Rectal Temperature for Cats and Dogs

Taking an animal's rectal temperature is the best way to know if your pet has a fever or is in hypothermia. To take a proper temperature reading use a rectal pediatric thermometer lubricated with Vaseline.

What is normal?

  • Normal Temperature: 100.5 F to 102.4 F (38.0 C - 39.1 C)
  • Abnormal: Hypothermia T < 99.5 F (37.5 C)
  • Abnormal: Hyperthemia T > 102.4 F (39.1 C)

It is a misconception to estimate the condition of an animal by whether its nose is cool or warm. An animal may have a cool nose and a burning fever of 103 F!

Warm ears, on the other hand, can be an indication of fever or freezing ears an indication of hypothermia.

If your pet's temperature is abnormally high or low, please contact your veterinarian!