It's important to know my dogs' weight. Their weight drives how much I feed them. My mistake is that I haven't been weighing my dogs regularly, which is now going to change.
The most obvious thing to do when you want to get your dog's current weight is to stop by the vet's office. But when you have my four dogs, it's not that easy. My dogs get over excited when I take them for a drive because they think they're going someplace fun. It's a stressful disappointment when we wind up at the vet's office and only one dog can exit the car at a time while the others wait and wait.
It would be much easier to take two dogs at a time, but this weekend I was short on time because I wanted to jump start this weight loss series, so I weighed the dogs myself and that was fun. As in, it wasn't fun at all. But I got it done.
Choosing the Right Scale to Weigh My Dogs
Keeping on top of my dogs' weight starts by having access to a scale and I decided that it would be easier to have a pet scale at home. I picked up a larger, mechanical floor scale this weekend. It was inexpensive, sturdy, and easy for me to read.
I thought I could get each dog to sit on the scale, I was wrong.
Shopping for Scales for Dogs Online
I did consider buying a pet scale but quickly crossed that option off the list. I thought the larger pet scales were thousands of dollars and took up a lot of space. But after Saturday's drama, I decided to take a second look and was surprised to find several affordable scales for dogs. I finally settled on a well-reviewed, $100 pet scale.
How I Weighed My Dogs “Accurately”
I first weighed myself (I lost weight!!!). Then picked up Rodrigo to get our combined weight. The plan was to subtract my weight from our combined weight to come up with Rodrigo's weight.
Then picked up Rodrigo (bend at the knees) to get our combined weight. The plan was to subtract my weight from our combined weight to come up with Rodrigo's weight.
The plan was to subtract my weight from our combined weight to come up with Rodrigo's weight. But I couldn't see the scale when I was holding Rodrigo. I set up a larger mirror at a slight angle and then weighed Rodrigo again. Bingo. I'm brilliant!
I followed these steps with each dog and now have their starting weights. My back wasn't happy for 48 hours so next time I'll ask for help.
- Rodrigo (Border Collie /Great Pyrenees) = 65 pounds = Ideal Dog
- Sydney (Great Pyrenees / Italian Greyhound) = 75 pounds = Overweight Dog
- Scout (Mutt) = 80 pounds = Ideal Dog
- Zoey (Mutt) = 65 pounds = Overweight Dog
The boys, Rodrigo and Scout, are at a healthy weight. You can't see their ribs and spine (which I think would be too skinny for them) but you can feel them. When standing above them, you can see a waist. Sydney and Zoey, on the other hand, are overweight and I'm thankful that I'm taking steps to help them trim down.
Dog Body Condition Chart
There are lots of body condition scoring charts online. Charts with images resonate with me and I know that I'm looking to be able to feel my dogs ribs without having to search for them as I push through the fat. If I can see the ribs, then my dog is thin, but not necessarily too thin; that really depends on the dog and the breed.
Last week, I took pictures of each dog, standing above them while they ate (when they were still) and I'm happy to be able to see a waist on each dog. These images gave me a starting point and now I know what to look for as we proceed. Sydney is more than halfway there; Zoey is just starting.
Sydney is more than halfway to her goal weight; Zoey is just starting.
- Sydney = Current Weight 75 pounds; Goal Weight 69 pounds (6 pounds)
- Zoey = Current Weight 65 pounds; Goal Weight 59 pounds (6 pounds)
Sydney has already lost 10 pounds (she was 85 pounds) and her vet thought she should be at 69-70 pounds. Zoey, I think, would be healthier at 55-60 pounds.
What I Learned
I learned that my dogs aren't as fat as I feared. Sydney and Zoey are overweight, but they're not obese. And although it's possible, I don't suggest picking up dogs that weigh between 65-75 pounds. By the way, J picked up Scout – he was far too heavy for me.