How to Tell if a Dog Has a Fever

Your normal body temperature runs between 97.6 and 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit; your pup's is between 101 and 102.5. Unless Buddy's taken a chill, or you're running a fever, your pooch should always feel a bit warm to your touch. Some symptoms are common to fever, but the thermometer tells the tale.


Checking for Fever

According to WebMD, a fever describes an elevated body temperature due to infection or inflammation. If Buddy's temperature is over 103 degrees Fahrenheit, he has a fever. Symptoms to look for include lethargy, depression, shivering, lack of appetite and vomiting. But taking his temperature is the only way to confirm he has a fever. A digital rectal thermometer designed for dogs will provide an accurate reading in less than a minute. If Buddy registers a reading of 103 degrees or higher, give the vet a call. If he's above 105, you can cool him down by applying cool water to his fur, focusing on his feet and ears. If his temperature is higher than 106 F, it's an emergency situation requiring immediate treatment. Never give your pup aspirin or acetaminophen to help his fever; though they're helpful for your fever, they can be toxic and dangerous for your pup.

By Betty Lewis

About the Author
Betty Lewis has been writing professionally since 2000, specializing in animal care and issues, business analysis and homeland security. Lewis holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from West Virginia University as well as master's degrees from Old Dominion University and Tulane University.