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Last updated: 17 Jul 2019

The Best Dog Thermometers (Review) in 2019

best choice dog thermometer

Enji Prime Digital Dog Thermometer

premium pick dog thermometer

iCare-Pet Thermometer for Dog

affordable dog thermometer

Care Touch Digital Dog Thermometer

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Dr Tracy Douglas
Published 08:53 am

It’s natural to worry if your pet is off-color. After all, he can’t tell you what’s wrong. You can only go by the symptoms he is displaying. Of course, your first port of call if you think your dog is unwell is your veterinary surgery. But in the meantime, you may want to gather evidence to give your vet as full a picture of his symptoms as possible.

One sure sign that something’s up with your canine is if his temperature is above normal and he’s running a fever. Here, we look at the five best thermometers for dogs that you can buy on the market, as well as offering some handy tips on what to look for; when and how to use a thermometer; and how to treat a fever at home until you can get to your professional’s surgery.

The Best Dog Thermometer

1

enji digital thermometer
Enji Prime Digital Dog Thermometer

This Enji digital thermometer is suitable for use both humans and pets and has been tested and approved both clinically and by the FDA. The flexible tip makes it comfortable and convenient to take an accurate reading, no matter which site is used. There is also a digital display window for easy reading and the thermometer is waterproof, meaning it is possible to fully sterilize it between uses. It also comes with probe covers and a transparent case for hygienic and safe storage whilst not in use.

Reading can easily be switched between Celsius and Fahrenheit by pushing a button; and are visible to the pet owner within 20 to 35 seconds, depending on the site used to take the measurement. There is no backlight, however. The thermometer overall is guaranteed non-toxic – avoiding mercury in its design, unlike traditional thermometers.

Accuracy: Precise to within one tenth of a degree

Speed: 20 to 35 seconds

Site: Rectal, oral and axillary

Specification:
  • Brand: Enji Prime
  • Model: TH-65
  • Weight: 1 ounces
Pros

Waterproof

Reads in oF and oC

One year warranty

Cons

Backlight

2

care touch thermometer
Care Touch Digital Dog Thermometer

This Enji digital thermometer is suitable for use both humans and pets and has been tested and approved both clinically and by the FDA. The flexible tip makes it comfortable and convenient to take an accurate reading, no matter which site is used. There is also a digital display window for easy reading and the thermometer is waterproof, meaning it is possible to fully sterilize it between uses. It also comes with probe covers and a transparent case for hygienic and safe storage whilst not in use.

Reading can easily be switched between Celsius and Fahrenheit by pushing a button; and are visible to the pet owner within 20 to 35 seconds, depending on the site used to take the measurement. There is no backlight, however. The thermometer overall is guaranteed non-toxic – avoiding mercury in its design, unlike traditional thermometers.

Accuracy: Precise to within one tenth of a degree

Speed: 20 to 35 seconds

Site: Rectal, oral and axillary

Specification:
  • Brand: Care Touch
  • Model: ET110
  • Weight: 1.6 ounces
Pros

Waterproof

Reads in oF and oC

One year warranty

Cons

Backlight

3

If you’re looking for an affordable, yet highly accurate dog thermometer, check out iProven Pet Thermometer. With a soft and flexible tip, this rectal digital thermometer is easy and pretty quick to use. It’s comfortable for the pet (even the super-wriggly ones won’t mind this thermometer much!) and gives results in about 20 seconds, which is pretty fast for a device that costs less than $15. The model is also waterproof, so easy to clean and maintain as well.

The iProven shows results either in Fahrenheit or Celsius, whichever works better for you. Because it has a simple design and comes in a hard case, the thermometer is not only easy to use, but store too. All you have to do is apply a little bit of petroleum jelly or baby oil to insert the probe more easily, and hold your pet so you can take a measurement. After you’re done using it, clean the thermometer and store it in its case – done! The only downside? Batteries do need to be changed often, but at least the product comes with batteries included.

