Written by Anna Hollisey
If your dog is shivering, exhausted, or doesn’t want to eat, it’s time to check their body temperature. Learn how to do it and how to care for a dog with a fever.
Like people, dogs experience high temperatures when they have a bacterial or viral infection. It’s their body’s natural way of defeating the invading germs, which don’t survive as the heat’s turned up.
A short-lived fever is not always dangerous, but it’s always worth checking with your vet; then, monitoring it will enable you to help your dog to cope. Sometimes, a fever is caused by an issue that’s more serious:
If you think that your dog has a fever because they ate something dangerous, you should call the vet.
Since our dogs can’t tell us they have a fever, we can help by being vigilant and watching for the symptoms – dogs could have any or all of these:
Your dog’s temperature should normally lie between 100° and 102.5°. There are three methods for checking your dog’s temperature, and we’ll list them in reverse order of ick…
Your vet may prescribe an antibiotic to treat your dog’s infection, or an anti-inflammatory to reduce symptoms. If you’re sent home, what can you do for your dog?
Don’t go messing around with things from your own medicine cabinet. Ibuprofen – one of the human medications which is recommended for a high temperature – is toxic for dogs. Instead, focus on keeping your dog cool and comfortable.
Separate your dog from any other household pets (in case they are contagious) and give them a quiet space. You can try soaking towels in cold water and using those to cool your dog’s paws and head. If your dog enjoys a bath, fill the bath with cool-to-tepid water to help them cool down. Encourage your dog to drink fluids – homemade chicken broth is a great choice.