The most accurate method is using a rectal thermometer. Lubricate the tip, gently insert it into the rectum, and wait for the reading. Normal canine temperature ranges from 100.5°F to 102.5°F.
Ear thermometers designed for dogs can be inserted into the ear canal for a quick temperature check. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for accurate results.
Point and shoot infrared thermometers can measure surface temperature. Aim at your dog's ear or paw pads, but note that these readings may not be as accurate as rectal measurements.
Check the colour of your dog's gums and tongue. Normal colour is pink, while pale or blueish tones can indicate potential issues. A healthy dog's capillary refill time is 1-2 seconds.
Pay attention to your dog's behaviour. Excessive panting, lethargy, or shivering may indicate temperature abnormalities.
Touch your dog's ears. If they feel excessively hot or cold compared to the rest of the body, it may indicate a temperature imbalance.
Dogs primarily cool themselves by panting and through their paw pads. Excessive sweating, especially in areas where dogs don't have sweat glands, can be a sign of overheating.
An increased breathing rate may be an indication of fever or other health issues. Observe your dog's breathing when at rest to establish a baseline.
Some pet-specific devices can monitor your dog's temperature continuously and provide alerts if it goes outside the normal range.