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What is a Fever in Dogs

dog allergic reactionWe often refer to fevers as a sign of something being wrong in your dog. It is a common symptom of infection, but how do you know if your dog has a fever? Figuring out if your dog has a fever can be tough.

What is a normal temperature for a dog?

Did you know that dogs do not share the same body temperature as humans? Dogs are considerably warmer. Their body temperature ranges from 101 to `102.5 Fahrenheit. For comparison, a human ranges from 97.2 to 99.6.

What is a fever temperature for dogs?

Because the dog’s normal range is 101 to 102.5 Fahrenheit, it is not considered a fever until they hit 103 or above. If your dog has a fever of 106, this is considered an emergency and they should be taken to an emergency vet clinic. A fever of 106 or higher can be fatal, so do not delay in getting them to a vet.

How do I know if my dog has a fever?

Just like humans, a dog’s temperature will vary throughout the day. If they are running around, for instance, their temperature will be higher. The best way to know if your dog has a fever is to establish a baseline. This means knowing your dog’s typical temperature range. A great way to do this is to take their temperature in the morning, in the evening, and right after exercise for a week. This will let you know what your dog’s particular normal temperature range should be. If they are outside of this range, it could be a sign of something going on.

There is a myth that if you feel your dog’s nose and it is wet and cold then their temperature is ok, and if it is hot and dry then they have a fever. This is not accurate. You need to use a thermometer to get an accurate temperature. Here is a video that will show you how to take a dog’s temperature.

What are the symptoms of a fever in dogs?

You may wonder when you should check for a fever. Here are some other symptoms to look for to help you know if your dog may not be feeling good.

  • Red or glassy eyes
  • Warm ears and/or nose (but remember, do not use this as a sure sign of fever)
  • Shivering
  • Panting
  • Runny nose
  • Loss of energy, lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Coughing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

What do I do if my dog has a fever?

If their fever is over 106, you need to go to an emergency vet clinic. This is very serious and could be fatal.

If they have a fever of 103-105 you can do some things to help cool them down. You can apply cool wet cloths to their ears, armpits, and paws. You can run a fan near them.

Keep cool, fresh, and clean water nearby for them to drink.

Do not give them any human fever reducer medication. Dogs cannot take the same medications as people and this could be very dangerous.

If your dog has a fever for more than a day or has other symptoms occurring as well, you should consider taking them to the vet. They may have an infection or virus that needs veterinary attention.