How To Comfort A Dog With A Fever
How to comfort a dog with a fever? – If your pet is suffering from a fever, there are some steps you can take to provide them some relief. Apply cool water around their paws and ears with a wet towel or cloth. Try to get them to drink some water to help bring down their body temperature.

How can I soothe my dogs fever?

How to Reduce a Dog’s Fever – To help reduce a pet’s fever—103 degrees or higher—first apply cool water around his paws and ears. You can use a soaked towel or cloth, or a dog cooling vest, Continue to monitor his temperature, and when it drops below 103, you can stop applying the water.

How does a dog behave with a fever?

What Are the Symptoms of a Fever in Dogs? – A dog with a fever will have a temperature of 103 degrees F or higher, and he will often show symptoms such as panting, lethargy or acting tired, and shivering. His ears may feel hot and be red. If the fever is related to illness you might notice other signs such as vomiting, diarrhea, or coughing.

While dogs with a fever may be thirsty, they often aren’t hungry and will pass on a meal. Your dog’s nose is not really a good barometer of his temperature. If the air is warm and dry, his nose will often feel warm and dry. Don’t rely on the “nose touch” for a fever diagnosis. The best way to evaluate if your dog has a fever is to take his temperature.

Ideally, you should do this once or twice when your dog is feeling fine so you will know his normal.

How long does dog fever last?

Dogs can have a fever for any number of underlying causes, and treatment involves addressing the root cause. Pet parents can help keep their dog cool with at-home remedies, but you should visit the veterinarian if their fever lasts more than 24 hours or their temperature rises above 103°F.

Will dog fever go away?

Dog Fever Treatment – Treatment of your dog’s fever depends on the cause of their illness. For example, if your dog has a fever due to an ear infection, your vet will treat the ear infection with medicated ear drops. Once the condition causing the fever subsides, your dog’s fever should go away with it.

  • Fevers typically resolve on their own or in response to treatment.3 Since dog fevers can be fatal and cause organ damage and failure, try to keep your dog’s fever down.
  • While you should always go to the vet at the first sign of a fever, especially if other symptoms are present, you can help keep your dog cool by putting a wet towel or cloth on them.2 Additionally, it’s important to avoid dog dehydration when your pet has a fever.

Even though your dog may be lethargic, try to get them to drink water. When your dog has a fever, monitor them closely and take their temperature a few times a day to ensure the fever isn’t increasing. If the fever does increase, you should take your dog back to the vet.

How do you break a dog’s fever at home?

How can I reduce my dog’s fever? – If your dog’s fever is 106 F or higher they need to see a vet immediately. To reduce fever in dogs, apply a towel or cloth soaked in cool water to your dog’s ears and paws and run a fan near your dog. Stop applying the water when your dog’s temperature drops below 103 F.

Continue to monitor your dog closely to ensure that the fever doesn’t return. Try to coax your dog to drink small amounts of water in order to keep them hydrated, but don’t force your dog to drink. It is important to never give your dog human medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. These medications can be poisonous to your dog and cause serious injury or death.

If your dog exhibits any other symptoms, such as shivering, panting or vomiting it’s time to head to the vet. Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet’s condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Do dogs eat when they have a fever?

What do you think of the saying, “Starve a fever, feed a cold”? On one level it makes sense. The fever, in this case, is indicative of an infection that is provoking a generalized immune response. Fighting the infection needs to be the body’s focus, not obtaining, digesting, and absorbing food, all of which requires the expenditure of energy and other resources.

  • On the other hand, the fever itself increases the dog’s caloric and other nutritional requirements, so given enough time, not eating is going to take a toll on the body’s ability to mount an effective immune response.
  • When I’m treating a dog who has a fever I’ll respect his desire not to eat for several days as long as he has been on a good plane of nutrition previously.

Dogs can go for a few days without food and avoid developing adverse biochemical and physiological effects (unlike cats). I also expect to start making inroads against whatever is causing the dog’s fever within that time, so hopefully the dog will start feeling better and eating on his own.

If, however, that does not happen, we eventually reach the point when directly addressing the dog’s poor appetite becomes necessary. I usually try to steer clear of medications that have the sole purpose of bringing down a dog’s temperatures unless it is so high that it becomes dangerous in and of itself.

