Your Dog’s Weight and their Health Your Dog’s Weight and their Health

Posted by Emma Oldroyd, on

Your Dog’s Weight and their Health

When it comes to your dog’s weight, it can be a great indicator to their overall health at every life stage, that’s why it’s important to keep up with regular wight checks as they grow and age. Here at Pets & Friends, we know that sometimes it can be a little tricky getting your dog to cooperate with weigh-ins at home, so we’ve popped together a quick guide to weighing your dog and why it’s so important for them to weigh-in regularly.

Why Weigh In?

Monitoring your dog’s weight not only ensures that they stay at a healthy recommended weight for their age and breed, but it can help detect early signs of illness. Some chronic diseases can be spotted through their weight loss or gain.

Unexplained Weight Loss

Unexplained weight loss can be a sign of the following diseases:

  • Parasites
  • Kidney disease
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer

Unexplained Weight Gain

Excessive weight gain can lead to the following diseases:

  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Cancer
  • Shorter life expectancy

How to Check if Your Dog is a Healthy Shape before Weighing

Establishing if your dog is overweight or underweight before heading to the scales is a quick process which you can do at home.

Take a good look and feel of your dog’s body and if they are an ideal weight, you should be able to do the following:

  • See their waist, from the side and from above
  • Feel your dog’s ribs when running your hands over their side
  • Feel their spine and hipbones (but they shouldn’t be sticking out)
  • Feel your dog’s tummy go in, not bulge out
  • Touch the base of your dog’s tail, and there shouldn’t be a build-up of fat

Signs of your dog being underweight can be:

  • A very tucked in waist
  • They’re visibly bony (you can see their hips, ribs, backbone)
  • A lack of muscle (they look lean)
  • None, or very little body fat

Signs of your dog being overweight can be:

  • They have no visible waist (from the side or above)
  • You can only feel their ribs if you apply pressure (if not at all, they may be excessively overweight)
  • There may be fat pockets around their neck, shoulders, hips and base of their tail

How to Weigh Your Dog

We would always recommend weighing your dog using the correct scales. If you can, pop down to your local pet store and use their weight checking services (Pets & Friends scales are free to use, with no appointment needed!) as the scales will be big enough for all breeds, and if your dog can get nervous, you can make an event of the process!

If you’re concerned about your dog’s unexpected rapid weight change, we recommend making an appointment with your local vet as soon as possible.

If you can’t get to your nearest set of dog-appropriate scales, weighing your dog at home is another option using either your home digital scales (digital scales are the most accurate).  

Using your home digital scales, follow these steps to find out your dog’s weight:

  1. Weigh yourself on your digital scales and make a note of this as your ‘first weight’
  2. Then pick up your dog so they are fully supported in your arms
  3. Step back on your digital scales with your dog and make a note of this as your ‘second weight’
  4. Subtract your first weight from your second weight to find out the weight of your dog

We’re here to help you take the best care of your pet, so if you have any questions or queries about weighing your dog you can speak to our in-store pet experts or ask our Pets Chat team directly on the website.