As a pet owner, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of fever in your dog. While a thermometer is the most accurate way to measure your dog’s temperature, there are other signs you can look out for to determine if your dog has a fever. In this article, we will discuss how to tell if a dog has a fever without using a thermometer.
Dogs can get sick just like humans, and fever is a common symptom of many canine illnesses. Knowing how to identify a fever in your dog is important because it can help you take the necessary steps to treat your dog’s illness and prevent it from getting worse.
What is a Dog’s Normal Body Temperature?
The first step in determining if your dog has a fever is to know their normal body temperature. A dog’s normal body temperature is typically between 101 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit (38.3 to 39.2 degrees Celsius).
Signs Your Dog May Have a Fever
There are several signs that your dog may have a fever. Here are some of the most common signs:
Warm Ears and Paws
When a dog has a fever, their ears and paws may feel warmer than usual. This is because a fever is a sign that your dog’s body is trying to fight off an infection.
Lethargy is another common sign of fever in dogs. If your dog is sleeping more than usual or seems less interested in playing or going for walks, they may have a fever.
Loss of Appetite
A loss of appetite is another common symptom of fever in dogs. If your dog is not eating or drinking as much as usual, it may be a sign that they have a fever.
Shivering or shaking can also be a sign that your dog has a fever. If your dog is shivering or shaking and they are not cold or wet, they may have a fever.
Vomiting and Diarrhea
Vomiting and diarrhea can also be symptoms of fever in dogs. If your dog is experiencing these symptoms along with other signs of fever, it may be a sign that they are sick.
How to Check for a Fever in Your Dog
There are several ways to check for a fever in your dog without using a thermometer. Here are some of the most common methods:
Check Your Dog’s Ears
Checking your dog’s ears is one way to determine if they have a fever. Place your hand on the inside of your dog’s ear flap. If it feels hot to the touch, your dog may have a fever.
Check Your Dog’s Nose
Another way to check for a fever in your dog is to touch their nose. A dog’s nose should be cool and moist. If your dog’s nose feels warm or dry, it may be a sign that they have a fever.
Check Your Dog’s Behavior
Observing your dog’s behavior can also help you determine if they have a fever. If your dog is lethargic, not eating or drinking, or seems to be in pain, it may be a sign that they have a fever.
What to Do if Your Dog Has a Fever
If you suspect that your dog has a fever, it’s important to take them to the vet as soon as possible. A vet can determine the cause of your dog’s fever and prescribe the appropriate treatment. In the meantime, you can help your dog feel more comfortable by:
- Providing them with plenty of water
- Offering them small, frequent meals
- Keeping them in a cool, quiet place
- Monitoring their temperature regularly
While a thermometer is the most accurate way to determine if your dog has a fever, there are other signs and symptoms that you can look out for. Checking your dog’s ears and nose and observing their behavior can help you determine if they have a fever. If you suspect that your dog has a fever, it’s important to take them to the vet as soon as possible.
Remember that fever is a symptom of an underlying condition, and it’s important to address the root cause of the fever. A vet can perform tests to determine the cause of your dog’s fever and prescribe the appropriate treatment.
- What is the best way to take my dog’s temperature?
The most accurate way to take your dog’s temperature is to use a rectal thermometer. If you’re uncomfortable doing this, ask your vet for guidance on other methods.
- Is a fever in dogs contagious to humans?
Most fevers in dogs are not contagious to humans. However, some illnesses that cause fever in dogs can be transmitted to humans, so it’s important to take precautions and seek medical attention if you or a family member develop symptoms.
- How can I prevent my dog from getting a fever?
The best way to prevent your dog from getting a fever is to keep them up-to-date on their vaccinations and regular check-ups with the vet. Additionally, provide your dog with a healthy diet, regular exercise, and a clean living environment.
- Can I give my dog over-the-counter fever medication?
No, you should never give your dog over-the-counter fever medication without first consulting with your vet. Some human medications can be toxic to dogs and can cause serious harm or even death.
- Can a fever in dogs be fatal?
In some cases, a fever in dogs can be a sign of a serious underlying condition and can be fatal if left untreated. It’s important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible if you suspect that your dog has a fever.