Fever in Dogs: How You Can Treat Them

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Fever In Dogs How You Can Treat ThemWhether your dog is going through a low-grade fever or something more serious, you may notice their unusual behavior without knowing about their signs of illness. While the best medical advice will come from your personal veterinarian, below are general guidelines on how you can treat fever in dogs. Moreover, we share the signs, causes, and possible treatment options. 

What are Dog Fevers? 

Your dog’s normal body temperature will range between 101 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, a little higher compared to a human’s. The human body temperature ranges between 97.6° and 99.6°F — when a pup’s temperature rises over 103°F, then it has a fever. Should a dog reach 106°F or more, then take immediate action since this can potentially lead to fatal complications. 

Causes of Fever in Dogs

A wide range of conditions may cause your dog to get a sudden fever, but some common reasons include the following: 

However, there are some cases when the cause of your dog’s fever can’t be accurately determined which is often known as a fever of unknown origin (FUO). When this happens, its fever may have an underlying cause, such as cancer, bone marrow problems, or disorders of the immune system.   

Signs and Symptoms of Fever in Dogs 

When there’s a significant change in a dog’s behavior, it can be the first sign of trouble. Be sure to keep an eye on your pooch and keep a note of your dog’s symptoms. Should you see the following dog fever symptoms, be sure to start doing a thermometer temperature check.   

Here are the most common symptoms of a fever in dogs:  

  • Runny nose
  • Shivering
  • Warm nose or ears
  • Glassy or red look in your dog’s eyes 
  • Dry nose 
  • Vomiting
  • Coughing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Decreased energy

How to Take Your Dog’s Rectal Temperature 

Sometimes, determining the temperature of your furry friend can be hard — sometimes your dog’s body temperature can rise above normal as a result of excitement. Their normal temperature will also vary between day and night, so it’s good practice to record your dog’s usual temperature. One practice that most people do is to feel their dog’s nose, where people assume that a wet and cold nose is the ideal temperature. 

Unfortunately, this isn’t an accurate indicator that tells when a dog has come down with a fever. Using a digital thermometer made specifically for rectal use is the most accurate way to do this, which you can find in pet stores. Be sure to keep this as a separate thermometer solely for your dog, and store it along with your dog’s supplies. 

Before checking your dog’s temperature, use a water-soluble lubricant or petroleum jelly to lubricate the tip of the rectal thermometer. Next, lift your dog’s tail and gently insert it around 1 inch into the dog’s rectum — whenever possible, ask for a second person to help you by holding your dog’s hind legs to ensure it won’t sit down. When your pet thermometer registers a temperature, you can carefully and gently remove it. 

Caring for Your Dog During a Fever

Should your dog have a fever of 106°F or more, be sure to call an emergency veterinarian right away. If your dog’s temperature is 103°F or higher, then you can cool down your dog by giving it cool water; use a water-soaked towel (with small amounts of water) on your dog’s ears and paw pads. You may also run a fan close to your dog but be sure to remove the water once its temperature drops under 103°F. 

But no matter what you do, remember that you should never give dogs human medicine such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. These human medications could be highly toxic to dogs and may result in serious injury and even death. 


When left untreated, fever in dogs can be fatal in rare cases and worrisome for many dog owners, especially those with no experience. So when you see the first signs of fever, be sure to check on your cat at various signs of the day while treating your dog. Responsible pet parents should ensure their dog’s normal body temperature ranges and visit their vet to run diagnostic tests if needed.