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7 Signs That Your Dog Has a Fever (and What to Do While You Wait for the Vet)

When it comes to finding out whether a person has a fever, the diagnosis isn’t much of a challenge. You just have to use a thermometer. In less than a minute, a digital number will settle the matter for you. However, with puppies, it’s a whole different story. Dogs and thermometers don’t always mix. So, pay attention to the signs that a fever may present in your furry friend.

Bright Side wants to share some helpful signs that will let you know whether your dog has a fever.

1. Their eyes are red.

If we look closely, a healthy dog’s eyes should be clear and shiny. If they look reddish and come with a tired look, your little ruff-ruff is likely to have a canine fever.

2. He seems to be lacking any enthusiasm or energy.

Fever attacks the body and weakens it. Dogs tend to be active, walking around the house, trying to get another friendly pet or anyone to play with them. If they look exhausted and have little desire to communicate or interact, it’s essential to take this slumpy attitude into account as a febrile symptom.

3. He has lost his appetite.

Along with tiredness, a loss of appetite in a dog is one of the most common and alarming signs that something is just not right. Try offering him food and some playtime. If there’s no response on his part to any stimuli and he barely touches his favorite snacks, consider taking this as a hint of a fever.

4. His ears and nose feel warm to the touch.

One of the hottest places on your puppy’s body is his nose. A healthy pup’s nose should be clean, fresh, and moist. An excessively hot or dry nose can be a symptom of a fever. Another place to check is his ears, which should not exceed his general body heat: They shouldn’t feel hotter than the rest of his body.

5. He’s shaking.

Dogs tend to shiver in stressful situations. For example, when there are many more people than usual at home. In these cases, there is no reason to be alarmed. It’s just their typical reaction to anxiety. However, if their shaking is combined with a tired face, physical strain, or some of the signs mentioned above, it’s best to call the vet.

6. He’s coughing.

For a puppy to cough vehemently, it means they might have some kind of infection or internal inflammation. These conditions cause the body temperature to rise as the fever seeks to fight harmful bacteria. If the cough persists, it’s advisable to see a professional.

7. He threw up.

A vomiting dog is pretty common. Whether it’s because of an upset stomach or because he ate something he shouldn’t have, there’s nothing to worry about. The issue arises when we see that he gets sick more frequently than usual and when we notice that he ate appropriately, but becomes ill anyway.

What to do before going to the vet

After alerting a professional, there are several things we can do to ease fever symptoms in our dogs in the meantime:

  • Using a sponge, wet the dog in the armpit, muzzle, and groin areas.

  • Take him to a cool area where he can be more comfortable.

  • Offer him cold water to drink so that his body temperature will likely drop.

  • Put ice packs behind his head and legs, but be careful to not upset him!

Remember that going to the vet on time is essential for your loyal friend’s recovery.

Has your dog ever been sick? What do you recommend doing to lower their fever until the vet arrives? Tell us in the comment section!