My Dog’s Head Is Hot – What does it mean?

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If the top of your dog's head is warm you might be disturbed and seeking for the right solution to your dog's present condition .

Luckily for you and your dog, this post strictly focuses on hot head in dogs and it will provide answers to everything that troubles you about it.

So. why does your dog's head feel hot or warm? Some of the reasons that can cause an increase in the temperature of your dog head include: Fever, Stress, Atmospheric condition of his habitat and his Natural cooling process. 

There are more to this article than the listed causes of hot head in dogs. Hence, it is very important you pay attention to every aspect of this write-up because many mysterious facts about dogs will be revealed you.

My dog’s head feels hot, what could be wrong with him?

As someone who is very cautious about my dog's health, I didn't expect my dog to develop any health problems or unwanted rise in temperature.

However, this is the situation my dog finds itself and there’s a need to help. Hence, I wasted no time in engaging my veterinary doctor to know the causes and solution to my dog's hot head.

What was his response to my dog's plight, what was his suggestion on how to prevent future occurrence of the same unhealthy situation?

I will share all of them with you as we continue

What are the causes if my dog’s head is warm or hot?

pet owner places hand on dogs head to check temperature

Some conditions can make your dogs head feel hot when you pet him or to touch.

Some of these conditions don’t require intense treatment from a veterinarian, while other conditions require urgent attention.

Nonetheless, you are advised to call the attention of your vet as soon as possible if you discover any abnormality in your dog's behavior.

The possible causes of hot dog head include the following:

1. Fever

Fever, just as we have it in the human body, is an abnormality characterized by increased temperature that could make a dog forehead hot.

It is important you know that dog's normal temperature is higher than humans.

The normal body temperature for a dog ranges from 101 F to 102 F, contrary to a human temperature that falls between 35°C - 36°C.

Causes of Fever

There are three (3) major causes of fever in dogs, they are:

a) Infection or inflammation: This is arguably the most common cause of fever in dogs as it could be caused by diverse agents such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, and other related diseases.

An Infection-caused fever could have a wide range of symptoms, depending on the infected part of your dog's body as it could affect the lungs (pneumonia), skin, kidney (pyelonephritis) and brain (encephalitis).

b) Vaccination:  This is another cause of fever, but it is never a severe case. This type of fever is a side effect of the interaction between your dog's immune system and the drug or injection administered to him.

This unhealthy condition will only last for two days (at most) as long as you take swift combating actions against it.

c) Toxins:  This is another reason why your dog's body temperature can increase as a result of fever.

Consumption of toxic substances, such as macadamia nuts and other food manufactured for human purposes, can lead to fever as its immune system reacts to unhealthy substances.

Meanwhile, there are dog fevers whose causes cannot be traced or detected. These types of fever are referred to as "Fever of Unknown Origin" and they can be a result of bone marrow problem, immune system disorder or cancer.

Symptoms of fever 

Your dog could be suffering from fever if his body temperature rises above 103 F, and you are advised to commence treatment as soon as possible to avoid endangering the overall wellness of your dog.

A temperature above 105 F is dangerous to him and it can claim his life.

Other symptoms that can be exhibited by dogs suffering from fever include weakness, inactive mood, shivering, and lack of interest in food, nasal discharge, and vomiting.

I will implore that you check your dog's temperature to confirm if your dog is infected by fever because some of the listed symptoms are also attached to other infections.

How to check my dog's Temperature?

checking dog temperature with thermometer

As much as you could detect an increased body temperature by merely touching your dog's head or body, you can't determine his exact body temperature unless you use a recommended thermometer.

Different thermometers could be used to check your dog's temperature, and each type has a unique way to use it:

The rectal thermometer, you will rub it with baby oil before inserting an inch of it into your dog's anus and record the readings.

The digital thermometer requires you to place it on the body of the dog while it takes the accurate reading of the temperature in less than a minute.

An ear thermometer is a bit expensive but it is highly effective. Place it horizontally into your dog’s ear canal and take the reading. However, a glass version of this thermometer is not advisable as it could injure your dog if not handled properly.

However, it is confirmed that the digital thermometer is the best option for your dog as it is very safe and easy to use.

What can I do to help my infected dog?

Your dog's chances of recovering from fever strictly depend on your desire to help. You are expected to take some steps toward preventing the fever from getting worse. These actions include:

a) Ensure your dog has enough fluid in its body system

You must ensure that your dog drinks a lot of water to ease its discomfort. The amount of fluid in his body system will go a long way to combat the intensity of the fever.

Nonetheless, respect your dog's decision and don't force him to drink water if he is not interested as that could lead to stress.

b) Application of cool water to dog's fur, head, ear and feet

This is another action you must take to combat the unhealthy condition. You should sprinkle cool water on its fur, head, ears, and feet to lower its body temperature.

However, you must be alerted enough to stop this action as soon as the temperature returns to normal.

c) Treat the fever with suppressant drugs

You can give your dog some drugs that will suppress, and possibly, cure the fever. I must tell you that drugs like ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen are manufactured for man use and must not be used for your dog.

As much as you love to see your dog return to normal in no time, you are prohibited from using a fever suppressant designed for humans on your dog.

d) Consult your vet if no improvement

I advise you to consult your vet if your dog isn't showing any sign of improvement after taking the aforementioned actions.

2. Dog's Natural Cooling Process

Your dog's head could be hot as a result of its natural cooling process. 

As a way to maintain moderate temperature, dogs are known for their ability to transport warm blood to their head before distributing it to the parts that will enhance the loss of heat such as the ear.

I have discovered that you can reduce your dog's possibility of experiencing a hot head as a result of its natural cooling process.

You can achieve this by ensuring that its fur is well brushed and properly maintained to enhance the flow of air to all parts of its external body.

I have equally detected that providing a dry and draught-free environment for my dog has helped it to maintain conducive temperature without having to undergo excess or constant natural cooling process - you too can try it.

3. Atmospheric Condition of Your dog's environment

Your dog’s head could be hot if he’s exposed to direct sunlight or it spends most of the day under intense sun. The more your dog is exposed to the sun or fireplace, the higher his chances of developing a hot head.

This is why I always ensure that my dog, and other pets, have a very conducive environment that supports healthy living.

Qualities of a good environment for dogs

Are you thinking of how to provide a perfect environment for your dog, or you didn't know what makes an environment conducive for dogs?

Below is a quick rundown of features of a good and safe environment for a dog:

  • It must be safe and secure in order to prevent an attack from wild or dangerous creatures.
  • It must be draught-free, aerated and dry to protect your dog from being exposed to the regular cold condition which is dangerous to its health.
  • It must be spacious enough to provide a playing space and toilet for your dog.
  • You must ensure that there are comfortable bedding(s) for your dog.
  • It must not expose your dog to all weather conditions. Hence, there's is a need to provide a shield for your dog if you're engaged in an open system.
  • It must be a quiet environment.

4. Stress

Stress is another possible reason why your dog's head is hot. You can outwork your dog during exercise or why playing with it, thereby, prompting the dog to show some physiological symptoms, including hot head.

Your dog can be stressed if he encounters an attack from a strange and dangerous animal.

He gets stressed out should he experience strange events such as a sudden change of environment, thunderstorm, and introduction of new species of animals or pets.

All of the aforementioned changes have all it takes to force your dog to develop a hot head, but they can be prevented or cured without seeking the attention of a vet doctor.

Wrapping Up

Either your dog’s hot head is caused by fever or any of the discussed factors; the bottom line is that you take swift measures towards finding a solution to the situation.

Don’t hesitate to visit your vet as at when due, and always ensure that you never compromise your dog’s health for anything.

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