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Fevers serve a purpose. Some parts of the immune system work better at higher temperatures so a fever can increase the chances that the dog’s immune system will be able to fight off invading microorganisms. But after a dog has not been eating for a few days, I feel that the benefits of fever start to be overwhelmed by the downsides of poor nutrition.

  • In these cases, I will use a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (as long as it is not contraindicated based on a dog’s health status and/or the use of other medications) so the dog can feel better and hopefully start to eat.
  • During this time, I’ll also offer the dog special diets designed to be fed to sick animals.
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These products have several benefits over “regular” dog food. First of all, they are extremely palatable; dogs that have some appetite left are often unable to resist them. Secondly, they are very nutrient dense. Dogs do not have to eat much to receive a big nutritional boost.

  1. The high nutritional density also reduces the amount of work the digestive tract has to do, allowing the body to continue to focus on its immune response.
  2. Finally, many of these products have a soft and wet consistency.
  3. Dogs can lap at them or even be fed via syringe or feeding tube, if necessary.
  4. We should never “starve” a fever in the sense of preventing a dog who wants to eat from doing so.

Temporarily, there’s no harm in giving him the discretion to decide whether or not food should be a high priority, but after a few days, it’s time to intervene. Dr. Jennifer Coates Image: Thinkstock Last reviewed September 14, 2015 WRITTEN BY Jennifer Coates, DVM Veterinarian Dr. Jennifer Coates is an accomplished veterinarian, writer, editor, and consultant with years of experience in the fields of veterinary.

Is it bad if your dog has a fever?

Your Dog’s Normal Body Temperature – A dog’s normal body temperature ranges from 101 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, which is significantly higher than yours or mine. (Human body temperature ranges from 97.6 to 99.6 F). If your pup’s temperature rises above 103 F your dog has a fever.106 F is a very high fever in dogs and is an indication that your pet is very sick and at risk of serious, possibly fatal complications.

Is ice good for dogs with fever?

How to Reduce Fever in a Dog? – At the first sign of fever in a dog, you can try to bring the temperature down by wiping its ears and paw pads with a cool, wet cloth or towel, Alternatively, you can place a towel with ice packs on its abdomen or chest.

  • When its temperature decreases to below 103ºF (39.4ºC), you can stop the application to avoid the risk of bringing the dog’s temperature down too low that it causes hypothermia.
  • Besides that, you can soak cotton balls in rubbing alcohol (isopropyl) and dab on its paw pads and ear flaps.
  • Another useful method is to supply cool air with a fan.

You should try to feed the dog with small amounts of cool water too unless it has been vomiting. Nevertheless, you should continue to monitor the dog’s temperature and bring it to a veterinarian if the fever persists or exhibiting other symptoms.

Is 39.6 a high temperature for a dog?

Your dog’s body temperature is naturally higher than a human’s, so it’s not always a cause for concern if they feel warmer than you. But, if your dog has a temperature of 39.5°C(103°F) or higher they are considered to have a fever, and in this case, you should call your vet for advice.

Why did my dog get a fever?

Common Causes of Fever in Dogs A bacterial, fungal, or viral infection. An infected bite, scratch, or cut. An ear infection. Tooth infection or abscess.

Should a dog’s belly be hot?

Warmer than humans is normal for dogs Dogs have an average temperature of 100-102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, several degrees warmer than the human average of 98.6 degrees. Chances are, if you place your cooler hand against their warmer belly, you’ll be able to feel the difference.

How can I check my dog’s temperature without a thermometer?

How to Take a Dog’s Temperature Without Using a Thermometer Knowing whether your dog has a fever gives you the option to start treatment early and prevent her condition from getting worse. Although the only way to accurately know if your dog has a fever is by using a rectal thermometer, knowing how to feel a dog’s temperature quickly when you do not have a thermometer can make a big difference.

