Treat Fever in Dogs

Dogs normally have a temperature between 100–102.5 °F (37.8–39.2 °C), but they can develop a fever due to an injury, infection, poisonous substance, or as a reaction to a vaccine. A fever in a dog may be 103 °F (39 °C) or higher. You may be worried about your pup when it develops a fever and wonder how you can treat it properly.  In the meantime, cool your dog down and keep your dog hydrated to help treat its fever. If its fever is severe or it is not getting better,

Wipe your dog’s ears and paws with a tepid, wet cloth – make sure the cloth is not cool or cold. Wipe its ear area and paws several times to help bring its body temperature down.

Make sure you also wipe your dog’s chest and abdomen to help cool it down.

Give your dog a tepid bath. Check that the bath water is not ice cold, but a bit colder than lukewarm. Place your dog in the bath and use a cloth or sponge to dab water on it. Apply water to its ears, paws, chest, and abdomen.

You do not need to use soap in the bath, as you are not trying to clean your pup, just cool it down.

Dry your dog well so it does not catch a chill. After you wipe down your dog or give it a bath, make sure you dry it well so it does not get too cold. Towel dry your dog or use a hair dryer on a low setting to dry your pup.

Wipe or bath your dog twice a day to try to bring its fever down. Make sure you dry it well each time.

Give your dog its normal food. Try to get your dog to eat solid foods to help it maintain its strength. Both canned and dry foods are good for dogs with fevers. Do not try to change its food to encourage it to eat. This may give the dog gastrointestinal distress.

If your dog refuses to eat solid foods, or to eat at all, bring it to the vet for treatment.

Do not give your dog human medication. Medication made to treat fever in humans, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, are toxic to dogs. Do not give your dog any medications without first checking with your vet.

Avoid giving your dog natural remedies, such as essential oils or herbs, without first checking with your vet.

Bring your dog to the vet as soon as you notice the fever. A fever can be a sign of a very serious infection and needs immediate treatment. Check to see if your dog appears very tired or sleeps more than usual. Your dog may also show no interest in eating food or drinking water. It may be sluggish and have a lack of interest in going for a walk or playing

Let the vet take your dog’s temperature. Your dog’s temperature can only be measured with an ear or rectal thermometer made for animals. This is an invasive procedure and should only be done by your vet. Your vet will know how to keep your dog calm and relaxed as they take its temperature.

Allow the vet to examine your dog. They may look at your dog’s tongue, ears, and eyes to see if there is any sign of infection. They may also test your dog’s urine and blood to see if it has been exposed to a toxic or poisonous substance.

Your vet can give you suggestions on how to get your dog to ingest the oral medication.

Your vet may recommend that you leave your dog at the vet’s office for several hours or overnight so they can monitor your dog’s temperature. If your dog’s fever does not go down with the help of medication, your vet may suggest other treatment options or run more tests to determine the cause.

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