Do you know how to check if your dog is suffering from a fever? Indeed, checking your dog’s temperature using a dog thermometer is something you must be able to perform at any time.
When seeing your dog a little down, you should grab the best dog thermometer around to find out if your pet is suffering from fever. Unless your dog is a unicorn, pets cannot let us know when they are suffering from any discomfort of disease. So we pick some signals up and figure things out after the further investigation.
The normal temperature of a dog’s body ranges from 101 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, or 38.3 to 39.2 degrees Celsius. If your dog is pregnant and her temperature drops below 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 37.8 degrees Celsius, her labor is imminent and she should normally deliver the whelps within 24 hours.
There is a huge range of dog thermometers available on the marketplace:
- Rectal dog thermometers — cheapest but requires a lot of hygienic precautions
- In-ear dog thermometers — measures infrared heat waves from a dog’s eardrum area
- Stick-on thermometers for dogs — dirt cheap, less accurate but good pick for a whelping box
Here is our list of the top 5 best dog thermometers currently available. Also below our review is a guide explaining each type of thermometer in more detail.
Top 5 Best Dog Thermometers In 2020
Based on our thorough research, we have collected the top 5 best dog thermometers based on their accuracy and ease of use. These are very well praised online and in many reviews we’ve considered to come up with our rankings.
Depending on how often you want to use it, and how accurate you need it to be, you will lean towards a cheaper or pricier option.
1. CocoBear Digital Ear Forehead Thermometer
Designed for infants, adults, and pets, this thermometer is working amazingly well to check forehead and ear temperatures. To use it as a dog thermometer, you just need to enable the animal mode. Moreover, it is used to record the surface temperature as well.
This CocoBear Digital In-Ear thermometer uses infrared radiations to record the temperature. Its non-touch way of working makes it very convenient to use on dogs, as it becomes a tedious task to control the dog while sick. It displays a very accurate result within seconds on its crisp LCD display. It is obviously more hygienic to use such non-contact dog thermometers rather than rectal thermometers.
A wonderful surprise feature here! It stores up to 99 previous temperature readings to track the fever and improvements over time. Meaning that if you see the temperature fluctuating a lot, and decide to bring your dog to the vet, you have the full history of temperature readings from the last days.
Some tips to get accurate readings:
- You can use both Celsius and Fahrenheit units
- Place the thermometer at the center of the dog’s forehead or ear to get the accurate reading
- Even you can turn the buzzer off if the sound irritates your dog
With all these well-thought-out features, the CocoBear Digital thermometer also comes with a 24-month product warranty and a user manual to learn how to record proper temperature records. It also has an auto power-off feature when it is kept idle for 7 seconds.
2. Purple Safety Baby Thermometer
Purple Safety Baby Thermometer is a cheap eco-friendly thermometer that comes with a lifetime warranty too.
As the name suggests, it is very well suited for babies too but dogs can use it without a problem. It is designed to be used rectally on dogs. Generally, you would disinfect the thermometer thoroughly before and after each use to avoid the spread of germs, bacteria, and viruses. Avoid using the same thermometer for more than a single animal (they are so cheap you could just buy a bunch!)
This eco-friendly thermometer is made of harmless materials and is mercury-free and lead-free. The Purple Safety Baby Thermometer is reliable, easy to use, waterproof, and flexible. Its accuracy is just like any mercury thermometer which makes it one of the best thermometers for dogs out there. In addition to that, it is extremely affordable!
The only downside is not really the product’s fault but rather the way it works… It is a rectal dog thermometer which means a lot of people are uncomfortable using it.
3. Stick-On Digital Temperature Thermometer
Stick-on digital thermometer strips are available at a very affordable price, perhaps the cheapest out there. It is used to monitor the surface temperature and these strips are most helpful in a whelping box. Indeed, when your young puppies are being nursed, low temperatures may lead to health issues or even sudden death. To make sure the temperature is correct, just stick these.
Each pack consists of 10 strips and each strip is adhesive on the back. You just need to peel off the stick-on tape and place it on the kennel or whelping box’s surface. The strips are marked with both Celsius and Fahrenheit temperature units so they will satisfy everybody. Each strip measures around 13.0 x 1.8 cm. To make it easier to read, it shows a different color at a different temperature.
4. Etekcity Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer
This model, the Etekcity Infrared Thermometer, is the perfect product for heavy users (e.g. dog breeders or home groomers.) Indeed, you are very well aware of difficult it is to record a dog’s temperature using regular thermometers. A rectal thermometer not only creates inconvenience for you but it may be harmful to your dog as well. They are often made of glass and if it breaks inside your dog’s rectum it may lead to serious injury, especially with the surprise movements that can accompany such insertion.
This is why Etekcity thermometer with its no-contact feature makes it one of the best dog thermometers for frequent users. It also works amazingly well with big-eared pets. This thermometer is infrared operated, and capture the heatwaves emitted by the dog’s eardrum region. It’s super quick to start and extremely easy to use.
Features of Etekcity Infrared Thermometer:
- Records 32 previous readings
- Comes with Celsius and Fahrenheit modes
- Buzzer alarm
- LCD Monitor
- Soft backlight
- Designed for animals
Though it is slightly less accurate yet more expensive than a traditional rectal thermometer, it is very fast and convenient to use. This is one of the most popular choices of all buyers because unlike rectal thermometers, people know they will actually use it every time they need to.
