How Do I Tell If My Puppy Has a Fever? – Spotting the Signs

Dogs are like babies – they depend on us to provide for them and take good care of them. We have to make sure that they are healthy and happy all the time. One of the most common things that we need to be wary of when it comes to our puppies’ health is a fever. A fever is an indicator that something is wrong with our pups and that they need our attention. If you are not sure what to look out for, here are some of the signs that your puppy may have a fever.

What is a Fever?

A fever is an increase in the body temperature that is usually a response to an infection or inflammation in the body. In humans, a normal body temperature is around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, and our body temperature can vary slightly depending on the time of day, our activity level, and other factors. In dogs, a normal body temperature ranges from 99.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the breed and age of the dog.

How to take your puppy’s temperature

Before we dive into the signs and symptoms of a fever, it’s important to know how to take our puppy’s temperature. You’ll need a rectal thermometer (available at pet stores or online) and a lubricant like petroleum jelly or KY jelly to make the process more comfortable for your pup. Here’s how to take your puppy’s temperature:

  • Put lubricant on the tip of the thermometer.
  • Lay your puppy on their side.
  • Lift their tail and insert the thermometer about an inch into their rectum.
  • Hold the thermometer in place for about a minute or until it beeps, depending on the thermometer you have.
  • Note the temperature reading.
  • Wipe the thermometer with a disinfectant or throw it away, depending on the type of thermometer you have.

The Signs and Symptoms of a Fever in Puppies

Now that we know what a fever is and how to take our puppy’s temperature, here are some signs and symptoms to look out for:

Increase in body temperature

The most obvious sign of a fever is an increase in body temperature. As previously mentioned, a normal body temperature for a puppy ranges from 99.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. If your puppy’s temperature is above this range, it may indicate that they have a fever.

Loss of appetite

Another sign of a fever is a loss of appetite. If your pup is not interested in eating, they may be experiencing discomfort and could have a fever.

Lethargy and weakness

A fever can make your puppy feel lethargic and weak. They may not want to play or go for walks like they usually do. If your pup is sleeping more than usual and seems less interested in their surroundings, it could be a sign of a fever.

Coughing and sneezing

A fever can also cause your puppy to cough or sneeze. If you notice your pup coughing or sneezing more than usual, it’s worth checking their temperature to see if they have a fever.

Shivering or trembling

Just like humans, puppies can experience shivering or trembling when they have a fever. Keep an eye on your pup’s behavior and note if you see any trembling or shivering, especially when they are resting.

Dehydration

In some cases, a fever can cause dehydration in puppies. This can happen if your pup isn’t drinking enough water, or if they are losing fluids due to diarrhea or vomiting. You can check your pup’s hydration levels by pulling the skin on the back of their neck – if it snaps back into place quickly, they are likely hydrated. If the skin takes a few seconds to return to normal, it’s a sign that your pup may be dehydrated.

What to do if your puppy has a fever

If you suspect that your puppy has a fever, it’s important to take them to the vet as soon as possible. The vet will be able to diagnose the cause of the fever and suggest a treatment plan.

While you wait for your vet appointment, you can try to make your pup more comfortable by:

  • Ensuring they have ample access to fresh water.
  • Making sure they get plenty of rest and sleep.
  • Keeping them in a cool, quiet room away from bright lights and loud noises.
  • Giving them a lukewarm sponge bath to help lower their body temperature.

Do not give your puppy any medication without consulting a vet first. Over-the-counter fever reducers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be dangerous for dogs and should never be given without a vet’s approval.

Conclusion

A fever is a sign that something is wrong with your puppy, and it’s important to take action as soon as possible. Knowing the signs and symptoms of a fever will help you detect any health problems early and get your pup the help they need. Remember to always consult with a vet if you suspect that your puppy has a fever.

Frequently Asked Questions about Puppy Fevers

1. What should I do if my puppy has a fever?

If you suspect that your puppy has a fever, it’s important to take them to the vet as soon as possible. The vet will be able to diagnose the cause of the fever and suggest a treatment plan.

2. How do I take my puppy’s temperature?

You’ll need a rectal thermometer (available at pet stores or online) and a lubricant like petroleum jelly or KY jelly to make the process more comfortable for your pup. Here’s how to take your puppy’s temperature:

3. What is a normal body temperature for a puppy?

A normal body temperature for a puppy ranges from 99.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the breed and age of the dog.

4. Can fever reducers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen be given to puppies?

No. Over-the-counter fever reducers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be dangerous for dogs and should never be given without a vet’s approval.

References:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *