For most dog owners, it can be a challenge to tell when your pet is sick because they like to hide their symptoms. Unfortunately, that is normal doggy behavior. As pack animals, canines follow whoever is strongest. Showing signs of weakness changes their status. Your favorite Fido’s genes don’t know you think differently, so they try to play it off. Sadly, that often makes it more severe if you can see your pooch is under the weather. Try not to feel bad if you didn’t notice instantly. Instead, there are some simple things you can do at home for a dog with a fever. I’ve lived dozens of miles from the nearest vet’s office for years, so I learned how to treat minor doggy concerns at home to save unnecessary trips. I’ll share some great tricks to handle home fevers and tips on when not to avoid the vet as well.
Natural Doggy Fever Remedies at Home
The first step in treating a dog’s fever at home is to make sure they are hydrated. Never try to force a dog to drink, but instead, offer them plenty of fresh tepid or slightly cool water. If you know why your dog has a fever, it will help a lot in treating them.
For example, infections, poisoning, or illness that is either bacterial or viral can all cause fevers. Treating poison is a bit different from a dog who has a virus. Fortunately, there are two simple steps you can take to help reduce unknown fevers as well.
For Unknown Fevers
First, offer your dog a refreshing pool of water if possible. The cool water will help decrease the core temperature. Don’t add ice or use freezing water. You want to reduce the fever slowly to avoid shocking your dog’s system.
However, if your dog is lethargic, doesn’t swim, or shows other signs of trouble, skip this step. Secondly, you can place cool (not cold or frozen) towels in the ‘armpit’ area where the leg meets the body. Doing this may help bring down their core temperature.
Dogs get into all sorts of strange things. They will often eat stuff they shouldn’t, and sometimes those snacks are toxic to your dog. Hopefully, you will see them snacking and stop your pooch before they get too much. However, it doesn’t take a lot of poison to make your pet sick.
A dog who has ingested poison can take UAA Gel (Universal Antidote Gel) from Amazon. I strongly suggest dog lovers add this to any pet medical kit. The activated charcoal and kaolin will help a dog to get rid of toxins safely. UAA Gel is especially useful if the nearest emergency vet is more than thirty minutes from where you live. Learn more about it when you click here.
Boost Your Sick Dog’s Immune System
Whether your fevered dog is fighting an infection, bacteria, or a virus, boosting their immune system will help you treat them at home. By giving your canine companion what their body needs to resist the problem, you’ll be helping. Use this for low-grade or recurring fevers with known causes.
Sometimes your pet can heal themselves. With a little extra help, your furry friend will get well even sooner. Additionally, old and sensitive dogs would benefit from a regular immune-boosting supplement.
Aloha Medicinals K9 Immunity Plus is excellent for dogs who weigh between thirty and seventy pounds. The organic, made in the USA formula has immune-active polysaccharides to bond with your pet’s immune proteins. Use Aloha daily to help a sick pooch get well, or a healthy dog stay that way more easily. To read the Amazon reviews for yourself, click here.
Overheating in Summer
A dog who is too hot from playing outside or dehydrated can have a fever. You must get the dog into the shade and provide them with water immediately. Like us, dogs can get sun sick or worse.
Your dog is providing their own version of air conditioning when they pant, so don’t worry too much about regular panting. Excessive panting is worth keeping an eye on for safety. Especially if it’s the middle of summer, or unusually warm, a fur coat isn’t doing your pet any favors.
If there are any additional symptoms or unusual behavior, you need to get that pooch cooled down and rehydrated right away. Luckily, preventing this usually is as easy as making sure they always have shade and plenty to drink. Additionally, keep your dog indoors if there’s a heat advisory.
A healthy dog knows when they are feeling the heat. Though some pooches have dramatic personalities, they will still sit in the shade and drink water when they need it. A dog who won’t drink in the heat is already very ill and requires more care than you can give at home. Otherwise, some AC and a room-temperature bowl of water should help put them to rights again soon.
Can You Give a Dog Human Fever Reducers
Your dog has a fever, and you want to treat them at home. Can you just give them people medicine like you would for yourself or a child? The answer is no. While some human medicines may work on dogs, do not ever assume you can hand them something from the medicine cabinet. However, there is an exception.