  1. 1 Feel your dog’s ears and paws. A dog with fever usually has very hot ears and paws. You can gauge his temperature by using sensitive body parts like your cheeks and the back of your hands over his ears and paws. Are his warmer than yours? Healthy dogs only run slightly higher in temperature than humans.
    • A dog’s ears and paws have a lot of blood vessels. When he has a fever, these areas get hot because of the migration of immune cells from the blood into the areas of the body where an infection is taking place. The increase in the circulating immune cells in the blood can manifest as heat in the blood vessels.
    • It is unusual for the left and right ear to be different temperatures. If one ear is warmer than the other, this is usually a sign of a localized ear infection, rather than a generalized fever.
    • Try putting your thumb right outside the entrance of your dog’s ear to see if it feels hot.
  2. 2 Feel your dog’s nose. If your dog has a hot nose lined with greenish or yellowish nasal discharge, it’s likely he has a fever and an infection. This could mean that your dog is fighting off a respiratory infection, though this may be evident only in more serious cases. Certain diseases like distemper and kennel cough have these clinical signs, too. Therefore it is incredibly important that you quickly bring your dog to the vet if you see greenish or yellowish nasal discharges.
    • A normal dog can have a fluctuating temperature and level of wetness – it’s a myth that dog noses are always cold and wet. In fact, the nose often becomes dry from common situations, such as lying in the sun, sleeping near the radiator, exercising, or when the dog is dehydrated. What does your dog’s nose normally feel like? Has he done any of these things recently to account for a dry, hot nose?


