Pet owners often wonder, “How heavy should my dog be?” And with good reason. There can be many health issues if your dog is too thin or too fat, so knowing how heavy your dog should be can help you make sure they stay as healthy as possible through proper diet and exercise. There are going to be times when you look at your dog and you just don’t know if they’re supposed to be that chubby or if they look a little thinner than normal, and that’s okay! You won’t always be able to immediately tell if your dog is losing or gaining weight, as it will usually happen gradually. You will notice if there is a sudden weight gain or loss though, and that can be a sign something is wrong.
Why Knowing How Heavy Your Dog Should Be is Important
Figuring out how heavy your dog should be is important because not every dog is the same. Different dogs have different target weights in the same way humans do. A tall person and a short person may have the same body type and look the same all around, but a tall person is going to weigh a lot more than a short person for them to be healthy. The same applies to dog breeds. Different breeds have different needs when it comes to their weight. Some dogs are small, but very dense while other dogs are tall and lanky, but weigh the same as the small dense dog. Neither of these dogs is overweight or underweight; they simply have different weight needs and metabolisms for their breed.
When you know your dog’s weight, you can figure out if they are overweight or underweight, or if they’re right where they need to be. This also allows you to keep track of any rapid weight loss or weight gain much easier because you know how much your dog is supposed to weigh. This allows you to help the vet as best you can to make sure your dog gets proper treatment for any issues causing their weight to fluctuate.
How to Calculate How Heavy Your Dog Should Be
Figuring out how heavy your dog is supposed to be can be a simple process if you have a calculator or scratch paper and a scale to weigh your dog. All you need to do is a little bit of math and you can have your dog’s target weight in a minute or two.
Finding Their Body Condition Score
Finding your dog’s Body Condition Score (or BCS) is the equivalent of finding your own BMI. The BCS is determined by a 9-point scale where you feel your pet’s body and look at certain areas of them to evaluate their weight based on their physical condition. You can use this Body Condition Score chart from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention to find your dog’s BCS. The ideal BCS is a 4-5 on the scale.
Calculating Your Dog’s Target Weight
Once you know your dog’s BCS, you can use a little bit of math to find their target weight, or how much your dog should weigh.
Step #1. Take your dog’s starting BCS and subtract 5 from it.
Step #2. Multiply that number by 10.
Step #3. Add 100 to that number.
Step #4. Divide 100 by the resulting number from Step #3 and round to three digits. For example, 100 divided by 130 equals 0.769.
Step #5. Multiply your number by your dog’s current weight to get your dog’s target weight. For example, using Step #4, if your dog weighed 35 pounds, you would multiply 0.769 by 35 to get a target weight of 26.9 pounds. In this example, it would mean your dog was several pounds overweight.
Being able to answer the question, “How heavy should my dog be?” will allow you to help keep your dog healthy while providing you with a baseline weight to monitor your dog from in case you ever notice a sudden weight change.