Your dog’s weight can be a major indicator and potential risk factor when it comes to their overall health and well-being, but if you don’t know how to weigh your dog at home, it can be difficult to know whether their weight is within a healthy range.
Though it may not be possible for dogs of all breeds and sizes, knowing how to weigh a dog at home will make it easier to track your dog’s weight and determine their baseline. Knowing your own dog’s healthy or normal weight is key to identifying weight changes and potential health issues.
Is My Dog’s Weight Healthy?
This is a question we as pet parents should be constantly asking ourselves. It’s important to check in on your dog’s weight status regularly. While gaining or losing a pound or two as a human might not be a big deal, it can dramatically affect the health of a dog.
But how do you know if your dog’s weight is healthy? While there’s no overarching dog weight chart, you can get an idea of where your dog should be based on their life stage (puppy, adult, or senior), gender, and breed. Though remember that this information is a guideline as each dog is different from the next.
If you are the proud pet parent of a rescue pup or magical mutt, this might be a bit challenging without knowing exactly what breed or even age your dog is. While we believe that every pet parent should be tracking their dog’s weight, it’s even more important in this situation to get an accurate baseline for your dog.
Monthly tracking and logging will help you see trends in your dog’s weight to better understand if they are gaining weight, losing weight, or staying around the same weight consistently.
Once you have determined your own dog’s baseline weight, you should also use the Body Condition Scoring (BCS) System to determine if that baseline weight is considered to be healthy, overweight, or underweight. If you find that your dog is overweight or underweight, be sure to make adjustments in their food intake and activity level to get them in the healthy range and reset their baseline.
How to Weigh Your Dog at Home
Though knowing your dog’s weight is very important, it’s actually quite easy to get. The breed and size of your dog will determine what methods are open to you, but no matter the size there are simple solutions available.
Puppies and Small Dogs
Puppies and small dogs have more options available for getting an accurate weight. Pet scales and baby scales provide accurate measurements for smaller weights, so if you have one of these that will be the quickest and easiest solution. You’ll simply need to place your dog on the scale until the weight measurement is locked in and available. If your dog likes to move around or squirm a bit, it is best to do this 3 times to ensure it is an accurate, consistent reading.
The weight subtraction method using a regular bathroom scale is your best bet for medium-sized dogs. This might not be as accurate as a pet or baby scale, but it is also a reasonable option for puppies and small dogs.
How to Weigh Your Dog with a Bathroom Scale:
- Pick up your dog (safely!) and stand on the scale to determine your combined weight.
- Set your dog down and weigh yourself alone.
- Subtract your individual weight (#2) from your combined weight (#1).
If your dog is too large for you to safely hold, then you’ll need to look for a pet-centric business that will allow you to weigh your dog each month for free. There are larger pet scales available on the market, but these are not cheap investments, so if you already have a pet business that you regularly frequent, you can still track your dog’s weight while saving a few bucks!
Where Can I Get My Dog Weighed for Free?
If you share your home with a larger dog, then you might be wondering what and where are these pet businesses that have scales where you can weigh your dog for free.
The first option is at your veterinarian’s office. Most veterinarians have a large pet scale in the waiting room of their practice and if you are already a client of theirs, they will likely allow you to bring your pup in for a quick weight check. You might need to find a time when they are less busy to not compete with customers waiting for appointments, but your vet should be happy (and impressed) that you’re keeping such close attention to your dog’s weight!
The next option at your dog’s groomer. Not all groomers will have a dog weight scale, but many do. If you have a dog that is already getting regularly groomed, this is a great opportunity to track and record their weight at each appointment. If you aren’t getting grooming services monthly, then kindly ask your groomer if you can pop by in between appointments for a weight check-in.
The last option is at your dog’s doggy daycare or boarding facility. Again, not all locations will have a scale, but it doesn’t hurt to ask! And if you’re a regular customer, they won’t mind seeing your pup’s adorable face a little bit more frequently.
Tracking your dog’s weight over time can help you identify key health risks quickly, which is why weight is one of the five vital signs we encourage you to monitor through Pet Health 5. This movement enables us as pet parents to be the best possible advocates for our dogs by truly understanding what’s going on with them inside and out. It empowers us to have better conversations with our veterinarians and it’s super easy! Each month we send you a reminder to record five health vitals and you log them.
Ready to join us? You can start today by weighing your dog and signing up for Pet Health 5 email reminders!
Knowing your dog’s weight is an important step towards keeping them happy and healthy. The best method for weighing your dog at home is going to depend on their size and breed and understanding if their baseline weight is healthy, overweight, or underweight is another important piece of the puzzle.
How do you weigh your dog at home? Is there another clever way that we missed?