Image Alt

Albuquerque VetCo

 / dogs  / How To Take Your Dog’s Temperature
dog thermometer

How To Take Your Dog’s Temperature

What kind of thermometer should I use?

A digital thermometer is the best way to take your dog’s temperature. You can get digital thermometers that are meant for dogs, or simply meant for rectal use. Yes, you take your dog’s temperature through their bum. A rectal thermometer will usually have a loop on the end to tie a string.  Why does it have this? This is because the bum can not only push things out but suck things in. Trust me, you don’t want to try to fish out a thermometer from your dog’s bum, or go to the vet and have them fish it out. Just tie a string.

You can use a traditional mercury glass thermometer, but we don’t recommend it.  If the glass thermometer were to break, it could get glass inside your dog’s rectum, which would cause a lot of other serious issues. The other benefit to a digital thermometer is that it beeps at you when it is done. You do not want to use the laser point and shoot thermometers. Because of your dog’s hair, it will get in the way of getting an accurate read. You also do not want to use the ones that go into the ear. These are built for humans and a dog has a different shape to their ear than we do. This means the thermometer will not get the proper contact in the ear to get an accurate read.

Once you pick a thermometer, make sure to ONLY use it for your dog’s bum. The bum has a lot of bacteria and you wouldn’t want to accidentally put it in your mouth….yuck!


How do I take my dog’s temperature?

Now that you have your thermometer, and you have tied a string to it, you are ready to go. Get some lubricant such as KY Jelly or Vaseline and generously coat the thermometer. You can even put some on your dog’s anus to give it a little more help. You want to lubricate the thermometer to keep it from hurting when you push it into their anus. The anus does not naturally lubricate, so we need to give it some help. You do not need to put it in very far, only about an inch. It is best if you can hold onto the thermometer while it is taking the reading. Do not let your dog sit. If they sit on the thermometer, it can cause internal damage. If your dog does sit on the thermometer you may want to take them to your vet to get examined.  Once your thermometer is done reading their temperature, you can take it out and clean it off with soap and water.

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”″ title=”YouTube video player” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen></iframe>