  3. 3 Feel your dog’s armpits and groin area. These areas are usually swollen and hot when your dog has an infection and fever. You can use the back of your hands to feel for heat in the lymph nodes in the armpits and groin area. However, make sure your own hands are at room temperature, not chilled or hot, as they provide your reference point.
    • Lymph nodes contain immune cells that fight bacteria and viruses. They filter the blood against these infectious organisms, and when there is an infection, the lymph nodes serve as a defense area. This area then becomes filled with immune cells that secrete different substances that trigger the brain to cause fever. These areas become swollen and hot because they become inflamed as a result of the different immune reactions going on simultaneously.
    • Because the armpit and groin areas of the dog have a lot of exposed skin with very little fur, feeling for heat in these areas can be done easily.
  4. 4 Examine his gums. Your dog’s gums may feel warm and dry if he has a fever. Another important sign to watch for here is his gums appearing redder than usual, especially a bright brick red. This can be a sign of high fever, or even septicemia.
    • In a dog without dental disease, the gums should be moist, shiny, and a similar pink color to our own gums. Lift up the dog’s lip behind the upper canine tooth, and place the tip of your forefinger against the gum to assess temperature and moistness. Is the color, heat, and moistness similar to yours? If not, infection may be present.
  5. 5 Check for signs of low temperature. An unwell dog, or one in shock, may have a low body temperature. In addition to having cold extremities, the dog may show physiological temperature adaptations such as shaking or getting goosebumps. A dog with a dangerously low temperature will also be very subdued, and possibly collapsed. In this case, seek out your vet immediately.
    • Be aware that not all shaking dogs are cold; this can also be a response to stress, anxiety or pain. If you know of no reason for your dog to be acting like this, contact your vet as soon as possible.
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  1. 1 Look for the other signs of fever. Apart from physical temperature, one of the first things you can do is to observe your dog for other physical signs of fever. It’s important to be alert for changes in normal behavior from having difficulty defecating, to coughing or sneezing, since this may provide vital information as to the seat of infection. Possible symptoms include:
    • Poor appetite
    • Lethargy, sluggishness or inactivity
    • Weakness
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Sleeping all day
    • Withdrawing away from other dogs
  2. 2 Observe your dog’s appearance and behavior. When a dog runs a significant fever, from a few feet away and without touching him, you can feel heat radiating from his body. There will be a handful of other visible symptoms you can look for, too:
    • He is likely to be panting heavily for prolonged periods of time, and his breath will feel hot against your cheek.
    • He may be thirsty and drink more water than usual, because he loses fluid as he pants.
    • A fever can make joints feel achy and sore. In the dog this manifests itself as a reluctance to exercise, stiffness on rising and a stilted gait or even lameness.
    • A dog with a fever will be withdrawn, quiet and lethargic. He may become uncharacteristically aggressive when touched, because he feels uncomfortable and irritable.
    • He is less likely to groom and his coat will appear unkempt and “starry,” or dull and dry.
  3. 3 Stroke, pet, and engage your dog in play. Try to remember the feel of your dog’s body when he is not sick. Are his eyes dull? His coat less silky? Is he less rambunctious and eager than usual? Changes in these physical and behavioral characteristics may be a sign of illness.
  4. 4 If he seems well, assess him again in an hour. If the dog is behaving naturally, is hot but seems otherwise well, let him rest in a cool place for an hour and then re-check his temperature again to see if the signs you did detect have normalized. Since a fever is a normal immune response, it may just be something you have to wait out if it’s not serious.
    • Remember, if the temperature of the dog’s extremities is raised and he is behaving abnormally, this is more likely to be significant than for a warm dog that appears otherwise well. It’s infection you need to be worried about, not fever.
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  1. 1 Know that fever is a normal immune response. In most situations, fever is nothing to worry about. It’s a good indicator that the body is fighting back an infection or is undergoing repairs. In some situations, however, fever can be the sign of a bacterial infection. If your dog is displaying any abnormal symptoms, contact your vet immediately.
    • When bacterial infections with gram negative bacteria are present, they release toxins from their cell walls that act as signals to the brain to cause fever. In these cases severe bacterial infection can lead to even more severe fever with a very high temperature. This extreme temperature, instead of helping the animal can lead to damages to sensitive organs, like the testicles and the brain. When this happens, convulsions and coma, and sometimes sterility, can result. Thus it is very important that a fever be detected earlier, and a prompt veterinary therapy be given to prevent these unwanted effects.
  2. 2 Call the vet. When in doubt, contact your vet for a professional opinion. In addition to seeking medical treatment if abnormal symptoms are present, it’s a good idea to take this fever seriously if it lasts for more than 24 hours, too. Your vet can prescribe an anti-pyretic (anti-fever) medication to bring his temperature down almost immediately.
  3. 3 Consider other related physical ailments. If your dog’s fever is related to another, often more serious, condition, you’ll notice another set of symptoms entirely. It could be a more serious respiratory or gastro-intestinal infection. Be on the lookout for the following:
    • If he has a respiratory infection he may cough, sneeze, and have a runny nose or streaming eyes. This will likely impede his normally rambunctious behavior and sleep patterns, too.
    • If he has gastro-intestinal infection or inflammation, then he may be anorexic, vomit or have diarrhea. If you suspect he has a gastro-intestinal disturbance, follow him outside when he toilets so that you can see what he passes. Does he have diarrhea? Is there blood in his urine?
    • If you notice anything abnormal related to either condition, consult your vet immediately. There is likely an infection present; fever is just one of many symptoms present that need to be addressed.
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  • Question Is my dog sick or just tired? Dog Behaviorist & Trainer Beverly Ulbrich is a Dog Behaviorist and Trainer and the Founder of The Pooch Coach, a private dog training business based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a Certified CGC (Canine Good Citizen) Evaluator by the American Kennel Club and has served on the Board of Directors for the American Humane Association and Rocket Dog Rescue. She has been voted the best private dog trainer in the San Francisco Bay Area 4 times by SF Chronicle and by Bay Woof, and she has won 4 “Top Dog Blog” awards. She has also been featured on TV as a dog behavior expert. Beverly has over 18 years of dog behavior training experience and specializes in dog aggression and anxiety training. She has a Master of Business Administration from Santa Clara University and a BS from Rutgers University. You can usually tell a dog is sick if they are panting really heavily and being lethargic. Another thing you can examine is their nose. Ideally, a dog’s nose should be a little cool and damp. If the nose is all dried up or hot, then that’s a problem too.
  • Question How can you tell if a dog has a fever? Dog Behaviorist & Trainer Beverly Ulbrich is a Dog Behaviorist and Trainer and the Founder of The Pooch Coach, a private dog training business based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a Certified CGC (Canine Good Citizen) Evaluator by the American Kennel Club and has served on the Board of Directors for the American Humane Association and Rocket Dog Rescue. She has been voted the best private dog trainer in the San Francisco Bay Area 4 times by SF Chronicle and by Bay Woof, and she has won 4 “Top Dog Blog” awards. She has also been featured on TV as a dog behavior expert. Beverly has over 18 years of dog behavior training experience and specializes in dog aggression and anxiety training. She has a Master of Business Administration from Santa Clara University and a BS from Rutgers University. If you’re worried that your dog may have a fever, then knowing their ear temperature really helps. I recommend putting your thumb inside the dog’s ear, specifically the entrance of their ear. If you know what their normal temperature is and how it feels, then when it gets hotter, you’ll feel it and know something is wrong.
  • Question My dog’s stomach feels hot at night. Does this mean he is sick? Veterinarian Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. She has worked at the same animal clinic in her hometown for over 20 years. Not necessarily. If your dog gets warm during the night, he will lose eat best from the parts of his body that have the thinnest fur, ie his belly. When you place a hand on his belly it will therefore feel warm to the touch, but this is heat being dissipated rather than his gut generating heat because he is unwell. Watch for signs such as lack of appetite, vomiting, or diarrhea, which would indicate he is poorly.

