The importance of weighing your dog regularly is something that simply cannot be overstated. If you have a small or medium sized dog, weighing your dog at home is simplicity itself. That said, it’s not so simple if you have a large dog. If your local vet cares about your dog, and values your business, any practice should be willing to weigh your dog for you. Some pet superstores even have a pet weighing facility. Either way, you really should considering weighing your dog on a regular basis.
Why you should regularly weigh your dog
Why should you regularly weigh your dog? Because regularly weighing your best friend has a number of advantages. It’s one of the best ways of knowing that you’re feeding just the right amount of food. Remember, the amount you feed your dog is not set in stone. It won’t always remain the same. A puppy needs more food than an adult dog. An adult dog needs more food than a senior dog. And a senior dog will gain unnecessary and unhealthy weight unless the amount of his or her food is reduced when he or she becomes less active later in life. So the amount you need to feed your dog will vary greatly according to his or her lifestage.
And the other reason you should regularly weigh your dog is because it’s one of the best indicators of his or her health. If he or she starts to gain weight, this can result in obesity which can lead to all manner of other health issues such as diabetes and arthritis and joint problems.
And if he or she starts to lose weight, that in itself could be an indicator that all is not well with your best friend. That perhaps you should be seeking the help of your vet in order to discover why. To ensure that he or she is not suffering from liver disease or chronic kidney disease, either of which could be responsible for canine weight loss.
So just what are the options for weighing your dog at home?
If you have a toy breed, then you may well find weighing your dog at home easiest with your kitchen scales. We use tempered glass platform digital kitchen scales which have a maximum capacity of 15kg. These are ideal for many toy and small breeds of dog. Just pop he or she on the scales, offer a treat and you should have no problem.
To make sure your best friend can’t fall and cause him or herself any damage, you might be best doing this on the floor. Any flat and level surface will do. And this way you can teach your little dog to walk onto the scales rather than have to be picked up and lifted on. With the right encouragement, the right treat, you’ll soon find your dog looks forward to this little exercise. You’ll find it becomes a fun little game and something your best friend will actually look forward to!
If your dog is too heavy for your kitchen scales, what about your bathroom scales? Providing you can lift your dog, you can weigh your dog this way. How? Easy. Simply weigh yourself first and note down your weight. Then pick up and hold your dog as you weigh the two of you together and then note down that weight. Subtract your weight from your combined weight and there you have it. You now know how much your dog weighs!
Because I have two large dogs, neither of the above is an option. The solution? Your very own dog scales. The scales I use for my dogs, who weigh in at 47kg and 35kg, cost in the region of £70. You can find cheaper scales perhaps, and you can certainly find more expensive ones. But these are ideal. They’re robust enough to weigh a dog weighing up to 100kg, and light enough and compact enough to slide under a bed out of the way until the next time they’re needed. (I weigh my dogs at least once a month. I recommend you do the same!).
My dogs absolutely love being weighed. It’s fun. It’s a game. And there’s always a race to see who can get on the scales first. That’s because I made it fun for them. I turned it into a game. I originally encouraged them onto the scales by dangling a treat in front of them and teasing them on with the treat until they had all four paws on the scales. Now it’s just a game and they don’t need any encouragement at all. They get fussed and stroked when they’re standing on the scales and a treat when they get off the scales. If you’re a dog, what’s not to like?
Many pet stores today offer a free dog weighing service. Certainly the larger ones do.
Most vets offer a free dog weighing service. Or at least, they should. Taking your dog to the vet to get weighed is a good way to get he or she used to both the practice and the staff. And taking your dog to be weighed on a casual basis should hopefully make it easier if he or she ever has to visit the vet for a more stressful visit.
I think everyone should weigh their dog regularly. Ideally, once a month. And even if you have to buy vet-type dog scales like mine, the cost pales into insignificance with the cost of a serious canine health problem. Now you don’t need to be a canine nutritionist to work that one out!
Don’t look at the purchase of scales for your dog as an expense. Look upon them as an investment. And, let’s face it, what is the cost of £70 over the lifetime of your best friend?
Do the right thing. Invest in a set of scales and start weighing your dog at home. Trust me, after buying your dog, it will be one of the best investments you’re ever likely to make!
Oh, and by the way. Remember me mentioning that one of my dogs weighs in at an impressive 47kg? That’s him pictured above when he was just a few days old. And here’s Marco now. Boy has he changed in just a few short years!