Accuracy: +/- 0.2 degree

Speed: about 20 seconds

Site: rectal, oral and axillary

Specification:
  • Brand: iProvèn
  • Model: DT-K117A
  • Weight: 1.6 ounces
Pros

Reliable and accurate

Waterproof and easy to clean

Budget-friendly

100 day guarantee, no questions asked

Cons

Batteries need to be changed often

4

This is an infrared thermometer, meaning direct bodily contact is not necessary when taking the temperature. While it can be used for humans, it’s also suitable for pets – simply switch from Surface to Animal mode and aim around 2 inches (5cm) from your dog’s skin. The no-touch feature makes taking your pet’s temperature less stressful for them – and for you too.

The LCD display has a backlit display, so it’s easy to read in all lights. The display is also color coded, with the color changing depending on the level of the animal’s temperature: green indicates a temperature within the normal range; orange suggests a slightly elevated temperature; and red, which indicates a high fever requiring immediate attention. There’s a buzzer too, which can be switched off if you think your pet is likely to be discomfited by the noise.

Up to 99 previous readings are recorded and stored for future comparison. Readings are available in a short space of time and the unit will power down if not used for seven seconds, a good economy measure.

Accuracy: +/- 0.2oC (0.4oF) in humans; +/- 1oC (1.8oF) in object surface mode

Speed: not specified

Site: Forehead or ear in humans, area such as the dog’s outer ear in pets

Specification:
  • Brand: ANIKUV
  • Model: FT-CW-067
  • Weight: 7.2 ounces
Pros

Non-contact

Reads in oF and oC

Two year warranty

Backlight

Cons

Waterproof

5

The White Coat Fast Reading Digital Thermometer has a flexible tip for easy and comfortable use, molding itself to the area in which the temperature is being taken for a more accurate result. The thermometer will beep once temperature reading is taken, and it also stores the last reading taken so results can be compared over time. It is suitable for use in pets as well as humans (children to adults). The thermometer sounds an alarm if the temperature is above 100oF, although this might not be relevant when utilized on pets. Another point to note is that the product has no backlight.

However, this thermometer does measure both Celsius and Fahrenheit and comes with 30 bonus probe covers included in the price. There is also a hard shell case for protection whilst not in use, for travel and so on. The unit is covered by a one year warranty.

Accuracy: 98.9% accuracy

Speed: 10 – 30 seconds depending on site used

Site: oral, rectal, and axillary

Specification:
  • Brand: White Coat
  • Weight: 0.6 ounces
Pros

Flexible Tip

Reads in oF and oC

One year warranty

Cons

Backlight

6

Accurate, quick and comfortable to use, you can’t go wrong with Kamsay Thermometer. This digital device can be used for both babies and pets, as it’s perfectly safe and highly accurate. Thanks to its soft and flexible tip, it’s easy to insert too, which is especially beneficial when measuring rectally. It helps you don’t have to wait long to get the measurements – about 10 seconds is all it takes. The display is large and lighted, so you shouldnt; have any issues reading the measurements easily even in the dark. Another useful feature is dual measurement reading (both Celsius and Fahrenheit).

The Kamsay device is waterproof and should be cleaned after each use, just like any other thermometer. It can be used rectally, orally or axillary, but using it rectally is recommended as it gives the most accurate measurements. Thanks to its sturdy construction and protective case, it’s also easy to store. The only minus we could find is it doesn’t stay lit up once the reading has finalized.

Accuracy: within 0.2 Fahrenheit (0.1 Celsius)

Speed: about 10 seconds or longer

Site: rectal, oral, axillary

Specification:
  • Brand: KAMSAY
  • Model: B01CGNML9QRCM
  • Weight: 1.6 ounces
Pros

Can be used on humans and pets

Quick and comfortable to use

Waterproof for hygienic use

Affordable, 1 year warranty

Cons

Display doesn’t stay lit up for long

7

Compact, cheap and easy to use, the ADC Veterinary Thermometer is just under 5 inches long, making it perfect for travel and easy storage. The device is specifically designed for veterinary purposes, so it can be used on dogs and other pets of all sizes and ages. It comes with a dual scale range of 90°F – 111.9°F, ±.2°F, or 32.0°C – 43.9°C, ±.1°C, providing accurate and quick results. That said, it’s certainly not the fastest thermometer out there – it takes anywhere between 10 to 60 seconds to accurately measure your pup’s temperature. The good thing is that it’s fairly easy to use as it’s specifically designed for use in animals.

