How Heavy Should My Dog Be?
When it comes to a dog's health, one of the most important questions asked is, “How much should my dog weigh?” Surprisingly, 40% of pet parents claim that they are not aware of their dog's weight or body condition score.
To learn about your pet's average dog weight, you should know when your pup is going to stop growing. Great Dane puppies, for example, grow quickly while a Shih-Tzu will quit growing sooner even in their adulthood.
The basic principle here is: the bigger the dog breed, the longer it will grow. A smaller dog breed, however, will probably quit growing around 6 months of age.
Read on to get an idea of how to check your dog's weight, how breed affects its size, and the potential health risks of an overweight dog.
- How Heavy Should My Dog Be?
- How To Check Your Dog’s Weight
- Factors That Determine Dog’s Weight
- Health Risks of Dog
- Frequently Asked Questions
How To Check Your Dog’s Weight
While dog owners need to have their pet weighed regularly at the vet, there are other methods to know whether or not your dog is overweight. To determine the right weight for your pet, you should first get a closer look at his body. Here are a couple of ways to help you know if your pet is at the ideal dog weight.
Feel Their Ribs
Use your palms to try to feel your pet's ribs. If he is underweight, the ribs will be obviously visible and will feel sharp to the touch. If your pet is overweight, you won't be able to feel his bone underneath the flesh.
Observe the Legs and Hips
Usually, obese dogs will have pads of fat between their legs. These pads will move distinctly when your dog is walking. So when you pet your pooch, observe the area around the legs and hips.
Check the Shape of Your Dog
Stand above your pet and look down. If you notice that he has an oval appearance instead of a tapered shape, it means they may need to cut a few pounds. If you can see his waist, however, then he is probably at a normal weight.
Look at the Position of the Stomach
Finally, to determine a dog's ideal body weight, take a closer look at the position of the stomach. Your pet's abdomen should sit higher than the chest.
Factors That Determine Dog’s Weight
The type of food your dog eats, bone structure, activity level, and especially his age are just some of the factors that can affect his weight.
A small breed puppy or a large breed puppy can become obese just as easily as adult dogs. A chubby puppy may seem adorable. But if a pup is overweight, that can lead to serious health problems and can significantly shorten its lifespan.
The best way to learn your dog's ideal weight is to use the same method conducted by vets. You can use a dog weight estimator or a dog weight chart by age and breed. The dog weight chart by age and breed will help you determine how big your puppy should get when it reaches adulthood.
Take note that these figures are not exact since every dog has its own individual qualities. Nevertheless, this dog weight chart is useful when you want to find out your dog's ideal weight when your puppy grows up.
Another objective method to know your dog's ideal weight is to concentrate on the Body Condition Score (BCS). The Body Condition Score is like the Body Mass Index (BMI) used by humans but is meant for pets.
According to this system, an “ideal” body condition should be a score of 4 or 5. The body condition score will help a dog owner formulate an exercise plan and a diet that best fits their pup's ideal body, lifestyle, and activity level.
Here are other factors that can help you determine your dog's ideal weight:
If you're wondering: how much does a dog weigh? Is my dog underweight? How much does a small dog weigh? Is there a German Shepherd weight chart? You should know that a dog's ideal weight varies by breed.
Not all breeds are made the same. Chihuahuas, for instance, can weigh from the tiny teacup of 3 pounds to the giant mastiff of 175 pounds. They will also not be as big or as heavy as Great Dane. Each breed varies in skeletal size, muscle mass, and coat density.