5. ANIKUV Digital Pet Thermometer
The ANIKUV Digital Pet Thermometer is designed for pets only. Its accuracy makes it one of the best items out there. It is, in fact, an ideal choice for pet owners who still prefer to use rectal thermometers for their dogs. Moreover, it is also reliable to use for ear and oral temperature measurement. So yes, it can record oral, rectal and in-ear temperatures.
It provides the reading in both Celsius and Fahrenheit in just 5-6 seconds. It records temperature using infrared radiations both orally and rectally. This is the best digital thermometer for bigger dogs and other big animals. It is also used to measure the room temperature while your dog breeds or for newly born puppies. It can be used as both touch and non-touch thermometers but is preferred as a non-touch thermometer for better accuracy.
The ANIKUV Digital Pet Thermometer amazes by its accuracy of 0.1 Celsius, which is just like a normal mercury thermometer but with no mercury and headache to handle glass material. It is a heavy-duty plastic digital thermometer that makes it reliable, durable, convenient and affordable for buyers.
Different Types of Thermometer for Dogs
A type of thermometer is generally classified based on the way used to record the temperature. Make sure to purchase a digital thermometer to get accurate readings, older thermometers are outdated and not very commonly used nowadays.
There are two main categories:
- inserted dog thermometers: these are the ones we insert in a dog’s anus or ear, they have been used forever but they do stress people out and can surprise dogs
- non-touch dog thermometers: these are infrared thermometers that aren’t being inserted anywhere, you aim at the dog’s skin or ear and it records the temperature
Let’s review the different types of dog thermometers and which ones are recommended in which situations.
A rectal thermometer is the most traditional and affordable mercury thermometer. To take your dog’s temperature using the rectal thermometer, you need to be extremely careful. Do check, first, if the thermometer is suitable for dogs or pets.
The preferable approach to check your dog’s temperature using a rectal thermometer is to ask for one more person’s help so that the dog does not make sudden movements. Not all dogs are fully cooperative so here are some recommendations for your next dog temperature reading:
- Shake the thermometer well, bring it to the normal temperature of 96 degrees or less.
- Apply a layer of lubricant such as petroleum jelly to lube the tip, before you put the thermometer inside your dog’s rectum.
- Hold your dog properly and talk to make sure he does not make sudden movements, it affects the reading of the thermometer and can hurt him.
- Prefer a digital plastic thermometer over glass thermometers (if glass breaks inside your dog’s rectum, it may cause serious injuries.)
Once you are all set…
- Pull up your dog’s tail and slowly insert the tip of the thermometer inside his rectum.
- Make sure to only insert the metal-coated tip (putting more inside will harm your dog.)
- Hold the thermometer inside the rectum for 15 to 30 seconds.
- Most digital rectal thermometers available nowadays emit a beep once the reading is taken.
- And if not, you need to check the level of mercury looking at the glass tube of the thermometer
- Slowly pull out the thermometer without letting your dog move.
Clean the thermometer gently using alcohol, wipe it slowly and note the reading somewhere not to forget and to keep track. If the temperature is lower or higher than the normal dog temperature, take your dog to a veterinarian for proper assessment and treatment.
In-ear dog thermometers
In-ear thermometers are super easy to use and a lot less intrusive for dogs than rectal ones. If you find it very difficult to use a rectal thermometer (and don’t worry, most people do), you can also go for a digital in-ear pet thermometer. Often, dogs can react with aggressivity when a thermometer is inserted inside their rectum.
Some of these use infrared heat waves coming out of your dog’s eardrum to record the body temperature with very high accuracy, while others are just like rectal thermometers and use mercury.
First, straighten your dog’s external ear canal by pulling the ear upward and outward slowly. Then, gently put the thermometer inside the dog’s ear canal. Though they are easy to use, they can provide inaccurate readings if you are targeting the wrong part of the ear. Most products are delivered with clear instructions and directions. Some even have a diagram or photo explaining each step.
If you follow the proper technique to use the ear thermometer, it provides you with an accurate temperature reading in just one or two seconds. They are amazing!
With technology advancement, non-touch thermometers have become widely popular. Non-touch thermometers mean that there is nothing to insert inside the dog’s ear, mouth or rectum. Everything happens at a distance. Unlike ear thermometers, you don’t have to insert this thermometer inside the ear canal.
Instead, it operates using infrared radiations. These non-touch thermometers are easy to use, faster and very much reliable. However, they tend to be a bit more expensive; generally above the $30 mark. Non-touch thermometers are also recommended for a female dog during pregnancy and labor because they are nonintrusive and cause no anxiety or stress.
A non-touch thermometer generally comes with the following features:
- An LCD monitor to provide an easy-to-read summary
- A buzzer alarm to announce when the temperature has been taken
- A Celsius and Fahrenheit switch to change the temperature unit
- The batteries and an indicator of charge
There should be no mercury or lead so it’s risk-free for your pooch!
Stick-on thermometers for dogs
These are basically adhesive strips with a temperature ladder printed over them. They are mostly designed in a way that different temperatures show different colors, too. Stick-on thermometers for pets are never used on the animals themselves but rather in kennels, crates, and whelping boxes. They are good at giving a surface’s temperature.
Just pull out the adhesive strip from the back of the temperature strip and stick it on the dog’s house to make sure it is not too cold and not too warm. This is a must-have if your female is going to deliver a litter of puppies soon.