Petriage Clinical Insights

IMPORTANT: This article, which is provided for educational purposes only, is based on published veterinary data and decades of work with pets and pet parents. The information provided here is not designed to be comprehensive but to help you avoid the pitfalls of online misinformation and most importantly, to frame the conversation you should have with your veterinarian. Your veterinarian’s perspective may differ from what is expressed here. Always consult with your veterinarian.

Measuring Body Temperature

It may be useful to take your pet's body temperature if you are concerned they might be sick. For dogs and cats, normal body temperature is 100-102.5 F. Contact your vet with any readings outside this range.   


  1. Before you begin, make sure you have the appropriate thermometer, lubrication and an extra set of hands if you have a large or easily-agitated pet. An extra person can hold your pet while you take the temperature. You may use a thermometer found at any pharmacy. Pet thermometers, sold online and at pet stores, are usually a bit thinner. 
  2. Generously lubricate the end of thermometer. K-Y Jelly, vegetable oil or Vaseline work well.
  3. Gently lift your pet's tail and slowly insert the thermometer 1/2 to 1 inch into the rectum. Use gradual, steady pressure and avoid sudden movements.