How to Take a Dog’s Temperature with a Human Thermometer

How To Take a Dog’s Temperature With a Human Thermometer

A change in a dog’s body temperature can tell a lot about its health status. It may surprise you that a dog’s temperature is slightly different from a human’s. Dog owners must pay close attention to their furry friends’ temperature, and learn how to take a dog’s temperature with a human thermometer.

What is Normal For a Dog’s Body Temperature?

The normal temperature range in dogs is between 101 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, 3-4 degrees higher than humans.

If your dog’s body temperature is abnormally high or low, please take it to the nearest veterinarian and not attempt to give them medications without instructions.

When noticing the temperature is higher than normal, you can use a towel soaked in cool water and let your dog drink water to cool down his temperature. If the body temperature is lowered too quickly, it is advised to use blankets and hot water to warm up their body.

How to Take a Dog’s Temperature With a Human Thermometer

First of all, the most accurate way to take the body temperature in a dog is with a rectal thermometer. If you take the temperature orally, the result won’t be as accurate, and you might accidentally get hurt. There are four major steps to take your dog’s body temperature:

Step 1: Prepare your supplies 

It would be helpful if you prepared a digital thermometer for a quick result. A glass thermometer is fragile as it can break and hurt your dog. Besides, prepare some lubricant or baby oil to make your dog comfortable during the process.

Step 2: Prepare for your dogs 

To ensure your dog’s safety, you should prepare him mentally and physically to avoid unwanted accidents.

You can ask for a helper to hold the dog in place. The helper should secure their position and wrap their arms around the dog’s stomach, gently pulling the head towards themselves. 

It is also recommended to use a muzzle to make sure the dog won’t bite when he feels threatened. At any given time, if the dog shows signs of aggressiveness or discomfort, please take your time to calm them down or stop the process immediately.

Step 3: Take the temperature 

Before you insert the thermometer, make sure to coat it with lubricant. After locating the dog’s anus, hold the thermometer firmly and insert it gently in a horizontal direction. Make sure you do not tilt the thermometer during the process to avoid causing serious damage to the dog.

To get an accurate result, you should insert 1-2 centimeters of the thermometer inside the dog’s rectum. When you hold the thermometer, do not let the entire thing slip into the dog’s anus nor insert it by force so the dog does not get hurt.

For a digital thermometer, you need to press the button twice to start taking the body temperature. The process would take a few seconds or up to a minute based on the type of thermometer.

Step 4: Check the result 

When the process is finished, make sure you check the screen before it turns off. You can take a picture or note down the temperature if it’s necessary. 

Depending on the results, please take proper actions and contact the veterinarian if there are signs of abnormal temperature.

After you finish, remember to disinfect the thermometer with alcohol and put on a specific label so no one will accidentally use it.

Tips For Taking a Dog’s Temperature With Care

Taking the body temperature for a dog is not an overly complicated task, but you should do it with extra care.

Before inserting the thermometer, you can use toys or treats to distract the dog from what is happening. A helper will play an important role in restraining the dog and comforting them while you focus on taking the temperature.

After you have gotten the result, remember to praise the dog and give him a reward to show that taking the temperature with a thermometer is not as terrifying as it seems.

Finally, if the dog is uncooperative, you can go to the vet or take alternative methods such as using a thermometer for the ear or the underarm region.  


Taking care of your dog means paying close attention to his health. In the end, learning how to take a dog’s temperature with a human thermometer is an important task to ensure your canine’s health and normal development. However, it is not difficult at all as long as you perform the process with care.

We hope this post has provided you with useful information to take care of your pets properly. For now, thanks for reading!

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