Something that a lot of people forget when they take care of pets is that their normal body temperature is higher than that of humans. It might be a good idea to take your pet's temperature when it is healthy so you can get used to what is normal.
Taking a temperature when the pet is not sick will also allow the pet to get a little used to it when you are not under stress and can handle the pet better. You can both get used to temperature taking ahead of a need for it.
They have made nifty new temperature devices for people lately. There is an instant read thermometer and one that works across your forehead. There is another that works with a probe in the ear. I have not seen many of these sorts of improvements for pets yet, but if we ask the manufacturers, I am sure they will oblige. There are a lot of pet owners.
It bothers me a lot sticking a piece of glass in my cat's rear end to take his temperature.
I stopped to see what they have out there in the way of pet thermometers. Whooie! They have improved it a lot. There is a dog thermometer on eBay that uses infrared to take the temp in one second without contact. That is pretty good. The price is a bit breathtaking, but I think it would be worth it. Here is the link to it:
There is another one that takes longer, but it is much cheaper:
It is possible for people to learn to tell accurately, an above normal temperature by touch. This takes some time to do and you will really have to work at it. You may not be able to learn how much above normal your pet's temperature is, so you would need to resort to a thermometer anyway at times. I don't think it is worth the effort for me.
I found another nifty thermometer for pets. It is an ear thermometer and reads in one second. It costs $87.00 USA. If you can stand that kind of sticker shock, here is the link: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Pet-Temp-Ear-Thermometer-for-Pets-pet-body-temperature-accurate-easy-read-/200881927432?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2ec57ef508
Besides the first one, a non-contact infrared one, I like the following the best. It is the fastest readout and does it in 20 seconds. I think I might get out of that one without bloodshed.
How you do the temp matters a lot. I always have treats ready when I give any medical treatment to my pet. I usually show the treats to the pet before I start, to get them thinking about the treat. The one that bites when you use a thermometer on him, gets so busy thinking about getting a treat, that he will even sit on the rug I use to do his treatments and wait for me. I think I can get the 20 second one in and out before he is distracted from the treats.
I have to decide whether the extra money is worth no fight at all for the non-contact one or not. The other favorite is the 20 second one, of course.
We and our pets are all different, so you have to make up your own mind which one will be best for you. There are sure to be others out there as well. You may find something even better than the ones in the links.
Once I get a new non-glass thermometer, I will share what kind of results I get.