When a dog’s temperature reaches 103 degrees Fahrenheit or higher he is considered to have a fever. There are things that you can do at home naturally to get your pet feeling better. Although, it is very important that you take your dog to a vet if the temperature persists. A temperature of 106 degrees or higher can damage a pet’s internal organs and can be fatal. You must never wait until that point. Educate yourself about the causes and symptoms of fevers in dogs and you should be able to recognize when your dog needs a vet.
An infection or inflammation in pets can cause them to develop fevers. Some of the conditions that might lead to a fever include an infected bite, scratch or cut, an ear infection, a urinary tract infection (UTI), and an infected or abscessed tooth. As the body tries to fight off these infections a dog’s body temperature will rise and he may become feverish. Infection of the organs, such as kidneys or lungs, an ongoing bacterial or viral disease, or ingestion of something poisonous could also cause a fever. Some poisonous materials that could lead to a fever in your pet are toxic plants, antifreeze, human medications and human foods that are toxic to dogs, including the artificial sweetener xylitol. As is the case with humans, vaccinations can also cause a fever in dogs.
Checking Your Dog’s Temperature
Unlike people, who have a normal temperature range of 97.6 to 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit, a dog’s normal temperature is higher, between 99.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. A very popular way to check if your dog has a fever is by feeling his nose. Usually, if it’s wet and cold you’d think your dog is OK and if your dog’s nose is hot and dry you’d think that your dog has a fever. While it’s alright to do this, it may not be enough to determine whether your dog indeed has a fever or not. The most accurate way to check your dog’s temperature is with a rectal or ear thermometer. You can find digital thermometers made just for pets in many stores. These kinds of thermometers can register your dog’s temperature in about 60 seconds, which helps cut down the amount of discomfort that your dog will feel.
Cool Your Dog Down
You can naturally reduce your dog’s fever by trying to cool him down at home. The first thing to do is to apply cool water around his paws and ears. You can do this with a soaked towel or cloth. You can continue to do this until his temperature drops below 103 degrees. At this point, you can try to get your dog to drink some water. You can do this a few times a day, or as it seems necessary. Of course, if the high temperature returns you should reconsider taking your dog to the vet to be on the safe side.
A cool compress or an ice pack wrapped in a towel can be placed in some areas of the dog’s body to lower his temperature. Some of the target areas to place ice packs are the dog’s belly, paw pads, and armpits. Make sure that your dog is staying hydrated and if he’s refusing water you can offer some ice chips.
Another thing you can do to lower your pet’s temperature is to give your dog a cool bath. Place your pet in a cool, but not cold, bath for a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 10 minutes. This should help to lower their temperature.
Aconitum napellus is a plant that can be used as a homeopathic remedy to help lower your dog’s temperature. This remedy is good for a fever that comes on suddenly with no other accompanying symptoms. It is most effective if given at the early stages of a dog’s fever or inflammation that could’ve possibly been caused by cold or dry wind, fright or shock and not something more serious.
Belladonna is another homeopathic remedy that helps feverish dogs. It is great used on dogs that are agitated or even aggressive. Belladonna is a great remedy for very high fevers or fevers that are violent. This remedy is very effective on your dog’s fever with symptoms such as skin that is red and hot, restless sleep, convulsive movements, dryness of the mouth and throat, and a great thirst but aversion to water. If your dog also feels very hot to the touch, this remedy is recommended for them.
Sulphur is also a homeopathic remedy that can be used to lower a dog’s fever. This remedy is used for dogs with a low-grade fever that will not go away, although, prolonged use of this remedy is not recommended.
Bryonia can be effective in fevers when the dog seems to be worse with movement. If your dog has a wound that is painful and feels better with pressure, if your dog seems like he’s extremely thirsty, irritable and fatigued, or if your dog just seems like his body aches and he doesn’t want to be active, Bryonia can help with this kind of fever.
Strengthen Your Dog’s Immune System
A fever is an indication that the dog’s immune system is working hard to eliminate whatever is causing the fever. There are herbs and vitamins that you can supplement to help strengthen your dog’s immune system.
Echinacea is an excellent herb for boosting the immune system. You can find natural echinacea products in many stores that help in fighting off low-grade infections.
Vitamin C is effective for building the immune system. You can give 5-10 mg 2-3 times daily to your dog.
Vitamin E can also be given once a day in a dose of about 5-10 mg to help boost the immune system.