French Bulldog Fever Signs: How to Tell & Normal Body Temperature


French Bulldog has fever

Just like humans, French Bulldogs get fevers. The reasons for a high fever, or high temperature in a Frenchie are varied, but are mainly down to infections (you can read all the reasons lower down the page). But how exactly can you tell if your Frenchie has a high fever and temperature, and when should you be worried?

How do I know if my French Bulldog has a fever? The best way to tell if a Frenchie has a fever is to check for a high temperature. Normal French Bulldog temperature should range from 101 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. A high fever is 103 degrees or more, with 106 degrees being very dangerous. 

How to tell if your Frenchie has a fever

There’s a traditional way of checking for a high fever in a dog, you might have heard of it before; it’s by touching their nose. If your Frenchie’s nose is cold and wet, he won’t have a fever. If his nose if hot and dry, it could mean he has a fever – sometimes this can look like a classic cold like humans get.

Whilst this is a quick way to check for a high temperature, it’s not the most accurate or scientific way of finding out if your French Bulldog puppy or adult dog has a high fever.

The most accurate way is to use a digital thermometer, and taking your French Bulldog’s temperature rectally. Yes, just like vets do!

Signs of a French Bulldog fever

Aside from the obvious taking of the temperature, there are other ways in which you can tell if your French Bulldog has a high fever.

Here are the most common high fever symptoms to look out for:

  • Coughing: Your Frenchie could have a high fever due to kennel cough. This is a highly contagious infection that can spread very quickly between dogs.
  • Depressed mood: It’s not always that easy to tell if your Frenchie is sad (here are 13 ways) due to their fixed facial expressions. But you should know your dog better than one, so a low mood could be a fever.
  • Lethargy: If your Frenchie is less energetic and has a high temperature, it’s a classic sign of a fever. When we feel under the weather, we don’t feel like moving much either; it’s the same for dogs.
  • Loss of appetite: If your Frenchie refuses to eat it could be due to a range of things, so best try ruling it out unless it’s accompanied by a high temperature.
  • Nasal discharge: A runny nose don’t always mean your Frenchie has a fever (here are other reasons for nasal discharge), but is a common symptom when combined with other signs.
  • Red eyes: Sore looking eyes could mean a range of illnesses, but are also on the list of things to check for if you suspect a high fever.
  • Shivering and shaking: A French Bulldog with high fever will shiver. The shivering happens as their body contracts and relaxes the muscles to generate heat, leading to shivering movements.
  • Vomiting: Sickness can be a high fever sign if related to an infection after something your Frenchie ate.
  • Warm and dry nose: This symptom will typically be coupled with another fever sign from the list. Touch your Frenchie’s nose to see if it feels warmer than usual.
  • Warm ears: Similarly, warm ears can also be a sign that your Frenchie has a high temperature and fever.

What can you give a Frenchie with a fever?

If you believe your French Bulldog has a fever, call the vet. A fever is considered any body temperature reading that is higher than 103 degrees Fahrenheit.

Whilst you wait to see the vet, you can let your Frenchie drink a small amount of water to keep them hydrated. Do not give them medicines intended for humans.

If the body temperature exceeds 105 degrees, but not quite 106, you can put cool water on his body to bring the heat down. Concentrate around the feet and ears particularly, as you don’t want to bring the temperature down too fast. Here are some more cooling tips.

For Frenchie temperatures higher than 106 degrees, seek urgent vet help. This is a dangerously high temperature and will require immediate attention.

In serious cases of high fever, vets can give Frenchies IV fluids and anti-inflammatory medication. They will also take blood tests to find out what the cause of the high temperature is.

Why do French Bulldogs get fevers?

There are many reasons why your Frenchie is running a high temperature and fever. Some of the more common reasons, aside from wider health issues, could be:

1. Infections

Your Frenchie might have a bad infection leading to a high fever. Infections have multiple causes that can affect any part of the dog’s body including the kidneys, lungs, brain, and skin. The types of infection can be bacterial, fungal, and viral, and include:

  • Ear infections (read more)
  • Dental infections.
  • Infected wounds and cuts.
  • Internal infections.
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs).

The majority of less serious infections can be quickly treated with a course of antibiotics and will quickly reduce your Frenchie’s fever and high temperature.

2. Toxins and poisonous substances

If your Frenchie has eaten or drunk something poisonous, his temperature can rise leading to a fever. Toxic substances are far ranging and can include certain foods, human medicines, chemicals, plants, and insects.

I’ve previously published a huge guide to the 25 most poisonous foods for Frenchies which you can check against in the event of a high temperature.

3. Vaccinations

French Bulldog puppy fever is very common after they have had their injections. Your Frenchie puppy could have a high fever for 1 to 2 days after the shots.

4. Tick bites

If you walk your Frenchie in long grass and wooded areas, they could be at risk of being bitten by ticks. If you have recently noticed ticks on your Frenchie and removed them, a high fever can follow.

This is a potentially dangerous infection (possible Lyme’s Disease) and should be treated ASAP by your vet. You can read more on how to treat flea and tick bites in this other post.

5. Inflammation

Another cause of high fevers is inflammation. You will need to get your vet to do tests to find out why inflammation has occurred, with the possibility of an autoimmune disease.

Causes of persistent high fevers

These are not the only reasons for canine fever. For more detailed information, please visit this link from a qualified veterinarian. Persistent high fevers could be a sign of the following:

high fevers
These could be the reasons your Frenchie is experiencing persistent high fevers. Image copyright todaysveterinarypractice.com.

What is the average temperature of a French Bulldog?

The normal French Bulldog body temperature should be between 101 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit (the equivalent to 38.3 to 39.2 degrees Celsius). Some Frenchies will be a little higher or a little lower.

If your French Bulldog’s temperature goes as high as 104 degrees Fahrenheit as a high fever or falls as low as 99 degrees Fahrenheit it is entering dangerous territory.

Do dogs pant when they have a fever?

Frenchies can pant when they have a high fever, but it’s not an accurate barometer to go by. French Bulldogs will mostly pant after over-exertion.

Normal french bulldog body temperature
Panting can be just one sign that your French Bulldog has a high fever, but isn’t as accurate as taking their temperature.

However, panting can sometimes happen with a high fever, as you’re your Frenchie’s way of trying to lower their body temperature.

How do you take a French Bulldog’s temperature?

There are two ways of taking a French Bulldog’s temperature; under the armpit or rectally. The most accurate method is the rectal way. Here’s guide I found on the Spruce Pets website – it’s an easy to understand infographic.

take frenchie temperature
Here’s an easy way you can follow to take your French Bulldog’s temperature.

You can buy a thermometer on Amazon. It doesn’t have to be a specialist dog or vet one, a digital thermometer for infants will work just as well – here’s the best one on Amazon I found.

Conclusion

Thankfully we have never had to take our French Bulldog’s temperature as he’s never experienced a high fever in the times we’ve had him. Yes, he’s overheated due to running too much, but has not succumbed to a high temperature yet (finger’s crossed).

If your French Bulldog has a fever, he might exhibit one, some, or a selection of the high fever symptoms listed further up this article.

The bottom line is this; you should always call a vet the moment your Frenchie appears to be ill and you are in any way concerned. Don’t waste any time if their temperature has risen high!

Disclaimer: I am not a vet and the information in this guide is based on my own online research, personal experience, and having spoken to other Frenchie owners.

Marc Aaron

I am one of Claude the French Bulldog's human parents. I write about all the things we've learned about owning a Frenchie, the adventures we have, and any advice and tips I've picked up along the way. Read more about Marc Aaron.

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