27th March 2019
Our pet’s weight can be a great indicator of their health, so it’s important that we make sure our dog or cat is weighed regularly so weight gain or loss doesn’t go amiss. By monitoring our pet’s weight, we can make sure they remain healthy, prevent problems, and combat obesity. All by getting them to hop onto the scales once a month.
Why is your pet’s weight important?
Just like us, our pet can suffer from a number of health problems if they become too heavy and this also applies if they’re on the opposite end of the scale and are losing too many pounds.
Your pet’s weight allows your vet to determine the health of your pet and provide any necessary steps to get them to their ideal combination of kilograms and pounds. Regular vet checks and weight logs can help your vet determine if your pet is gaining or losing weight as both can pose health problems for our furry friends.
Your pet’s weight and health conditions
If your dog or cat is suffering from a chronic disease it usually causes subtle weight loss that, without being weighed, can go unnoticed. This indicator can’t be ignored if your dog or cat is losing weight with no change in their diet or exercise levels. Unexplained weight loss can be a sign of:
- Kidney disease
Weight gain can be just as sneaky as weight loss and can be due to too much food or not enough exercise, or both!
However, there may be medical reasons behind your pet’s weight gain, so keeping on top of your cat or dog’s weight can help you and your vet catch things early because excessive weight gain can lead to:
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- A shorter life
Your pet’s weight and feeding requirements
The amount of food you pour into your pet’s bowl each day depends on your pet’s breed, size and weight so regularly weighing your dog or cat can make sure you’re feeding them the right amount.
You’ll be able to find a daily feeding guide on most pet foods, providing serving size measurements alongside your pet’s size, breed and weight. This will help make sure you’re not overfeeding and that your meeting your dog or cat’s nutritional needs.
How to weigh your pet
Most veterinary clinics will let you use their scales to weigh your pet for free, but if you’re unable to get there you will be able to weigh them at home, too. Don’t worry, we know it’s hard to get them to sit still while the scales process the numbers on its screen and they might jump off just as you were jotting down the last number, so we’ve got a solution for you.
If your pet is not too big for you to lift or carry then all you need to do is stand on the scales alone, make a note of your weight, then hop onto the scales with your pet. From there, you’ll want to do a quick sum and minus your weight from the figure of you and your pet and you should end up with your pet’s weight.
Otherwise, if you have a young cat or dog then you’ll want to get them used to the scales early on, so they know exactly what to do when you want them to do it.
Don’t forget, old dogs (and cats) can learn new tricks so you can get your pet used to the scales using positive reinforcement.
If you have any concerns about your pet make sure to speak to your vet. We do advise that you consult your vet before you embark on any sort of weight loss programme for your pet.