How Much Should My Pet Weigh?

October 9 is National Pet Obesity Awareness Day which is why we wanted to talk about weight and your pets. The question about how much should my pet weigh seems to be asked quite a bit during wellness exams, so we thought best to address the answer here. 

Determining an ideal weight goal can make a real difference in how long your pet lives. How much your dog should weigh depends on several factors, for example breed, sex, height and general stature.

The correct weight for your pet, is what they weigh when they have a perfect body condition score. First, you should be able to easily feel – and count – your dog’s ribs when you lightly run your fingers across the side.

Next, when you look down on your pet from above, you should see an hourglass figure or an indentation near the midsection. If your pet looks like a blimp from above, it’s probably overweight or has obesity.

Finally, when you observe your pet from the side as it stands, you should see a slight tuck or upward slope of the tummy. If the abdomen hangs low and drags near the ground, that indicates the most dangerous and biologically active form of fat, abdominal fat, is present.

As a pet owner, you need to understand your pet’s weight is one of the most influential factors of longevity, quality of life, and disease prevention. To answer this question, your veterinarian will likely conduct a couple of measurements, determine a Body Condition Score (BCS - see above charts), and determine your pet's current weight status.

Your pet’s weight should be covered at every exam. The few minutes you spend on diet and weight could be the difference between two additional years of high-quality life or a shortened, suffering final stage of life.