This model comes in a handy carry case and includes five probe sheaths for hygienic use. The coin-type battery is also included and provides up to 1,500 measurements. Of course, it’s also replaceable, so when the battery flag starts blinking, it’s time to replace it.

Accuracy: to 0.3 degrees

Speed: 10 – 60 seconds

Site: rectal

Specification:
  • Brand: ADC
  • Model: 422
  • Weight: 1.6 ounces
Pros

Affordable and easy to use

Waterproof

Comes with disposable sheaths

Cons

Takes a while to read

8

pet clinic thermometer for dogs
iCare-Pet Thermometer for Dog

While rectal temperature measurements tend to be the most accurate, if you have a pet who simply won’t let you take their temperature in that way, there’s no point in purchasing such a thermometer. Your next best bet? A non-contact thermometer such as the iCare-Pet Clinic Thermometer for Pets. This handy little device works by measuring a pet’s ear temperature in a span of a few seconds – the larger the ears, the faster the results. Besides measuring body temperature of dogs, cats, rabbits and other pets, the iCare-Pet thermometer can also take air and water temperatures too. This is thanks to the device’s Air Mode an Object Mode features which we found to be very handy, particularly if you have to test milk or water surface temperature when feeding puppies.

This model comes with 32 memories recalls, which can help you monitor your pet’s temperature and overall health better. The measuring range for pet body is 89.6-109.2 F, and for objects and air 32-140 F. On the downside, the device doesn’t provide dual range scale.

Accuracy: +/-0.4F

Speed: 1 second

Site: close to the ear canal

Specification:
  • Brand: iCare-Pet
  • Weight: 5.8 ounces
Pros

Super-quick and simple to use

One of the most comfortable thermometers for the pet

Can take water and air temperature as well

Cons

Not as highly accurate as rectal thermometers

9

Specifically designed to be used on pets and other animals, the Hurinan Animal Electronic Ehermometer is accurate and easy to use. Thanks to its small, 3-inch long probe, it’s not uncomfortable for the pet either, regardless of their size. The device is battery powered and comes with a large LCD that shows temperatures to +/- 0.2 F. Highly accurate, the device reads measurements either in Fahrenheit or Celsius and can be used both orally and rectally.

The Hurinan thermometer is easy to clean as well, as all you have to do is clean the tip with alcohol or soap after each use. While the manufacturer doesn’t specify exactly how long the device takes to measure the body temperature, most consumers agree it takes good 30-40 seconds.

Accuracy: +/- 0.2°F

Speed: 30- 40 seconds

Site: orally or rectally

Specification:
  • Brand: Hurinan
  • Weight: 5.6 ounces
Pros

Quick and simple to use

Large, easy-to-read LCD

Warranty 90 days

Cons

Takes a while to read the temperature

10

The Aurynns Pet Thermometer is veterinary approved, accurate and easy to use on a number of pets, including dogs, cats, horses, cows and other animals. With a simple, ergonomic design and small LCD, the device is easy to use even on fussy dogs and puppies as it’s comfortable both for you and the animal. It can be used either orally or rectally, and no matter which way you go, it takes about 20 seconds to record and display body temperature. Considering the affordable price, this is pretty quick!

While reliable and accurate, the model cannot switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius, which is something to keep in mind if you like to have both scale ranges on hand. There is an automatic shut-off feature though, which helps save battery life.

