How To Take A Dog’s Temperature?

How To Take A Dog's Temperature

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You suspect there is something wrong with your furry friend. Your dog pants, seem depressed, weak, and shivering. The first thing you suspect in this case is that your dog has a fever. But, how to take a dog’s temperature?

Today we will talk about fever in dogs, and how to determine if your dog has a fever.

What Is A Normal Temperature For A Dog?

Before we learn how to take a dog’s temperature, we need to learn what is the normal temperature in dogs.

Dogs have slightly elevated body temperature than humans. The normal body temperature for humans is 98.6°F (37°C). On the other hand, the normal temperature for dogs is between 101.0 °F and 102.5 °F (38.3 °C and 39.2 °C).

Can You Tell If A Dog Has A Temperature Without Thermometer?

You have probably heard or read how you can determine if your dog has a fever by touching his nose with your hand. A cold and moist nose signals everything is ok, while dry and hot indicates fever. However, this is not the case, and you won’t be able to determine if your dog has a fever using this method.

Dog’s nose may be wet or dry due to many different reasons and this method is simply not a reliable way of determining elevated temperature.

As a matter of fact, it’s quite hard to determine if your dog has a fever.

Symptoms Of Fever In Dogs

Some of the most common symptoms of fever in dogs are:

How To Take A Dog’s Temperature?

There are two types of thermometers used to take a dog’s temperature: digital and rectal thermometer.
To take a dog’s temperature with a digital thermometer you need to place the thermometer into the dog’s ear canal. However, this method of taking a dog’s temperature is not as reliable as the rectal thermometer method.

A rectal thermometer is the only reliable way to take your dog’s temperature.

Don’t attempt to take the dog’s temperature orally. It doesn’t produce accurate reading and your dog can resist or even bite you.

This is a step-by-step guide on how to take your dog’s temperature with a rectal thermometer:

  1. Prepare equipment and supplies. You will need an electronic digital thermometer, lubricant (petroleum jelly, lubricating jelly, baby oil).
  2. Ask a friend or family member for help. Dogs don’t like anyone messing around their rear ends and can become nervous and anxious. Therefore, you need a helping hand to keep your furry friend calm and relaxed.
  3. Lubricate the tip of the thermometer.
  4. Lift the dog’s tail and quickly, but gently, insert the thermometer into the dog’s anus.
  5. Press the start button to activate the thermometer and wait for the sound signal.
  6. Take the thermometer and read the result.

Can You Check A Dogs Temperature With A Human Thermometer?

The most accurate way to take your dog’s temperature is to take it with a digital rectal thermometer. Other thermometers, including the human one, are not reliable and won’t read the temperature accurately.


The most reliable way to take the determine if your dog has a fever is to use a digital rectal thermometer. You can also use a digital ear thermometer, but this method is less accurate and reliable.

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