Temperature in Small Animals: Cats’ normal rectal temperatures range around 38-39 degrees celsius and dogs’ 37.5-39.5 degrees celsius. A temperature outside of the normal range can indicate heatstroke or fever (higher than normal) or serious circulatory issues or hypothermia (lower than normal).

The best way to know how to take your pet’s temperature is to ask your vet to show you how to take it. No-one wants to go fishing a thermometer from their pet’s bottom!

Knowing how to do this is especially important in our hot and humid climate. Especially for owners of short-nosed (Brachycephalic) breeds of dogs and cats that are prone to heat stress. If you suspect your pet may be suffering from heat stress, use cool but not cold water to wet them down. Get them seen by the vet ASAP – heatstroke is an emergency. By the same token, if your pet is colder than normal, weak or lethargic, they also need to be seen ASAP.