Normal temperature range for a dog is 100–103 degrees Fahrenheit.
Because dogs regulate their temperature less efficiently than people do, there is more variation in “normal” temperature. Your pet’s temperature will be higher just after exercise, on a hot day, while snuggled under a blanket, etc.
Dogs’ temperatures are normally taken rectally.
- Try a digital readout rectal thermometer, available at any drug store.
- Put a little Vaseline or KY Jelly on the tip, insert gently into the rectum (not too far), and hold for a minute or so.
- The digital model has a beeper that goes off when “done.”
The thermometer is easy to clean with soap and water, or wipe it down with alcohol.
Nowadays, there are also thermometers that take the temperature from within your pet’s ears or even the “arm pits.” This may be more comfortable for your pet, but the measurement may not be as accurate as what you’d get with a rectal thermometer. More research is required, especially with ear thermometers.
“The rectal temperature is considered the ‘gold standard’ for measuring the internal core body temperature of pets,” says Dr. Ken Tudor, DVM.
If you’re looking for a recommendation for a good digital rectal thermometer for dogs, ADC Adtemp has a model that’s available on Amazon. Customers report getting an accurate reading within 10 seconds. The company that makes it says it’s the first digital pen-type thermometer specially designed for veterinary applications. More info here: affiliate link.