Accuracy: +/-0.2 F

Speed: around 20 seconds

Site: orally or rectally

Specification:
  • Brand: aurynns
  • Model: HIPCHEW100
  • Weight: 2.4 ounces
Pros

Specifically designed for pets and animals

Easy to use and clean

Reliable and accurate

Cons

May take longer to read the temperature from time to time

Best Dog Thermometer Buying Guide

There are a few aspects to bear in mind if you’re looking for the right thermometer to take your precious pet’s temperature when he’s under the weather.

  • Naturally, check the thermometer you’re thinking of buying is suitable for pets. Animals have a different ‘normal’ body temperature than humans, which we’ll go into in more detail below. Many cover both animals and humans; although for hygiene reasons, it’s suggested to have a separate unit for each species, at least!
  • Take account of your pet’s nature and choose a thermometer that will cause him as little distress as possible. This may mean using a non-touch thermometer rather than one with a probe if he’s fussy about the type of contact you have with him!
  • A waterproof design and backlit display are often popular options. The former prevents accidental damage and allows for best hygienic cleansing; the latter makes it a little easier to take a reading if you have a pet that’s struggling to get away.
  • If you’re a professional in animal welfare, you will require a higher degree of accuracy than perhaps a pet owner will. Choose your thermometer accordingly.

With those factors in mind, we’ve rounded up the pick of the products in this category on the market.

dog at vets office

What is a Normal Dog Temperature Range?

A dog’s normal temperature will fall between the range of 99.5oF (37.5oC) and 102.5oF (39.2oC). It’s important to remember that this is higher than humans’ average range, which for reference is between 97.6oF (36.4oC) and 99.6oF (37.6oC).

Any reading that you take that’s over 103oF (39.4oC) indicates that your dog has a fever. And if his body temperature is 106oF (41.1oC) or above, it’s vital to note that this could well be life threatening and emergency treatment should be sought from your vet. Excessively high temperatures can cause damage to the internal organs.

What are the Symptoms of a Dog With A Fever?

  • There is truth in the old wives’ tale that a dog with a temperature will have a dry nose. The nose will also feel warm to the touch.
  • Your dog’s ears may also feel warmer than usual.
  • He may be listless, lethargic and lacking in his usual bounce. He may also be off his food.
  • His eyes may look red-rimmed.
  • Other symptoms commonly include dehydration, excessive panting, rapid heart rate, shivering, coughing and vomiting.

Different Types of Dog Thermometers

Standard glass human thermometers are not suitable for use on dogs, because they are not built to give accurate readings of canines’ higher temperatures. They can also be dangerous, if your dog suddenly reacts adversely to the process and the thermometer snaps while inside him. There are two main types of thermometer designed for use with dogs, which you can find online or in your local pet store.

  1. Thermometers with a probe that is inserted into either the anus (rectal thermometers) or ear (auricular thermometers). These are generally considered to offer the more reliable results, but can be intrusive and cause the dog to feel stressed.
  2. Infrared thermometers that work by being placed in close proximity to your pet, for example by their skin or the ear.

Thermometers are then described as being for rectal, axillary and/ or auricular use. The rectal thermometer will usually be the cheapest and is the most traditional option. It’s wise to have a friend or family member whom the dog likes to help with the process, as he may struggle. This is not only distressing, but can affect the reading.

Axillary thermometers take a reading from the dog’s armpit. They’re a fair option for dogs that won’t allow rectal temperatures to be taken, but will not offer as precise a reading.

Auricular temperature readings are taken from the ear canal. As they use an infrared beam to measure the temperature by bouncing off the dog’s eardrum, which is a fair way down the ear, you will need to buy a thermometer specifically designed for dogs for this purpose. Ones suitable for use in humans will not have a suitably long probe. This makes them the most expensive of the three options, but many owners may prefer this to causing their dog any distress by attempting rectal measurements.

The accuracy of the temperature taken depends very much on the correct positioning of the thermometer, though, making the rectal option – though the least pleasant – still the most reliable of the three.

