Dogs are different than humans, and they can’t tell when they don’t feel well. Even when you think that something is wrong with your pet, you can’t guess straightaway that your dog has a fever. Due to these reasons, many people want to know “how to tell if a dog has fever.”
Although it’s a guessing game, here we’ll share some valuable tips that can help you diagnose fever in dogs. So, don’t go anyway and read this article till the end.
Understanding a Dog’s Normal Temperature
Every dog owner wants the best for their furry friend, ensuring they are in good health and feeling their best. However, it’s crucial to remember that dogs aren’t just furry humans. When it comes to body temperature, for instance, dogs have a different “normal” than we do. Understanding this is the first step towards recognizing potential health issues.
A healthy adult human typically has a body temperature of around 98.6°F (37°C). In contrast, dogs run a bit hotter. The average body temperature for a healthy dog ranges from 101°F to 102.5°F (38.3°C to 39.2°C). If you’ve ever felt your dog and thought they felt unusually warm, remember that a slightly higher body temperature is standard for them.
Puppies and smaller dog breeds might have a body temperature that’s on the higher end of this range, while larger breeds may lean towards the lower end. Just as with humans, individual variation is expected. It’s always a good idea to check your dog’s temperature at regular intervals to understand what’s typical for them, especially when they’re feeling fine. This personal baseline can be invaluable when trying to determine if your pup might be under the weather.
Several factors can influence a dog’s body temperature, including their level of recent activity, the temperature of their environment, and their overall health. For instance, after a vigorous play session, it wouldn’t be unusual for a dog’s temperature to rise slightly.
But what if the temperature veers away from the average range? Temperatures below 99°F (37.2°C) or above 104°F (40°C) are concerning and warrant a trip to the veterinarian. A low temperature could indicate issues like hypothermia or shock, while a high temperature (or fever) might be a sign of an infection or another health condition.
7 Signs That Can Help You Diagnose Fever
As mentioned at the start, dogs can’t tell they have a fever, so you need to look for the following symptoms. These warning signs indicate that your dog is suffering from fever:
Do you feel your pet has lost energy? If your pet is reluctant to play with you, it doesn’t mean that your dog has a fever. Lethargy itself isn’t a symptom of fever because it can be due to lots of other medical conditions. It just indicates that you need to find the root cause of the illness.
If you feel that your pet isn’t getting back to its routine and has been lethargic for a long time, it’s time to consult your vet.
Red eyes can be a symptom of fever. Eye redness can be due to infection, irritation, allergies, and distemper. These reasons can lead to fever. So, if you notice any of these signs, take your pet to the vet to find the reason for redness.
If the temperature isn’t cold, but your dog is still shivering, it’s a sign that your dog is suffering from fever. If your dog is shivering due to cold weather, try to keep your dog in a warm and dry place. If the shivering is due to fever, then avoid keeping them in too hot areas.
When your pets ingest something unsafe, it makes them sick. As a result, fever is accompanied by vomiting. In case of excessive vomiting, check the fever first and then consult your vet to find the main cause of vomiting.
Sometimes, the pets eat human foods or toys that result in fever and vomiting. These issues require surgeries to remove harmful substances. During vomiting, please keep your pet hydrated and provide them proper nutrition to avoid any further problems.
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Loss of Appetite
Whenever the pets suffer from any illness, the first thing that you’ll notice is the loss of appetite. When you see that your dog is refusing to eat favorite treats, it means something is wrong. As mentioned earlier, the loss of appetite doesn’t necessarily mean that your dog has a fever; it can be due to other medical conditions as well.
If you notice this change, immediately take your pet for a checkup to find the root cause. A feverish dog will not be hungry, so you need to get the issue fixed as soon as possible to avoid weakness. The best option is to temporarily change your dog’s diet, but consult your vet before making any diet changes.
It’s another symptom that can result in a fever. Nasal discharge can be due to allergic reactions, cancer, and kennel cough. All these causes lead to fever. So, if you notice this issue, it’s time to visit your vet. The vet will suggest you the appropriate treatment.
It’s perhaps the best option to check if a dog has a fever. Use a rectal thermometer to check the dog’s temperature. More often than not, it’s not easy for pet owners to do this because dogs will show resistance. The best approach is to seek a vet’s help. Some thermometers are designed to check temperature from the ear; you can also use them. In this method, the reading might be slightly less accurate, but you’ll be able to get the reading comfortably.
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After reading this article, you’ll surely have got an answer to this question, how to tell if dog has fever. Remember, you don’t know from a single sign that your dog has a fever because it can be due to other medical conditions. So, if you notice any abnormal activity, it means you need to take your pet to the vet. I hope you understand.
Also, you can check out my other article 9 Extinct Dog Breeds.