Home » Dogs temperature: How to tell if dog has fever?

Dogs Temperature: How To Tell If Dog Has Fever?

Updated on May 25, 2023 by Lisa Tevis
Coming home from a long day of work, when you enter your apartment, we all love welcome hugs and kisses from our dogs. Dogs get excited, jump like a bouncing ball, and start licking our faces. All the worries and tiredness diminish within a second.
Do you know what the best part of parenting a pet is?
During this parenting process, you won’t realize when they became the whole world for you.

No matter how much chaos they create, we as a parent get worried and anxious if something terrible happens to our dogs. It sounds like a nightmare to find your puppy with a fever.

Not all days are blue. We also have to deal with the other side of parenting when our furry babies get sick and need us the most.

For that, you need to be prepared if your dog’s body temperature is more or less than the average dog’s temperature.

In this blog, we have provided information regarding normal temp for dogs, how to check the temperature, and how to help your pooch cure fast.

Dogs Temperature: How To Tell If Dog Has Fever?

What is The Normal Temperature For a Dog?

If you want to identify fever in dogs, then Firstly, you need to know; “What is a dog’s normal temperature?”

The normal temperature for a dog is different from humans. Sometimes humans mistake the temperature for dogs the same as theirs, i.e. 37 °C (98.6 °F.)

However, the normal temperature for dogs is 101.0 to 102.5 °F.

Dogs’ normal temp can reduce up to 99 °F (38.2 Celsius to Fahrenheit) and can maximum go up to 104 °F.

If the temperature goes above 104 °F (104 f to c, i.e. 40.0 °C), this suggests that your dog might be in a hyperthermic condition. If the temperature declines below 99 °F (97.7 f to c, i.e -37.2 °C), your dog must be in a hypothermia state.

How To Tell If The Dog Has a Fever?

These are the following signs of a sick dog that might be a symptom of variation in normal dog temp:

  • The puppy’s eyes are red
  • The dog’s nose running
  • The dog lacks energy
  • Puppy ears are warm
  • Dry nose
  • Panting
  • Your pup is continuously shivering
  • Dog denies eating anything
  • Your dog is throwing up and feeling nausea
  • Your pup is coughing a lot.

What Are The Reasons For The Change in The Dog’s Normal Temperature?

Usually, the following three reasons are considered to variate dog temperature from the normal dog temperature range:
Vaccination: If your pet just got vaccinated, it’s normal if the dog’s body temp may rise during the next two days. However, if the fever continues even after 1 to 2 days, it’s better to talk with the vet about it.
Infection or Inflammation: As a coping mechanism, the body changes the normal dog temperature in response to a particular infection or inflammation. Viral Infections, ear infections, tooth infections, and even urinary tract infections can cause fever.
Intake of harmful substances: If your dog consumes some toxic plant or food that they are allergic to, then as a side effect, normal dog temp will fluctuate. In many cases, pet parents give their dogs human medications, which can also cause fever in dogs.
Warning: Xylitol (artificial sweetener) is toxic for dogs.

How To Take Dog Temperature?

Checking dog temperature is not as easy as doing the same with humans. The process of checking the temperature of dogs can make them anxious and uneasy. You might need help with it, so it’s better to take it as at least a two-person job. One person can hold the dog on their lap or hug them, while the other can check the temperature. Basically, there are two types of thermometers to check a dog’s temperature in entirely different ways:
Rectal Thermometer: Take the rectal thermometer and lubricate it with Vaseline jelly for easy passage. Insert this thermometer inside the dog’s anus up to 2 to 3 inches in adult dogs and one inch in small puppies. Let it hang in there for a minute or two to get the exact body temperature of the dog. If you have a digital rectal thermometer, it will take the reading in seconds and make a beep sound. Clean the thermometer after usage.
Ear Thermometer: The ear thermometer measures infrared waves around the eardrum to check the temperature of dogs. Insert the thermometer horizontally in the ear canal 90 degrees to pet heads to get an accurate reading.


  • While using a glass thermometer, don’t force your dog if dogs get uneasy and resist, as glass breakage can lead to injury.
  • Don’t use an ear thermometer if your dog has an ear infection or ear disease.

