Can You Use a Human Thermometer on a Dog? 5 Steps To Take Rectal Temperature on Dogs

You might be missing out on a very important instrument in the house. And that is a Thermometer that you can use to measure the temperature of everyone in the house. If someone is feeling sick, they immediately get a thermometer to see if they have a fever or whether it is leading to convulsions. Now, you can see the relevance of this instrument not just on you but also to your pets.

In case you didn’t know, dogs can acquire fever too. And there’s no way you can conclude that they have it without measuring their temperature. Usually, dog owners have an instinct that there is something wrong with their dog. Whether it is a change of behavior or constant drowsiness that makes you want to see if they have a fever. And, you wonder if you can use the thermometer you have in your home for your dogs.

The answer would be yes, you can use the human thermometer you have in your home. However, it wouldn’t give you the accurate temperature of your dog because the only way of knowing the right temperature for your dog is by using a Rectal Thermometer on the dog’s anus. That instrument will measure the most accurate reading for your dog’s current temperature.

What Is the Normal Body Temperature of Dogs?

Dog’s normal body temperature is higher than ours, it ranges from 101.0°F up to 102.5°F which is 38.3 to 39.2 degrees Celsius. It only means that dogs are warmer compared to humans because sometimes dog parents think that their dogs are feeling hot.

It’s important to note this type of information so that you can differentiate if there is something wrong with your dog. For instance, by knowing their normal temperature you can tell if your dog has hypothermia (low body temperature) or hyperthermia (high body temperature). In addition, you can identify if your dog has a fever and if it is leading to a fatal condition. 

What Should I Do if the Dog’s Body Temperature Is High or Low?

It is considered an emergency condition whenever your dog has an abnormal temperature. It shouldn’t be taken lightly because it might lead to death.

Here are the things you need to do to help normalize the body temperature of your dog.

1. Go to the Vet

If your dog is experiencing very low or high temperatures, you have to seek the professional help of veterinarians. They are the only people that can identify the cause and provide solutions to this problem. Also, it’s an important reminder for dog owners that you should not give your dog medicines because you “think” it can make your dog feel better. Always consult and ask your pet doctor for solutions especially if it is involving medication that your dog has to intake.

2. Hot Water Bottles

When you notice that your dog is low in energy while they keep on shivering. They might be experiencing hypothermia or low body temperature. You can aid this by giving them blankets and while you rub a hot water bottle in their body. Of course, you have to use precaution cause you don’t want your dog to be hurt. Always ensure a blanket or clothing is on the dog’s body so that the heat source is not direct to the dog’s skin. 

Another way is to hug and cuddle your dog if you are warm. Supervise them during this time and keep the thermometer near you so that you can check their temperature. If there are no changes to the dog’s temperature, call your doctor and let them know that you are bringing your dog.

3. Cold Soak Towels

If in case your dog is having a high body temperature or Hyperthermia. You can aid this by giving them towels that are soaked with cold water. Rub the towel around your dog’s body especially to the areas that are hidden. Free their surroundings and provide air so that they can breathe and feel relaxed. In addition, you can let them lay on the floor because it is cold and would help ease up the heat they’ve been feeling. If still there are no changes, call your vet and schedule an appointment.

Furthermore, let your dog have ice chips or monitor their water intake.

Thermometers for Dogs That I Should Use

  • Digital Thermometer

Digital Ear Thermometer is used for pets by putting it on the ear canal of your pet. The instrument offers an easy-to-read temperature in degrees Celsius and Fahrenheit. Digital Thermometers are easy to use but for you to acquire the accurate temperature of your dog. You have to place the thermometer on the dog’s ear near the ear drum. Unfortunately, not all dogs allow this to happen because they are quite sensitive on that part. In addition, a digital thermometer does not guarantee an accurate reading since there is hair, wax, and ear size that may affect the reading.

  • Rectal Thermometer

A rectal pet thermometer is a thermometer used to get the temperature on the dog’s rectum. Well, for some it would be awkward and most certainly your dog would not like it. But, this procedure is the most accurate way of getting the temperature of your dog. Some dog parents leave the task to the vet to avoid errors and so that they don’t have to actually stick a thermometer to the rectum. However, you can do this at home. It might be a little challenging but doable.

Rectal Thermometers read temperature using the mercury inside the instrument. During the insertion process, the mercury causes the calibrated cylinder to expand to indicate the temperature. Nevertheless, some people find it hard to read this type of thermometer. And that may be the reason why people preferred digital thermometers.

Precaution must be observed using Rectal Thermometer because mercury exposure is hazardous. There’s a possibility of it happening because of the glass structure of this instrument.

5 Steps To Take Rectal Temperature on Dogs

If you wish to check your dog’s temperature using a Rectal Thermometer but don’t know how. Keep on reading as we give you techniques and suggestions for you to master the process of getting your dog’s temperature without going to the vet’s clinic.

1. Lubricate the Instrument

You’ll be inserting the thermometer into your dog’s rectum and you have to make it easy and comfortable as much as possible. To enable easy insertion of the thermometer, lubricate the instrument with petroleum jelly or baby oil. By doing this, getting the rectal temperature can be as smooth as possible.

2. Use Dog Treats

What’s another thing that can make your dog happy other than your presence? Dog Treats!. And you think it’s only for training yet it is also your way of distracting your dog from the Rectal Thermometer on its butt. Have someone to assist you, they are the ones that will provide the treat, and while your dog enjoys chewing a peanut butter for instance. You insert the lubricated instrument on the dog’s rectum. Remind your assistant to continue distracting your dog and provide more treats until the task is done.

3. Insert the Rectal Thermometer

While your assistant distracts your dog, you insert the rectal thermometer behind them for about one centimeter of the instrument. In addition, you have to position your pet first so that they can’t move. When your dog is standing they will tend to sit down while the pet thermometer is on its butt. Allow your dog to lie down instead, then you insert the instrument.

4. Get the Result

Once the instrument is successfully inserted. You have to wait for around 10 seconds to get the temperature of the dog. After that remove the instrument carefully and clean it. Sanitize it to avoid bacterial and parasitic problems.

5. Give Rewards and Praises

Getting your dog’s temperature happens all the time. Therefore, you have to leave it as a happy memory for your pooch. Avoid making this task something they should fear and get sad about. Give them special toys that they will enjoy, kisses and hugs, praises, and their favorite playtime.

Buy a reliable pet thermometer for your dog. There are instances that we can’t avoid and it’s important to always be prepared when uncertain things happen. Be alert once you find out that your dog is having an abnormal temperature and be sure to aid it with the suggested solutions. However, you must not take this thing into your hand alone but allow help from the veterinarian. 

A Healthy dog can free you from worries and unexpected expenses. Be sure to always feed them healthy foods and provide regular exercise.