Does a warm nose mean my dog has a fever?


No, a warm nose does not mean your dog has a fever. 

As a mother of two, I can quickly put my hand on my child’s forehead and immediately tell whether or not he or she has a fever. Many people have wondered if this same paw-ternal instinct exists when feeling the relative temperature of your dog’s nose.

A recent research study looked at this exact FAQ. The study, entitled The accuracy of tactile assessment of canine nose temperature to identify rectal hyperthermia and hypothermia in dogs presenting on an emergency basis, was published in The Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research in July of 2021. I spoke with veterinarian Catherine Barnette, who summarizes the results, “While veterinarians have long claimed that nose temperature is poorly correlated to internal body temperature, this study set out to prove it. One hundred dogs had their nose temperature assessed subjectively by touch, as well as with a thermal imaging scanner. Nose temperatures had no significant correlation with the dog’s actual body temperature (taken with a rectal thermometer).”

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