Pictured above: Marsden V-250 Large Veterinary Scale
As pet obesity becomes a bigger issue across the world, weighing your dog to monitor their health has never been more important.
But with lockdowns preventing pet owners from visiting vets to get their pet weighed, weighing your dog home has become the new normal.
We discuss the options in this blog post.
How Often Should I Weigh My Dog?
It is generally recommended to weigh your dogs once a year. However, if you are weighing your dog at home and have easy access to scales, then Dr. Matthew Rooney, suggests that you should weigh your dog every six months.
You may want to weigh your dog more frequently, in some cases. For puppies, they need to be weighed more often to ensure that they’re growing properly. Similarly, dogs with chronic illnesses may need to be weighed more frequently as well.
Speak to your vet to find out exactly how often you should be weighing your pet.
How Can I Weigh My Dog at Home?
Weighing your dog at home can be difficult. Dogs can be wiggly and there are a few different options for which weighing system to use.
The video below from PDSA, covers two of the main options using Marsden weighing scales:
Using Floor Scales to Weigh your Dog
One popular way to weigh your dog at home is by using your floor scale. This saves you needing to buy a new scale, but this method can be inaccurate and is also very difficult if you have a larger dog.
If you have a large dog, this option is not recommended as it can cause spine and back issues.
In order to weigh your dog using this method, simply weigh yourself on your floor scale. Then weigh yourself holding your dog. After you have both of these weights, you can work out a general weight for your dog by subtracting your weight from the weight of you and your dog.
This may not be as accurate as if your dog was being weighed alone on a precise veterinary scale, but this is the easiest option.
Using Kitchen Scales to Weigh your Dog
If you have a smaller dog, you may be able to weigh your dog using a kitchen or bench scale such as the Marsden B-250 pictured below. Weigh your dog by placing a bowl on the scale and use TARE function to remove the weight of the bowl before placing your dog inside. This will only work for smaller dogs who can fit on these scales.
As 100g of weight change in your dog could be important, having an accurate scale is a must. A baby scale, such as the Marsden M-410 Baby/Toddler Scale (pictured above) is another great option if you have a small dog. This is because baby scales tend to be more accurate, in order to note the smallest change in your baby’s weight.
Using Veterinary Scales to Weigh your Dog
The best way to weigh your dog is using a veterinary scale. These scales are designed for weighing dogs and have functions to make it easier.
At Marsden we have a range of vet scales to suit every breed of dog. If you are unsure of which size of scale you should choose for your breed of dog, take a look at this guide which goes into greater detail.
Our pet scales also have a number of features to improve the weighing process.
All of our vet scales have a Tare feature. That means, if you want to put down a dog bed or pillow to make it more comfortable for your pet, you can do that. Simply place it on the scale and press Tare to remove the extra weight before letting your dog get on.
Our customers praise the Hold function the most. If your pets can’t sit still, the hold function will stabilise their weight reading, even if they’re moving around on the scale.
Discover our range of vet scales.
What if My Dog Doesn’t Like Being Weighed?
The Hold function is particularly useful if your dog doesn’t like being weighed. You can use this function to stabilise weight readings if your dog is wiggling around on the scale.
You may also want to try clicker training to put them more at ease with the scale. Click and give them a reward for sniffing, putting a foot on the scale and finally standing on the scale to build positive reinforcement.
How to Check your Dog for Signs of Being Overweight
We cover this in more depth in our guide for making sure your dog is a health weight, but here are a couple of things to look out for:
Look for their rib cage. If they are at the correct weight then their ribs should not be showing when standing straight.
Rub gently over their rib cage to feel the fat. You should be able to feel the rib cage, but only slightly. If you cannot feel it at all or it’s really defined, then this is a negative sign.
Top Tips for Weighing your Dog
Always use the same scale when weighing your dog. If you use a different scale, the discrepancies between these different scales could actually mislead you in believing your pet has gained or lost a lot of weight.
Weigh your dogs on a flat surface (preferably a floor) as scales are not as accurate when used on a carpet.
Always weigh your dog at the same time of the day, preferably on an empty stomach after they’ve had a chance to go to the bathroom.
If you have a dog, it’s important to know what a healthy weight for your dog is. Knowing the healthy weight for your dog can help to minimise its risk of obesity or health complications
The easiest way to monitor your dog’s weight is by using a veterinary scale. Take a look at our buyer’s guide for dog scales to use at home.
Are you unsure about whether you’re feeding your dog the right amount of food? In this blog we discuss how much you should be feeding your dog to keep them fit and healthy.