A Guide to Weighing your Dog

Written by Lucy Marcham, Academy Trainer

According to the 2023 PDSA Paw Report,  32% of dog owners don’t know their dogs weight. Alongside this 56% aren’t aware of what their dogs ideal weight is. 

Regular weighing is key in keeping your dog healthy.  By weighing frequently  you will notice those slight losses and gains, making it easier to keep your furry friend in the best condition. 


How to weigh?

If you have a small dog (one that is able to be picked up), start by placing your own bathroom scales on the floor. Stand on them and make sure they read zero.  Pick up your pet or have someone hand them to you, this will give you the weight of your animal. 

For larger dogs that cannot be easily picked up, our stores offer a free health club service, we can keep track of your pet’s weight and offer advice on how to keep your furry friend healthy.

Remember weight is just one way of determining whether your pet is healthy. Body scoring is essential for getting an overall picture. When looking at your pet from above you should see them go in at the waist and from the side you should see a gentle upward slope of their tummy. If it hangs low and is very wobbly, it is likely your pet is overweight. 

Your dogs  ribs shouldn’t be seen (sighthounds are an exception, adults normally have last three ribs visible) however they should be felt when pressing lightly down on their sides.

If you have to dig in to feel them it is likely the pet is overweight- you should feel the ribs as if through a sheet not a duvet! 


How often should I weigh?

It is recommended to weigh your animal at least twice a month. This way you will notice any significant difference in weight and be able to increase or decrease food as necessary. Remember for overweight animals finding the perfect diet to support weight loss is important alongside those weekly weigh ins.

Alongisde the right diet, increased exercise is also essential. For some inspiration, check out our  Different Ways to Exercise blog.