1.2 - Dog Conditions

How Heavy Should My Dog Be? How To Find Your Dog’s Ideal Weight

‘How heavy should my dog be?’ is a question that worries many dog parents. Let’s find out how to check and monitor your dog’s ideal body weight.

How Heavy Should My Dog Be?

As we know, dogs come in all different shapes and sizes! This makes it particularly tricky for dog owners to figure out exactly how much their precious pooches should weigh. Unfortunately, due to the rise in obesity-linked health problems, knowing your dog’s ideal body weight is now more important than ever.

The appropriate weight for a dog can vary depending on several factors, such as their breed, age, sex, and overall health. Two dogs of the same height and size can weigh vastly different amounts due to their physical variations in body shape.

The best way to determine if your dog is at a healthy weight is by checking their body condition score (BCS). BCS is a visual assessment of your dog’s overall body shape and condition.

It is also important to discuss the appropriate weight range for your dog with your veterinarian. Most veterinarians will weigh your dog at every appointment, to monitor for weight gain or loss.

How Do You Know If Your Dog Is Underweight Or Overweight?

If you are unsure about your dog’s ideal body weight, there are three quick assessments you can make to check if your dog is underweight or overweight:


When you run your hands along your dog’s ribcage, you should be able to feel their ribs without having to press too hard. If you have to apply significant pressure to feel the ribs, your dog may be overweight. If you can see your dog’s ribs protruding sharply, your dog may be underweight.


When viewed from above, your dog’s waistline should taper in slightly behind the ribcage. If the waistline is wider than the ribcage, your dog may be overweight.

Energy Levels

If your dog is at their ideal body weight, they should have plenty of energy for exercise and playtime. If your dog seems lethargic or has trouble keeping up with you on walks, they may be overweight.

How To Carry Out A Body Condition Score (BCS) Assessment On Your Dog

Using a body condition score chart is the best way to monitor your dog’s body weight. This assessment should be carried out at regular intervals, enabling you to quickly spot any weight loss or gain and adjust your dog’s diet and exercise regimen accordingly.

A body condition score is a numerical rating system used to evaluate a dog’s body weight based on physical appearance and palpable fat. The scale assesses various body parts, comparing them against a visual chart with a score assigned according to your assessment of your dog.

An average BCS of 4 to 5 indicates that your dog is an ideal weight. Below this means your dog is underweight, and scores of 6 or above indicate that your dog is overweight or obese.

If you were wondering ‘how heavy should my dog be?’, there’s your answer!

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