. Lubricate the thermometer and gently insert it into your dog’s anus for a rectal reading. Alternatively, you can use an ear thermometer by placing it deep into the horizontal ear canal. Follow the instructions provided with the thermometer and avoid using glass thermometers.

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