Weighing your dog is important for a whole host of reasons. Knowing their magic number, the weight they are supposed to be for their breed and age, means you can keep an eye on their health and its essential for knowing how much food to give them and how many dog worming tablets to administer.
Just like us, a dog’s weight changes as they grow older and according to their activity levels, so it’s no use weighing them once every few years. We recommend you check their weight every three months, especially if you’re not comfortable noticing changes in their physique by sight.
Short-haired dogs make it easier to see any weight gain or loss, whereas the hair on long haired breeds can hide changes until they become drastic. Take a look at your dog from above, you should be able to see a waistline above it’s hips, as their sides curve in slightly. Any change to this shape is a good indicator they may be having too much food or too may treats.
Different dog breeds have guidelines as to the ideal weight ranges they should be, to be healthy. If your dog is a crossbreed, take an average from both breeds to find the range your dog should fit in to.
There are some things you need to do before weighing your dog at home, to ensure you get accurate results.
- Make sure to weigh your dog wearing the same collar each time
- Give them a chance to go for a wee or more before weigh in
- Make sure their stomach is empty from a meal or water intake
- Weigh them at the same time of day
- Make sure their fur is completely dry
You may be looking at your bathroom scales and at your sizeable Labrador and wondering how exactly you get them to stand on something so small. There is an easier way, but you’ll need some strength if you own a larger dog.
Firstly, weigh yourself on your bathroom scales on a flat surface, and note down your weight - don’t worry, no one but you and the dog needs to know this. Next, pick your dog up and step back on the scales holding them and make a note of that number. if it’s difficult to see because of the dog, get someone else to help you here by telling you the number. Put your, now probably confused and excited dog, back on the floor and subtract your weight - the first number, from the second number - both you and your dog. The final number is your dog’s weight.
Whilst your dog’s health is important, yours is too, so we don’t recommend attempting this if you have a 45kg Doberman or Great Dane tipping the scales, your back may not forgive you. In these instances, you should use the large walk on scales at your Vets or sometimes found in national pet shop chains. Get your dog used to these from a young age by reward based training, many dogs who are anxious at the Vets pick up on this nervous energy from their owners, so make it a fun game to stand on the scales and receive a treat, and it will be a pleasant experience for both you and your dog whenever you need to know their weight.