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Taking your pet's temperature

The only way to determine if your dog has a fever is to use a thermometer. We show how you a few quick and easy steps to help you take the temperature of your dog or cat safely and accurately.

This article was written by a FirstVet vet


Did you know that FirstVet offers video calls with experienced, UK registered vets? You can get a consultation within 30 minutes by downloading the FirstVet app for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play.


✓ Included free as part of many pet insurance policies
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Taking your pet's temperature

  • We suggest using a little Vaseline or lubricant on the end of the thermometer to make it easier to insert
  • Try to keep your pet calm, and offer a treat to distract them, so that your dog has a positive experience
  • It may be helpful to have an assistant to stroke the pet over the back and support them with a hand under the abdomen to ensure they are standing
  • As a preparation, touch the anal opening gently with the thermometer before inserting it about 1-1.5 cm
  • Digital thermometers typically beep when the reading is complete, which may take 5 or more seconds

The normal temperature for dogs and cats is about 38.3 degrees C at rest.

Read more about how to do a simple examination on your dog.

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