Please keep in mind that I am not a veterinary medicine specialist, and you should only give your dog medicine under proper veterinary supervision. However, in some circumstances, your vet may oversee the home dosing of fever reducers. You absolutely must speak to a veterinary doctor before attempting this, because doing it wrong could kill your pet.
Mostly, human pills like Tylenol or aspirin can be extremely toxic to dogs. Additionally, even those that are not poison can still cause adverse reactions. Thus, please do not give your dog any OTC people medicines without vet approval and oversight.
Fever Isn’t a Bad Word
Pet parents, like human children’s parents, tend to be extremely protective of their little furry friends. The instant desire to ease all their symptoms is normal and healthy. It shows you care. Still, a fever isn’t always a bad thing.
You need to keep an eye on your sick pet, but a very low-grade fever may be an indication that their body is working correctly. When mammals have a virus, our bodies can opt to spike the core temperature to burn it out.
So long as the fiver isn’t raging out of control and you keep your canine companion well hydrated, it’s okay to be warm. Moreover, because fevers kill some viruses, this could be precisely what your dog needs. If their temperature is between a hundred and one and a hundred and two-point-five, then your pooch has an average body temperature.
Checking a Dog’s Temperature
Most people use rectal thermometers to check a dog’s temperature. Should you have an old-fashioned mercury thermometer, please do not use it on your dog. The glass can break, and the mercury is toxic for you both.
Pet parents should always have a first aid kit for their animals. I recommend the Arca Pet Cat & Dog First Aid Kit from Amazon. Not only does it include a thermometer, but this simple portable kit comes with a hundred items you should have on hand like an emergency collar, tick remover, and plenty of different types of bandages. Find out more by clicking right here.
Although you can get thermometers that scan the ears, there’s often a temperature difference. Internal thermometers are typically more accurate. Using a cover and some vaseline will help your pet’s comfort and make cleanup more manageable when you’re done.
When to Worry About Fever in Dogs
If your dog has a fever over a hundred and three, do not treat them at home. Regrettably, anything above a hundred and four means their internal organs are in danger of severe damage. If your pet’s temp gets that high, you need to proceed to the nearest emergency vet hospital immediately.
Likewise, a dog whose body temperature drops below ninety-nine is also in danger. Although it is the opposite end of the spectrum, becoming too cold is also a serious concern. The normal range for your pet is a very narrow window. Fortunately, their body should have little trouble staying there in any normal circumstance.
Signs of Fever in Dogs
Feeling hot to the touch is the most obvious symptom of fever in dogs. However, any dog who has been out in the sun will have warm fur or skin. Likewise, a cooling fan or AC can throw off your sense of heat. Thus, using the canine equivalent of a hand on the forehead is deceptive and inaccurate. Instead, look for the following signs, or take their temperature.
- Coughing- A cough is not normal doggy behavior. Though a single chuff shouldn’t worry you, a dog who is coughing regularly or incessantly might be sick.
- Depressed Behavior- You know what your dog’s normal behavior looks like. When they suddenly refuse to play or do other activities they usually enjoy, they are acting depressed.
- Lethargy- All dogs have different energy levels. However, a dog who has a sudden change needs your attention. When your pup sleeps more than usual or won’t run like they used to, you should check their temperature and talk to the vet.
- No Appetite- Canines love their food and treats. Hence, if your dog isn’t eating, or isn’t finishing their regular meals, you should be concerned.
- Shivering- Just as humans who have higher than average body temperatures feel cold, so to will your dog. Shivering when it’s not cold is a problem.
- Vomiting- No matter who told you, ‘it’s normal’ barfing is not a normal state of being for healthy pets.
Not every circumstance is the right time to treat your dog’s fever at home. However, there are plenty of times when you can DIY with vet approval. We all want the best for our pets, and sometimes the right at-home care is all they need to feel their best again soon.
Always remember that a fever isn’t standard for any dog. The typical body temperature for dogs is between 101 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit or 38.3 to 39.2 degrees Celsius. A good pet thermometer can help you determine whether they are outside that range much better than your hand, so keep one around.
When your dog has a fever, it can be alarming, but with these home remedies, you can treat your pooch. They will feel better soon with some TLC.