Dogs’ temperature rises in a state of excitement, fear, and stress. Other than this, normal dogs can also show variations in temperature at different times of the day and night. That is why, if you doubt that your dog might be sick, we suggest you check their temperature multiple times a day.

How To Comfort a Dog With a Fever?

Check out these home remedies for dogs in heat to cure them fast:

Grooming Routine:

Firstly to avoid this issue in the first place, we suggest grooming your pup every once in a while. If you and your pet stay in a colder climate, it is better that you keep your dog hair a little longer for proper insulation. Mature dogs can still tolerate the cold, while younger and older dogs might need extra layers like sweaters.
If you live in a warm climate, make sure to trim your pup’s hair from time to time.


It’s easy for humans and animals to dehydrate from a fever. That’s why it is necessary to consistently give your pup water so that other body functions run smoothly. However, it is not advisable to force your dog to drink water if it denies it and feels uneasy.

Heat control: For Hypothermia:

In hypothermia conditions, your dog will feel chilly, and its body temperature will decline below 99 °F. This situation will be obvious to note as the dog will be low in energy and can’t stop shivering. Try to ensure warmth to your dog under these circumstances. Let them rest on cozy warm bedding, cover them with a blanket and place a warm water bottle near their body. You can also take them under the sun for a few hours in the day and give them warm hugs on nights.

Water Damp Towels: For Hyperthermia:

In hyperthermia conditions, your dog might feel warm, and its body temperature will rise above 104 °F. Firstly, place your dog in a well-ventilated room for proper breathing. Along with this, you can put your puppy on a cold floor so that some of the body’s heat can simply drain off into the earth. Use a cold water-soaked clean cloth or towel on their body to absorb some heat. Make sure to check their temperature from time to time.

Visit Vet:

If your dog is in very low or high temperature from normal dog body temperature, contact your dog’s vet as soon as possible. In a situation like this, ordinary parental care won’t be enough for your dog, and that’s why it will need professional assistance to get healthy. Even if your dog has mild temperature fluctuation, we suggest you take a doctor’s advice before giving any medication to your furry friend.

How To Tell If The Dog Has a Fever Without a Thermometer?

The symptoms like shivering, vomiting, less energy, refusal to eat, cough, and red eyes in dogs can be signs of fever in dogs. You can also check your dog’s nose, whether it’s wet or dry. However, these are just hints; for confirmation, use a thermometer to check fever in dogs.

Can You Use a Human Thermometer on a Dog?

To check a dog’s temperature, you need to insert the thermometer inside their rectum or another way by putting the thermometer in their ear canal. We guess none want to use these thermometers again that have touched the rectum and ear canal. That is why we suggest you use only a pet thermometer and keep it separate from your thermometer.

How To Tell If The Dog Has a Fever Without a Thermometer?

In case of a temperature lower than 99 °F, ensure warmth to your dog by giving them insulation with warm blankets. If your dog has a temperature, i.e. more than 104 °F, keeping them in a ventilated room and using cold water-soaked towels to lower their temperature can help a lot.
Tylenol can be used for instant results to regulate dogs’ body temperature. However, we suggest you confirm that with your dog’s vet before giving any medication to your dog.


We understand that looking after an ill dog can be a little complicated. However, we suggest you confirm if your dog has a fever or not before giving medication or using any remedy on your pups. Use a good quality thermometer with proper care to check dog temperature and that too at least twice for confirmation. If the temperature is above or below the normal temperature range, only then use above -mentioned remedies. If you think that situation is getting out of hand and your furry ball is showing no sign of healing, contact your vet as soon as possible.

Posted in: Blog

About the Author

Lisa Tevis
Lisa Tevis
Lisa is a talented professional writer at Fast ESA Letter, fueled by a deep passion for animals. With a natural affinity for their well-being, Lisa combines her writing skills with her love for animals to create engaging and informative content. As a proud pet parent, Lisa shares her life with two beloved dogs, who have enriched her understanding of the human-animal bond. Through her work, Lisa aims to raise awareness about emotional support animals (ESAs) and their positive impact on mental health.


  1. Rostail

    Can I take my dog’s temperature under his arm?

    • Blake Quinn

      Yes, you can. Dog’s auxiliary region can tell its approx body temperature when you put a thermometer under its arm. However, it will take more time, and unlike the rectal temperature, the temperature reading won’t be accurate.

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