dog being checked on by vets for fever

Did You Know Dogs Can Have Fevers? Here Are 10 Signs to Watch For

Dr. Amanda Stevens

Apr 15, 2024

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As proud dog owners, the well-being of our furry friends is a top priority. When they’re not well, simply knowing the signs of a sick pup is the first step in getting them help. In this blog, we’ll talk about the signs of fever in canines. Yep, dogs can get fevers, just like we do. Hot dawg, let’s get to it!

In this blog, we’ll discuss fevers in dogs—what they are, how to recognize them, and why it’s crucial to seek professional help at a veterinary ER, like Veterinary Emergency Group.


A fever in dogs is an elevated body temperature, often indicative of an underlying problem. While it’s best not to jump to conclusions, knowing what a fever in dogs looks like is the first step.


Canines with fevers may show that they’re, well, sick as a dog. It’s important to know the signs, so you can address the issue quickly. Here are some obvious symptoms and some that may surprise you.

1. Elevated body temperature

The most obvious sign of a fever is an elevated body temperature. A dog’s normal body temperature ranges from 100 to 102.5ºF. Anything above this range could be a cause for concern and a good reason to go to the vet ER.

2. Lethargy and weakness

If your furry friend is suddenly dog tired, seems sluggish, lethargic, or weaker than usual, it could be a sign of a fever. Keep an eye out for a lack of energy or enthusiasm for activities they typically enjoy.

3. Loss of appetite

One thing’s for sure: dogs love to chow down on their food! So, if your normally hungry hound suddenly loses interest in eating or drinking, it’s a red flag that something might be off.

4. Shivering or trembling

Just like when we have chills, dogs can shiver or tremble when they have a fever.

5. Coughing or sneezing

Respiratory symptoms, like coughing or sneezing, can be associated with a fever or other underlying issues. Don’t dismiss these symptoms.

6. Vomiting or diarrhea

The dreaded duo. Even if your dog has one and not the other, it may still be a health issue. Keep an eye on your pet’s bathroom habits, as digestive issues can sometimes accompany a fever.

7. Increased heart rate

A rapid heartbeat is not due to puppy love, it’s another potential sign of a fever. You can check your dog’s pulse at home to monitor this. A normal heart rate for a dog is 80-120 beats per minute at rest, depending on the dog’s size.

8. Red or watery eyes

Inflammation in the eyes can be related to a fever. Look out for any changes in your dog’s eye appearance.

9. Excessive panting

Dogs pant to cool down, but if it’s stronger and faster than usual and doesn’t correlate with physical activity or hot weather, it might be due to a fever. Get your panting pup to the vet.

Our team of experienced emergency veterinarians is always ready to provide top-notch care, ensuring your pet’s health and well-being—and quite a few tail wags. We understand that emergencies can happen at any time, and our services are available 24/7. If your dog exhibits one or more fever signs, don’t hesitate to contact any of our Veterinary Emergency Group locations immediately. Together, we can keep furry family members happy and healthy.