What causes fever in dogs and what to do?

Does your dog's nose feel hot and dry? Do you suspect a fever? Here's everything to know about the signs of a fever, causes and how to take care of your pooch.

What is a normal temperature for dogs?

Dogs' body temperature is higher than us, usually between 37.5 and 39 degree celsius. Although touching their nose is a good indicator, the best way to take your dog's temperature and confirm whether it's higher than normal is with a pet thermometer. 

What are the other signs of a fever?

Usually a fever comes with other symptoms. If your dog has red eyes, warm ears and nose, seems lethargic, is shivering, coughing, being sick or not eating, then you'll want to check their temperature.

If you notice any or several of these symptoms, it's always best to call your vet for advice. If you dog's temperature exceeds 39 degree celsius, it is very important to get them seen straight away as temperature rising above 41 degrees can cause organ failure.

What are the main causes of a fever in dogs?

A fever occurs when your dog's body is trying to fight an infection or inflammation. This can be due to an infected bite, ear infection, UTI, abscessed tooth or a more severe infection of one of their organs such as the kidneys.

In some other cases, the fever will be caused by ingesting poisonous substances such as toxic plants, antifreeze or human foods that are toxic to dogs.

Finally, if you dog has just been vaccinated, they might experience a slight fever in the following days and this is usually nothing to be concerned about.

How to reduce the fever?

It is important to have your pet seen by their vet to treat the root cause, but there are things you can do to help your pooch cool down. For instance, you can soak a towel with cool (not cold) water then apply it around their ears and paws. Trying to make them drink a few sips of water will also help.

If there is an infection, your vet will prescribe the appropriate treatment to make the fever come down.