What Makes a Good Pet Thermometer

The common features of a good pet thermometer are as follows:

  • Taking a reading should be as fast as possible, to avoid upsetting your pet.
  • The thermometer should be easy to clean, for hygiene reasons. It must be capable of being disinfected thoroughly before each use and afterwards as well, so that viruses, germs and bacteria are not transmitted onward.
  • Accuracy, of course, is a critically important feature. This usually rules out older thermometers and makes digital thermometers the best choice. Older style, analog ones tend to offer less accurate readings, and when you’re talking about the difference between less than one degree in terms of sickness and health, results need to be as exact as possible.

Durability may also be a factor for you if you want to use the thermometer frequently, in the long term and/ or are in the canine business – a breeder or groomer, for instance.

Finally, you should take into account your own temperament and that of your pet before purchasing a thermometer and use that to inform your choice. Some dogs will absolutely not tolerate you taking a rectal temperature; some owners may be squeamish and unwilling to do it that way too! In that case, an auricular or axillary thermometer may be the better option.

Emergency Fever Reduction For Dogs: What to Do With a Fever

As noted above, if your dog’s temperature is 103oF (39.4oC) or above, it’s highly likely he has a fever. Consulting a vet as a matter of urgency is a must, but there are a few things you can do to try and bring his temperature down in the meantime:

  • Dampen a washcloth with cold water and wring it out. Use the cloth to gently wipe the pads on his paws and his ears.
  • Wrap an ice pack in a towel (so it’s neither too cold nor will burn his skin) and position it against his chest and abdomen.
  • Place a fan in the vicinity. The cool air it emits will help.

Additionally, try and ensure he keeps drinking, as far as possible – place his water bowl within easy reach if he’s not moving around much.

Related Post: Dog Bowls

Can I Use Human Medicines Such As Aspirin To Bring Down My Dog’s Temperature?

No, human medicines should never be administered to canines. In particular, aspirin and acetaminophen (analgesics such as Tylenol) are toxic in dogs.

dog with flu

Why and When Do We Need a Dog Thermometer?

As in humans, fever in dogs is usually caused by infections and inflammations. A raised temperature is a sign that your pet’s body is trying to fight off the invading germs, which cannot survive at higher temperatures. The infection or inflammation may be external, such as a bite, cut or scratch that has become infected; or internal, like a Urinary Tract Infection (a UTI). Other possible infections include:

  • An abscessed or infected tooth;
  • An infection in the ear or ears;
  • An ongoing disease, whether viral or bacterial; or
  • An infection of the organs – the lungs or kidneys, for instance.

In some cases, eating something your dog shouldn’t have ingested can also result in fevers. The types of substances that might be poisonous in dogs include:

  • Particular human foods, especially those that contain Xylitol, an artificial sweetener;
  • Human medications;
  • Toxic plants or plant-related material, indoors or outdoors – for instance, Lily of the Valley, Holly, castor beans, raisins and grapes, and tobacco; and
  • Chemicals such as antifreeze.

However, this list is not exhaustive and you should make a note of anything out of the ordinary you have caught your dog eating recently and tell your vet.

Fevers are also among the side-effects of some pet medications. Moreover, they can occur after some vaccinations, usually lasting no longer than 48 hours. However, your vet will usually advise when prescribing medicines or administering injections if fever is likely to occur as a result.

Related Post: Best Dog Pill Shooter

Sources:

  1. Fever in Dogs: Causes, Signs, and Treatment - AKC
  2. Ear Thermometer Vs. Rectal for a Dog - Daily Puppy
  3. 'Do You Have to Take My Pet’s Temperature Rectally?' - PetMD
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Dr Tracy Douglas
Dr Tracy Douglas
General Practice Veterinarian, currently working at the Glenwood Veterinary Clinic, Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Dr. Douglas began her veterinary career as a Veterinary Nurse in Highton Veterinary Clinic, Highton Victoria, and then as an Emergency Veterinarian in Uintah Pet Emergency, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Tracy is particularly interested in surgery, neurology and internal medicine, which gives her a well-rounded knowledge on animal health and well-being. She received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Melbourne, while her undergraduate bachelor of science is from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.
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