If your dog seems to have a higher-than-normal temperature, it can be because he just finished playing or getting some exercise! If not, there are a few techniques to determine whether your dog has a fever with or without a thermometer. In this post, we discuss how to identify a dog’s fever, its causes, symptoms, and indicators that it should see a veterinarian.

What Is the Typical Temperature of a Dog?

Dogs typically have higher body temperatures than people, claims Dr. Sandhya Nair of Oasis Vet. It’s between 100°F and 102.5°F (38°C to 39.2°C). Any temperature above that is regarded as a fever, while any temperature below that is regarded as hypothermia (low body temperature). 

A vet should be contacted right away if a patient’s temperature rises to more than 40°C (104°F), which is considered a severe fever. Note: It’s normal for a dog’s temperature to rise after vigorous activity. But it shouldn’t rise above 40 degrees.

Common Dog Fever Symptoms and Signs

We’re All About Pets Contributor Dr. Pete Wedderburn (BVM&S CertVR MRCVS) notes that common symptoms of fever in dogs include loss of appetite and shivering (not caused by stress or pain) panting laziness/reluctance to move Your pet is undoubtedly feeling under the weather if you observe anything out of the ordinary in him.

What Triggers Fever in Dogs?

In dogs, immunological or inflammatory responses are frequently to blame for febrile episodes causes can be categorized into the following groups: 

Biological reasons 

Getting exposed to dangerous microorganisms can result in infections. This includes urinary tract infections (UTIs), bacterial or viral infections, ear infections, illnesses transmitted by ticks, or infections of internal organs like kidneys. 

  • Immune-mediated triggers 

 Immunological system compromises that trigger immune reactions are referred to as immune-mediated causes. Lupus, polyarthritis, and auto-immune illness are included in this.

  • Neoplastic triggers 

Tumour development brought on by neoplastic processes might be benign or malignant. The most frequent malignancies that result in fever are lymphoma or leukemia.

How to use a thermometer to take your dog’s temperature Rectal thermometers work best for taking your dog’s temperature. Here is the procedure in detail:

  • Check to see if your dog is at ease. By giving your dog some treats throughout the procedure, you can maintain his composure. Get someone else to hold your dog still as an alternative strategy 
  • Grease the thermometer’s tip You can apply soap, jelly, vegetable oil, lubricating gel, or both. This will make it easier for the thermometer to enter your dog’s rectum and increase comfort.
  • Lightly raise your dog’s tail. Lift your dog’s tail carefully once he has calmed down to see the rectum. The aperture right beneath the tail is known as the rectum.
  •  Place the thermometer inside the rectum Once it’s in, you can let your dog’s tail down. Once the tail has returned to its natural position, your dog is typically less likely to protest having his temperature checked. Only insert the metal-coated tip. 
  • Hold off for a short while. Activate the thermometer, then wait a brief period. Rectal thermometers typically display a reading between 10 and 30 seconds. 
  • Clean the thermometer. After getting a reading, clean the thermometer and store it somewhere that pets can only use it. No matter how thoroughly you’ve cleaned it, do not use this thermometer on people.

Here’s How to Take Your Dog’s Temperature Without a Thermometer:


There are alternative methods you can use to determine your dog’s temperature if you don’t have a thermometer. The following 4 steps:

  • Pet your dog’s paws and ears. Dogs have a somewhat higher body temperature than people do, therefore their ears and paws should only be slightly warmer than your hands. It also helps to be aware of your dog’s typical ear and paw temperatures. If he has a fever, they could be warmer than usual.
  • Touch and examine your dog’s nose. An infection can be to fault if there are signs of yellow or green nasal discharge. One of the reasons for fever is infections. In such circumstances, you should seek early veterinarian advice.
  • Examine the gums on your dog. Make sure your dog is calm before inspecting his gums. Gently open his mouth with two hands, seeking hot, dry gums that are a redder shade of pink than usual. These indicate a fever.
  • Touch your dog’s armpits and crotch area. Pet your dog gently in the groin and armpits while he is lying on his back. If your dog feels hot and swollen in these areas, they most likely have a fever.

How to lower your dog’s temperature when it is elevated due to a fever?

Once you notice your dog has a fever, you are encouraged to take him to the veterinarian.

If you can’t bring him right away, do the following instead: 

  • Take a cold bath to relax the body. 
  • Apply cotton balls with rubbing alcohol (isopropyl) moistened on his paw pads and ear flaps. 
  • Encourage him to sip on cool water in little amounts unless he has been throwing up.

When his temperature hits 39.4°C (103°F), cease the cooling operation and continue to check the temperature. Otherwise, you run the danger of lowering body temperature too much (hypothermia). Ibuprofen, aspirin, Tylenol, and antibiotics should not be given to dogs without a veterinarian’s advice.

FAQ (Frequently Ask Question)

  • How Long Does The Usual Fever Last?

Depends greatly on the cause. Some fevers only last a few hours, while others can linger for several weeks. If an underlying illness or inflammation is the source of the fever, it will persist until the appropriate therapy is given.

  • When To Take Your Dog To The Doctor?

Use the aforementioned cooling techniques to reduce temperatures if they are over 39.2°C (102.5°F) and below 39.4°C (103°F). It’s necessary to take him to a veterinary facility if his temperature continues to increase above 39.4°C (103°F) or persists for more than 24 hours. Temperatures above 41 °C (106 °F) can be potentially fatal and can harm internal organs permanently.

  • Trying To Take Care Of Your Dog’s Illness

A lot of anxiety and panic can arise when you see your dog is ill. But according to Dr. Coates, mild fevers are frequently advantageous since they seem to improve the immune system’s capacity to fend off infection. 

Additionally, they might hinder bacteria and viruses’ capacity to reproduce within the body of the host animal. So long as your dog gets help right away, everything will be OK. For additional information, speak with one of these veterinarians in Singapore.

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