How to Take a Dog’s Temperature – Dogster

To take your dog’s temperature, use an assistant to gently restrain him and keep him still and distracted. Apply a small amount of lubricant, such as petroleum jelly, to the tip of a digital rectal thermometer. Insert the thermometer about an inch into the dog’s rectum until you hear a beep to indicate the temperature has been read. Once done, carefully remove the thermometer and disinfect it.

What is the normal temperature for a dog?

A normal temperature for a dog is between 99.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures outside of this range could indicate an underlying health problem that should be addressed by a veterinarian.

Can I take my dog’s temperature with a human thermometer?

Digital rectal thermometers designed specifically for pets are recommended because they are fast and accurate. However, if a pet thermometer is not available, a human oral thermometer can be used in the same manner as previously described. Ear thermometers can also be used, but they tend to be less accurate for dogs. Since a dog’s temperature is naturally higher than a person’s, human thermometers can also display a fever warning when one isn’t actually present.

When should I check my dog’s temperature?

Check your dog’s temperature for the following reasons:

  • to exclude a fever if he is hot
  • if you think he is sick.
  • If your dog has spent an extended period of time outside in hot weather, you may consider checking his temperature if the dog begins to show signs of heatstroke.

Read our article on how to cool a dog in summer.

What to avoid

If a dog begins to squirm or tighten when you try to take his temperature, do not continue. Trying to take the temperature of an uncooperative dog can cause unnecessary stress, potentially leading to aggression. If in doubt, consult a veterinarian before taking your dog’s temperature to ensure it is necessary given the situation.


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