Fever in dogs - How you can effectively reduce it

If a dog has a fever, he expresses this quickly. Fever is not a disease, but a symptom and usually a sign of other diseases.

Article from
Dr. Christian Dimitriadis
Veterinary surgeon with Dr. SAM
Table of contents

What does fever in dogs actually mean?

Fever (medically Pyrexia) is an elevated body temperature that indicates that the immune system is more active.

Your dog's normal body temperature can vary depending on activity and excitement, but varies between 38 - 39 °C.

The normal body temperature in humans is 36 - 37 °C and therefore our pets have a much higher body temperature than we do. So your dog has a fever when his body temperature has risen above 39.6 °C.

Fevers are divided into acute (up to 14 days) and chronic (14 days or more).

If the body temperature rises above 41.5 °C it can even be harmful to your dog. In puppies, an infusion is then often necessary, as otherwise it can become life-threatening. Puppies tend to dry out!


Fever is also a defence mechanism of the dog's own body. Due to the increase in temperature, your dog's immune system is running at full speed. The defences are activated and fight inflammation faster than usual. Besides pathogens, organ problems or other causes can also cause fever. These are the top 6 reasons why your dog could have a fever:

  1. Viral infections: Does your dog have symptoms other than fever? Dogs, like humans, can have the flu. Usually, though, a fever isn't the only symptom. In the case of tonsillitis, coughing, gagging, or runny nose may be an accompanying symptom. Has your dog been vaccinated within the last 24-48 hours? Vaccinations can also cause fever in dogs. Kennel cough (infectious tracheobronchitis) can also cause fever. Usually this is accompanied by a dry cough. Your dog has an increased risk of contracting kennel cough if he has a lot of contact with other dogs and has not been vaccinated (dog school, animal shelter).
  2. Bacterial infections: Bacterial infections can also give your dog a fever. Lung, intestinal, liver, skin, bladder or heart infections could be the reason. Bacteria can also be transmitted through the environment via contact infection. Bacterial infections in the mouth or abscesses can also cause fever. For example, if your pet has been bitten by another dog, a febrile abscess can develop! Has your pet had ticks before? Infections caused by bacteria transmitted by ticks (such as the pathogens that cause Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis or anaplasmosis) can also cause fever. Do you have an unspayed female dog? Uteritis could also be a possibility.
  3. Ingestion of toxins or poison: Piebald grains cause fever in your dog when ingested! Slug pellets are a pesticide that is used in the garden against slug plague. Other dangerous substances are antifreeze or xylitol. Xylitol is a food additive and serves as a substitute for sugar. Very often it is found in chewing gum or in desserts as a sweetener.
  4. Parasites: these include intestinal parasites and protozoa (giardia). Parasites transmitted by ticks (causative agent of babesiosis) also play a very important role here.
  5. Chronic inflammation
  6. Immune-related diseases or tumours: these include meningitis of the young dog (granulomatous meningoencephalitis)
If your dog is not vaccinated, certain viruses such as parvovirus, distemper, contagious hepatitis (hepatitis contagiosa canis) or leptospirosis can be life-threatening!

Symptoms and diagnosis

Tip: You can only be sure that your dog has a fever if you have measured his body temperature. This is best done rectally (in the butt). Ear thermometers do not give reliable temperature readings and the values vary widely. Medically, a distinction is made between core body temperature and body surface temperature. A hot nose, warm ears or a warm stomach are not reliable signs of fever! You probably know yourself that your face gets warm when you have been jogging. It's only the body surface temperature that is raised, but it doesn't mean that you have a fever.

If you don't have a thermometer at home, the following symptoms may indicate a fever:

  • Tiredness
  • Lassitude
  • Loss of appetite
  • aggressiveness
  • Thirst
  • Dry nose
  • Shaking
  • Fast breathing or panting
  • Hide away
  • Lying on the cold floor

Therapy against fever in dogs

In the case of fever, the cause should always be found to prevent a recurrence. Have you checked your dog's body to see if there are any injuries anywhere? Has he played with sticks lately? If so, you should check the mouth to see if there are any injuries.

Your dog does not regulate his body temperature by sweating, like humans do, but by panting. Contact with the ground is also a way for your dog to give off heat.

  • A cool floor, such as a darker room, is always the best measure to effectively reduce the fever in the dog.
  • Offer your dog enough water and make sure that he drinks enough. Dogs with fever tend to dry out!
  • Never shower your dog with ice-cold water! It could cause him to have a circulatory collapse! Instead, place wet towels on the stomach or neck.
  • Vitamin-rich food and plenty of rest strengthen the immune system and help your four-legged friend.
  • The Immune Booster for Dogs also works very well to strengthen the immune system of your furry friend. This natural herbal mixture was developed by our vets especially for dogs to strengthen their defences. The medicinal herbs used contain special active ingredients that promote the function of the body's immune system and support long-term well-being.
Never give your dog ibuprofen, aspirin or other painkillers from human medicine. This can be fatal for your dog!

If you feel that your dog is getting worse and worse, is getting flabbier or is no longer absorbing fluids, your local vet will need to inject a fever reducer. Suitable antibiotics must be prescribed for bacterial infections.

shutterstock.com / De Repente

Natural immune strengthening for dogs

Only with a healthy immune system can your dog fight off infections and pathogens (e.g. the Immune booster from Dr. SAM). Natural medicinal plants have been proven to strengthen your dog's immune system. Our veterinarians have created a healing blend especially for your dog. Our immune booster for dogs should be used for the following indications:

  • In stressful situations
  • For colds, bladder infections and infections
  • For age-related reduced activity of the immune system
  • For the supportive strengthening of the immune system

The medicinal plants used contain special active ingredients that promote the function of the body's immune defenses and support the well-being in the long term. Thus, the immune system can also be supported and strengthened preventively.

You can easily order our immune booster for dogs in our shop.


The dog is only protected against certain viral diseases if it is vaccinated. These include distemper, contagious liver inflammation, parvovirus and kennel cough. Although vaccination never provides 100% protection, your dog is already armed with antibodies if he comes into contact with the virus. Make sure that your dog is always vaccinated!

There are also vaccines against Borrelia , which is transmitted by ticks , or vaccines against leptospires. However, the cost-benefit factor is highly controversial.

It is best to protect your dog from Ticks so that a transmission can hardly take place.

Some feed additives ensure that your pet's immune system is strengthened and germs are fought off more effectively. We would be happy to advise you on this!

Bite wounds are usually well treatable, but not without danger. However, if your dog has injuries from rank fights more often, the question arises whether his behaviour should be corrected.

In many cases, extensive diagnostics must take place to find the source of inflammation. It is best to find the cause as early as possible to avoid aggravation. In addition, you can use our immune booster for dogs to strengthen the immune system sustainably.

If you are unsure and would like to learn more about Dr. SAM - just click on the link and you will receive further insights into our work.

Best regards,
Dr. Christian Dimitriadis
- Veterinary surgeon with Dr. SAM

Table of contents
Article from
Dr. Christian Dimitriadis
Veterinary surgeon with Dr. SAM

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