Does your dog have a fever? These are the symptoms that indicate it

The fever, as you probably already know, is the increase in body temperature above average. Fever itself is not a disease, but rather the symptom of a larger condition, such as the flu, heat stroke, gastroenteritis, arthritis, and many more.

However, fever is not particularly common among dogs and this leads to many owners not having the experience to determine when their dog is suffering from high temperatures.

There are certain exceptions to this rule, such as Shar Pei fever, a well-known condition that affects Shar Pei dogs. But in general, a dog with a fever is not something that many veterinarians or owners are used to.

Next, we will talk about what are the symptoms of fever in a dog and what you can do if your pet suffers from it.

What is the normal temperature?

The normal body temperature of dogs varies slightly depending on their age and body build, but the average is usually between 37.5°C and 39.2°C.

The normal average temperature of dogs is slightly higher than that of humans, so don’t panic if you notice that these temperatures would mean a case of fever for you: it’s healthy for them.

To measure a dog’s temperature, ideally, use a specialized rectal thermometerbut in case you don’t have it, you can carefully watch your body for possible symptoms of a fever.

What are the most common symptoms?

If you don’t have the means to measure his temperature and can’t take him to a vet, pay attention to these indicators.

  • Red eyes
  • Lethargy and lack of energy
  • hot ears
  • Warm and dry nose
  • tremors
  • loss of appetite
  • Cough
  • vomiting

What causes fever in dogs?

As in humans, a fever is a sign that your dog is suffering from a medical condition, whether minor or serious, which is usually an inflammation or infection that your pet’s body is trying to fight off.

These are some of the most common causes:

  • An infected bite, cut, or scrape
  • Ear infection
  • urinary tract infections
  • Infected or abscessed tooth
  • Bacterial or viral diseases
  • internal organ infections

Should you go to the vet?

It is considered that a dog has a fever when its temperature reaches 39.5°C. If you get a chance to measure it and this is the result, it’s time to head to the vet. A temperature of 41°C or higher can damage internal organs or even be fatal, so never wait until it gets to that point.

Once at the vet, diagnosing the underlying cause can be tricky. Your vet may have a record of your dog’s medical history, with information on vaccinations, surgeries, allergies, medications, and past illnesses that will help give you better context about your pet’s overall health.

But you may also need to know about recent physical injuries, ingestion of toxic plants or other toxins, insect bites, etc. It’s also helpful to note when you first noticed the fever.

After performing a physical exam, your veterinarian may order laboratory tests such as urinalysis, blood count, or a biochemical profile, which can offer helpful information about an underlying condition or infection. In case of infection, you can be Prescribe medicationsbut more specific tests may also be needed.

Sometimes the root cause of a fever cannot be determined, and in fact, veterinarians even have a term for it: fever of unknown origin.

Fever in dogs is a complicated business that can be very frustrating, not to mention dangerous. It’s best to take the appropriate steps to protect your dog’s health and trust the veterinarians’ diagnosis.

Has your dog ever suffered from a fever? What did you do about it? Tell us in the comments and share with your friends.


American Kennel Club

Pet MD



  • Waleska Busts

Content creator and Community Manager. Between the image and the word. I enjoy creating content from the personality of each project to be developed.

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