Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, which leaves some owners wondering, “Just how heavy should my dog be?” The answer can vary quite a bit. While the average Yorkshire Terrier may never reach 10 pounds, a full-grown Great Dane can reach well over 100 pounds! In this guide, we’ll walk you through some easy ways to gauge your dog’s weight based on visual and physical cues. Let’s take a look.
Why Does Weight Matter?
It can certainly be tempting to indulge your furry friend in piles of treats, but too many calories can lead to weight gain. A 14-year landmark study by Purina found that dogs fed to ideal body condition gained 1.8 years of life on average when compared to overweight littermates. So if you want your dog to live a full and healthy life, maintaining a well-balanced diet with plenty of dog-friendly activity is key!
How Heavy Should My Dog Be?
So, how do you know if your dog is at the right weight? Let’s walk through some easy ways to assess your dog’s weight at home:
- Underweight: A dog with too little body fat will have a pronounced pelvis and backbone, even when observed from a distance, along with an unnaturally narrow waistline. When you pet your dog, you’ll notice a lack of fat and muscle tone.
- Overweight: A dog with too much body fat will have a larger stomach that appears bloated or even hanging. When you pet your dog, you won’t be able to feel the ribs without pressing firmly.
- Ideal Weight: A dog with ideal body weight will have a distinctive waist and tucked abdomen, but without a bony appearance. When you pet your dog, you can easily feel the ribs, but you can’t see them.
However, keep in mind that every breed is different. It’s a good idea to talk to your vet at your dog’s next vet visit about how to care for your dog. An Italian Greyhound may be perfectly healthy at 10 pounds with low body fat, while a small Pomeranian might be overweight at the same number.
Learn More From Rescue Vets
Now that you can answer the question of how much your dog should weigh, feel free to reach out to us at The Rescue Vets for extra tips and tricks about dog care. And if you’re looking for a furry friend to add to your household, be sure to contact us for more information!