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  • Thanks
  • Thanks


  1. Beverly Ulbrich. Dog Behaviorist & Trainer. Expert Interview.30 January 2020.
  2. Beverly Ulbrich. Dog Behaviorist & Trainer. Expert Interview.30 January 2020.
  3. ↑ A Study of the Mechanism and Treatment of Experimental Heat Pyrexia. Daily, William, Harrison, Tinsley. American Journal of Medical Sciences. Jan48, Vol 215, Issue I, p42-55
  4. Beverly Ulbrich. Dog Behaviorist & Trainer. Expert Interview.30 January 2020.
  5. Beverly Ulbrich. Dog Behaviorist & Trainer. Expert Interview.30 January 2020.
  6. General Veterinary Pathology (1984) by R.G. Thomson: Department of Veterinary Clinical Pathology Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan.W.B. Saunders Company 1984.p.249

Co-authored by: Dog Behaviorist & Trainer This article was co-authored by, Beverly Ulbrich is a Dog Behaviorist and Trainer and the Founder of The Pooch Coach, a private dog training business based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a Certified CGC (Canine Good Citizen) Evaluator by the American Kennel Club and has served on the Board of Directors for the American Humane Association and Rocket Dog Rescue.

  • She has been voted the best private dog trainer in the San Francisco Bay Area 4 times by SF Chronicle and by Bay Woof, and she has won 4 “Top Dog Blog” awards.
  • She has also been featured on TV as a dog behavior expert.
  • Beverly has over 18 years of dog behavior training experience and specializes in dog aggression and anxiety training.

She has a Master of Business Administration from Santa Clara University and a BS from Rutgers University. This article has been viewed 597,487 times.

  • Co-authors: 11
  • Updated: August 11, 2020
  • Views: 597,487

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Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 597,487 times.

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: How to Take a Dog’s Temperature Without Using a Thermometer

Why are my dogs ears hot?

4. Hot to the Touch – Some ear infections can become so severe that they cause the dog’s ear to become hot to the touch. If your dog’s ear is warmer than the rest of her body, and if it’s warmer than normal for her ears, then this is a good indicator that she has an ear infection.

What’s the easiest way to take a dog’s temperature?

3. Taking the temperature – Once you are happy that everything (and everyone, including the dog) is ready, it is time to take the temperature itself. Have your dog in a comfortable position, standing or laying down, and your assistant able to stop them moving too much.

Why is my dog hot to the touch?

How To Tell Your Dog Has A Fever As dog owners, you know that there’s nothing better than snuggling with your furry friend. You may notice your dog always feels warm, in most cases, you’re just feeling the fact that your dog has a higher normal body temperature than you do.

  1. That being said, dogs get fevers, and pet parents need to know when their dog is sick and when it’s time to visit the vet.
  2. Dogs have an average body temperature of 101 to 102.5 degrees–which is normally considered a high fever in humans.1 A dog’s fever is anything above 102.5 degrees, and the higher it gets, the more serious it can become.

Knowing if your dog is sick can help you prevent fatal complications while ensuring your dog stays happy and healthy. Like humans, when dogs have a high fever, it can be fatal, so if your dog is exhibiting signs of illness, consider taking their temperature.

  • This article will discuss whether dogs get fevers, dog temperature, and how to tell if your dog has a fever.
  • Let’s get started.
  • A dog’s normal temperature is 101 to 102.5 degrees.
  • Of course, some pets might have a baseline that’s slightly higher or lower than the norm, but for the most part, your pet’s temperature should never be above 104 degrees as it can indicate they are ill.

Like humans, dogs can also experience low body temperatures. When dogs are hypothermic and have a low body temperature their muscles stiffen, and their breathing and heart rates will slow–which can be fatal. While some breeds are able to withstand colder temperatures, it’s important to watch your dog closely in more frigid weather to keep them safe.

How do I know if my dog has a fever without a thermometer?

Feel your dog’s ears and paws Dogs have a slightly higher temperature than humans, so his ears and paws should only be slightly warmer than your hands. It also helps to know the normal temperature of your dog’s ears and paws. If they’re warmer than usual, he might be running a fever.