Ensuring your dog's optimal weight and size is crucial for their overall health. The UK Pet Food Association has developed a comprehensive chart that can assist you in determining if your dog is in the ideal weight range and offers valuable insights on weight management.
As a responsible pet owner, it's essential to monitor your dog's weight on a regular basis. Consider using the downloadable Dog Size-O-Meter chart for reference. You can access and print a PDF copy by clicking on the image below:
How to Measure Dog Weight & Size
Use this method to assess your dog's weight and size to compare with the size chart above.
- Stand behind your dog. Place both of your thumbs on either side of its backbone. Spread both hands across its rib cage. The ribs should be easy to feel under the coat without excessive fat covering (like pens in a soft pencil case).
- Look at your dog from the side and from above, can you see their waist?
- Feel your dog’s belly. Run your hand underneath from the end of the chest along the belly. It should follow an upwards curve and not droop downwards. This is known as the abdominal tuck.
Certain breeds have distinct body shapes. For instance, Whippets and Greyhounds naturally have slender builds, while Staffordshire Bull Terriers are more robust. Breeds like the Bichon Frisé have fluffy coats, which can make assessments trickier.
Maintaining Optimal Weight
Once you've determined that your dog is at a healthy weight, it's vital to keep monitoring. If you notice any weight gain, evaluate their diet and exercise routine. Ensure no one is overfeeding them.
Life events and seasonal changes can impact your dog's weight. For example, during festive seasons, there might be a tendency to overindulge. It's essential to remain vigilant and strive for consistency in your dog's routine during such times.
Remember, a healthy weight contributes significantly to your dog's overall well-being and longevity. If ever in doubt, always consult with a veterinarian.
You can find a range of additional resources and tools for weight management on the UK Pet Food association website.