How Often Should I Weigh My Pet?
Pet obesity is fast becoming one of the biggest health issues for pet owners in the UK, with a shocking 81% of vets reporting an increase in overweight pets. According to a recent study by the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), it is estimated that 1 in 14 dogs in the UK are overweight, and for cats it could be as high as 1 in 3.
With that in mind, there’s never been a better time to invest in some pet weighing scales and start regularly monitoring your pet’s weight. In this blog, we’re going to cover the importance of pet weighing and how often you should be weighing you furry friends.
Why should animals be weighed?
If the statistics at the beginning weren’t enough to persuade you, let’s look at the importance of animal weighing in more depth.
Using a pet scale for weighing your animal is a great way of tracking its overall health and fitness. Fluctuations in an animal’s weight could be a sign of illness, such as cancer, worms, Cushing’s disease or digestive issues. In many cases, weight change can be the first thing we notice and so its importance cannot be understated.
Monitoring your pet’s weight also allows you to set out the correct feeding routine for your animal. By knowing what weight parameters your breed of pet should typically fall within, you can determine the amount of feed your animal receives. For more information on what weight your animal should be or how much you should be feeding it, it’s always best to speak with your vet.
How often should I weigh my dog?
Generally speaking, how often your weigh your dog depends on two main factors; age and overall health. For a dog that is fully grown and has no pre-existing health conditions, you could expect to weigh your dog once every 6 months to 1 year. Your vet will weigh you dog during any check-ups, although if you want to monitor your dog’s weight more regularly at home, say once every 3 months, that’s perfectly acceptable.
If your dog has a medical condition that causes weight loss or gain, you should be monitoring its weight on a more regular basis. How regular is completely dependent on the condition, and as always, we’d recommend talking with your vet to decide how often to weigh your pet.
If your dog is a puppy, your weighing process should be a little different. To make sure that your dog is developing at the correct rate, they should be weighed every day for the initial 2 weeks, and then every 2 - 4 weeks for the first 6 months. A puppy is expected to gain around 5 – 10% of their body weight every day from birth. If they are not, it could be a sign of health issues such as hookworms or roundworms which are transmittable from mother to puppy.
We’d recommend using a small pet weighing scale such as the MTB Portable Animal Scale for smaller breeds and puppies. A large pet scale such as the CPWplus Dog Weighing Scale is perfect for larger breeds. For small breed newborn puppies, you may need to use a bench scale such as the Inscale IWS Waterproof Bench Scale.
How often should I weigh my cat?
Similarly to weighing a dog, how often you weigh your cat should be determined by its age and health. For a healthy fully grown feline, you can expect to weigh it once every 3 months or so, although you should be aware that a pet’s weight will naturally fluctuate so it’s best not to weigh it too often.
If your cat has a pre-existing medical condition that could cause weigh gain or loss, more regular weighing can be necessary. Again, it’s always best to talk to your vet to determine how often this should be.
For newborn kittens, its best to weigh them every day to monitor their progress - you can expect them to put on around 10 grams a day. If your kitten is putting on considerably less than this, or even no weight at all, it’s best to talk to your vet as soon as possible. As they grow older, you can begin to weigh them every 2 weeks until they are fully grown.
We recommend the MTB Portable Animal Scale for weighing your cat at home. It features a hold feature which is specifically designed for accurately weighing moving subjects.
How often should I weigh my rabbit?
Just like cats and dogs, regularly monitoring the weight of you rabbit using a small pet weighing scale can give early indications as to any potential health issues. For a healthy rabbit that is fully grown, you could expect to weigh it once every 1 or 2 weeks.
Rabbits are often overweight simply because many owners do not give them the sufficient amount of exercise they need to remain fit and healthy. This combined with the common risk of overfeeding and it’s not hard to see why so many rabbits run into weight related issues.
Again, the pet scale we’d recommend using for weighing your rabbit at home is the MTB Portable Animal Scale.
For any more information on our range of pet scales, please contact us on 01908972660 or Get In Touch.