Weighing a dog is often an overlooked task. Think about it for a second – you are supposed to take your little one to a vet at least twice a year for checkups. Most vets will also weigh their “patients,” only to ensure they develop correctly, and they do not go too skinny or obese.
With all these, there are situations when you need to weigh the dog yourself. The vet may ask you to keep an eye on it if it goes on a new diet. You may also want to monitor your dog’s evolution if it needs to gain or lose weight. Going to a vet every few months for a checkup will cost you a fortune. So, what is your dog’s weight, and what are the best ways to make sure your friend will not cause you too much trouble?
How Often You Should Weigh Your Dog
Generally speaking, a dog should be considered once a year, but doing it twice a year will help you identify potential problems in an early stage – the faster, the better. This rule applies to a healthy adult dog with no medical conditions.
If you have a puppy, things change. You will need to monitor it to ensure it develops appropriately. According to Pet MD, pets grow extremely fast. During their first six months, puppies require regular checkups every month.
Certain circumstances also require weighing your dog more often. Age is an essential factor, but chronic conditions must be considered too. Some of these conditions can affect appetite. Depending on the affection, the vet will make appropriate recommendations in this manner.
Visiting the vet too often for a checkup would not necessarily be a financial burden, as weighing a dog is usually free of charge. However, it can be stressful for some pets. Therefore, doing it yourself at home can be a great idea. Make sure you keep in touch with the vet and go there if you see any significant changes.
Now, how do you weigh your dog at home?
How To Weigh Your Dog At Home
In an ideal case, your dog will step on the scale and sit there for a few seconds. Not all dogs will do that, except for those that are adequately trained. How do you do it then?
There are a few simple ways to weigh a puppy. You need a scale and a bit of attention to your little friend. Here are the steps.
- Check the scale. Make sure it displays zero before stepping on it.
- Grab your puppy and keep it tightly – it might move around, so make sure you do not drop it, as you can hurt it. Hold it with both arms and talk to it if it does not like it.
- Step onto the scale and give it a few seconds to get the weight. Check the number and write it down.
- Give your puppy a treat for being kind and not attempting to jump.
- Step into the scale again – this time by yourself. Make sure the puppy is not accidentally stepping on it too.
- Get the weight and write it down again.
- Subtract your weight from the initial measurement. This way, you will figure out how much your puppy weighs.
- For instance, if the initial measurement shows 180 pounds and your weight is 165 pounds, your dog weighs 180-165, resulting in 15 pounds.
- You should have a chart with the ideal weight for your dog based on age – compare its weight to the right weight.
Now, what happens if you have a large dog? If you can lift heavy objects, you can do it the same way. Otherwise, you might need to improvise.
Weighing Large Dogs
To weigh a large dog, you will need a proper scale, as well as a platform to cover the entire scale – you could use a large container too.
- Place the container on the scale. It must be evenly placed. The box should have a hole in it like a walk in the door for your dog. You can also create a platform yourself, whether you have some plywood or plastic around.
- Get the dog onto the platform or inside the container, then have it sit steadily for a few seconds. You could show it a treat and have it wait for it. After a few seconds, your dog will most likely move impatiently.
- Once the weight is recorded, write it down and give your dog the treat for being right.
- Get the weight of the platform or container alone, then do the math.
There are a few other ideas and options to weigh your furry friend. They may not be your best options, but they make excellent alternatives if you do not have a scale.
- Get your dog to a long-distance bus station. They usually have large scales for luggage. You might need to ask a counter employee for permission. Get them a coffee too. Your dog should be on a leash, but these scales are usually massive, so there should be no problems.
- Veterinarians have large scales for all breeds, too, so a random visit to your vet may also help. Plus, you will get some recommendations regarding the ideal weight. You can find such charts online, but a vet is a better option if you have a mixed breed.
As a short conclusion, you do not need to be an expert to learn how to weigh your dog. It is all about using your head and being ingenious. Some options work better than others. Plus, your dog may have different moods. When excited, weighing it will be quite challenging. Therefore, wait for when it calms down before attempting to do it.
Doing it at home will save your dog from stress. Make sure you do it properly and notice your vet if you can see any abnormal changes.