The PetCareRx has a Dog Breed Weight Chart that offers an estimation of how much a particular breed should weigh. Here's a sample of what is considered a healthy weight scale for some breeds:
- American Water Spaniel – Male: 30-45 pounds; Female: 25-40 pounds
- Australian Silky Terrier – Male/ Female: 8-11 pounds
- Boston Terrier – Male/ Female: 10-25 pounds
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – Male/ Female: 13-18 pounds
- Chinese Crested – Male/ Female: 5-12 pounds
- Curly-Coated Retriever – Male/ Female: 60-70 pounds
- Dachshund–Male/ Female: Miniature: 11 pounds and under; Standard: over 11 pounds (usually 16-32 pounds)
- Dandie Dinmont Terrier – Male/ Female: 18-24 pounds
- Finnish Spitz – Male: 47-53 lb; Female: 40-47 pounds
- Flat-Coated Retriever –Male/ Female: 60-70 pounds
- Fox Terrier (Smooth)– Male: 17-19 pounds; Female: 15-17 pounds
- Fox Terrier (Wire)– Male: 17-19 pounds; Female: 15-17 pounds
- German Shorthaired Pointer – Male: 55-70 pounds; Female: 45-60 pounds
- German Wirehaired Pointer – Male/ Female: 45-75 pounds
- Glen of Imaal Terrier – Males: about 35 pounds; Female: less
- Goldendoodle– Male/Female: Miniature: 15-30 pounds; Medium: 30-45 pounds;
Standard: 45 and over pounds
- Irish Terrier – Male: around 27 pounds; Female: around 25 pounds
- Irish Wolfhound – Male: at least 120 pounds; Female: at least 125 pounds
- Japanese Chin – Male/ Female: 4-7 pounds
- Labradoodle– (Male/ Female) Miniature: 26-40 pounds; Medium: 40-55 pounds; Standard: 55-77 pounds
- Miniature Bull Terrier– Male/ Female: 25-33 pounds
- Miniature Poodle–Male/Female: 4-8 pounds
- Soft Coated Wheaten – Male: 35-40 pounds; Female: 30-35 pounds
- Standard Schnauzer– Male: 40-45 pounds; Female: 35-40 pounds
- Tibetan Spaniel – Male/ Female: 9-15 pounds
- West Highland White Terrier– Male/ Female: 15-21 pounds
- Yorkshire Terrier – Male/ Female: Not to exceed 7 pounds
A female dog tends to weigh less and be smaller than a male dog.
The earlier a dog is neutered and spayed, the more his body will be influenced. This is because specific chemicals will no longer be found in the body. This, then, will affect the dog's bone to grow. A dog that is neutered earlier in life usually grows taller than those who are neutered later in their life.
Health Risks of Dog
Now, that we have covered the factors to unravel your ‘how much should my dog weigh?' question. We will also discuss some potential medical problems associated with obesity. Whether you have a small breed or a large breed, dog obesity can endanger your pet's health, and here are some of them.
When dogs take in more calories daily instead of burning off, that can cause added stress on bones and joints. This can lead to the joints weakening, stealing your pup's mobility.
If a human becomes obese, that can cause him breathing issues. The same goes for dogs. If larger breeds, in particular, carries around excess weight, it can make it difficult for them to breathe.
Unlike humans, dogs are not at risk for coronary artery disease. But obesity in dogs has been associated with reduced respiratory function, mild heart changes, and tracheal collapse.
Though there's no explanation yet of how obesity causes these disorders, it definitely complicates your pet's condition and makes the disease more difficult to treat .
Obesity in dogs is also associated with multiple reproductive issues like fetal growth disorders, ovulation dysfunction, infertility, and abortion too in some cases.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Should A Mixed Breed Dog Weigh?
How to tell how much a mixed breed dog should weigh is almost impossible. Although weight is better determined by how they feel and look. But, if you want to know how big a mixed-breed puppy will get, you should get a pet growth chart.
How Do I Tell If My Dog Is Overweight?
To determine if your dog is overweight or not, it's best to ask your vet for professional help. However, between visits, you can keep an eye on some signs at home. Regardless of your dog's breed, you have to feel all of its ribs without a thick layer of fats over them. Your pet's chest should also be wider than his stomach, with a visible tuck-up from the chest to its abdomen.
Generally, an overweight pet will have no variation between the chest and stomach and will have no waist. You may notice as well that your dog pants when he's walking, naps more than usual, or walks a bit slower than before. Good thing, it's simple to learn how to help your pup lose a few pounds.
What Do I Do If My Dog Is Overweight?
If you suspect your dog is overweight, you should first talk to your vet to make sure that the excess weight is not the result of an underlying medical problem. Moreover, before you reduce calories or change food, you'll also want to get your pet a checkup and discuss with your vet about the best recommendations.
You could think about switching to a weight management dog food to help him maintain and achieve a healthy weight. A dog's weight will vary depending on the season, activity, and stress levels. So do be mindful to adjust his dietary consumption to fit his own individual needs. It is recommended to feed your pet 2%-3% of its ideal body weight.
No matter what you do, you have to take action if your pet is displaying signs of being overweight. Make sure to serve him the right size of food and be ready to alter the amount if ever you opt to shift to different food.
Planning an ideal weight goal for your pooch can make a real difference in your dog's quality of life. Studies claim that dogs fed to ideal body condition are said to live 1.8 years longer. Hence, the faster you take an action, the better chances your precious pooch will be by your side for several years to come.