What is the Average Dog Weight?

Identifying the ideal weight for a dog is not as simple as the internet makes it out to be. If you look up ‘what is the healthy weight for a dog?’ online, you will come across a plethora of websites offering you ideal weight ranges for dogs. But most of those figures don’t take into account a dog’s age, sex, health conditions, which play a significant part in determining a dog’s weight. Also, almost all the dog weight tables you find on the internet give a wide range as the ideal weight for any dog. And that can be pretty confusing for a dog owner. For instance, on the website of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, you will find that a Labrador’s weight should lie within 65 to 80 pounds. That’s a pretty large bracket with a difference of 23 %. Such vague figures will not suffice if you are looking for an accurate figure.

With that said, you cannot get an accurate universal weight number for a dog. Since dogs come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and breeds with varying healthy levels, nobody can identify the perfect weight for dogs. If you want to find out if your fluffy friend is healthy and their weight is ideal, you need to take into account all the attributes of their physical being. That is, look at their fitness level, age, sex, breed, bone health, etc. and then evaluate their health.

Body Scoring System

Body-weight is not just a numerical measure to determine how fat or thin a dog is. It’s an umbrella term that includes a lot of things. From bone strength to muscle mass, a dog’s body weight encompasses everything. Therefore, to measure a dog’s health, vets use a comprehensive weighing system that involves a lot more than just a scale. And that system is known as a body scoring system.

Just like humans use the system of Body Mass Index, vets use the body scoring system for animals and pets to measure their health level. Body scoring system is a visual, hands-on assessment of body fat and lean mass in a dog that determines if a dog is healthy or not.

A healthy body condition score (BCS) means that a dog is neither overweight nor skinny. BCS adds a lot of context and value to the weight of a canine. If you look at the weight of your dog, then you might worry if your pet is overweight or underweight. But if you look at your dog’s weight along with its BCS, you will get a much clearer idea of your pet’s health. With that said, a dog’s BCS can also indicate if the dog is obese or emaciated.

How can BCS determine if a Dog is over or underweight?

A dog’s BCS is measured based on four bodily factors.

  • How the dog’s rib felt during the check-up
  • How wide is the dog’s waist
  • How much fat is present beneath the dog’s skin
  • How much lean mass does the dog have

For a dog to have a healthy body condition score, its ribs must be easy-to-feel, but they must not be overtly visible. It must have a defined waist that’s not wrapped in excess skin flab. A defined waist or ‘abdominal tuck’ should be easily visible from the top and sides, respectively.

An overweight dog will have saggy skin and a loose stomach. You cannot easily feel the ribs on an obese dog, and its back is flat and broad, which indicates a lack of skeletal definition. On an underweight dog, you can easily see the bones. Its ribs, spine, and waist are visible from all angles, and if you hold such a dog, you can feel its bones protruding through the skin.

Most vets use a nine-point system to assign a body condition score to a dog. An ideal BCS in the nine score system is four or five, as that indicates a moderate body fat percentage.

How can a Dog Owner measure their pet’s Body Condition Score?

Pet owners can assess whether their dog is obese or not at home, even if they don’t have a scoring chart with them. You can either ask your vet to provide you with a BCS chart so that you can accurately determine your dog’s BCS, or evaluate your pet’s weight without using numbers.

  • Press your hands gently into your dog’s chest. You should be able to feel all of your friend’s ribs without having to press too hard. But must not feel the ribs too easily because if that happens then, the chances are your dog is underweight. Also, you must not be able to see your dog’s ribs clearly.
  • When you are checking your canine’s ribs, you shouldn’t feel a layer of fat overlying them. The only bit of tissue separating your hands and your dog’s ribcage should be the dog’s skin and a little bit of muscle between each rib.
  • To check your canine’s waist or an abdominal tuck, feel the skin around the waist using your hands. You must feel a proportionate curve coming down from the dog’s tummy as you make your way towards the pelvis. If you can’t find a well-defined waist because there is too much fat around it, then your dog must have a high body fat percentage. But find your dog’s pelvis bone poking out of the skin, then your dog must be malnourished.
  • Overweight dogs have excessively soft and loose fatty areas all over their body. You will readily feel them while palpating your dog’s body if your pet is obese. But if your furry friend is not overweight, then you will come across sturdy mass while palpating their body, which indicates lean muscle.

Checking a dog’s body score at home is a quick way to assess your dog’s physical health, but it doesn’t give you the free pass to skip the vet’s appointment. If you want to ensure that your dog is in its best shape, then you must visit your vet regularly and come up with a healthy diet and exercise plan if your canine turns out to be underweight or obese.

by Bobby J Davidson || You can’t buy love, but you can rescue it™

Facts About Animal Homelessness:

  1. Only 1 out of every 10 dogs born will find a permanent home.
  2. The main reasons animals are in shelters: owners give them up, or animal control finds them on the street.
  3. Each year, approximately 2.7 million dogs and cats are killed every year because shelters are too full and there aren’t enough adoptive homes. Act as a publicist for your local shelter so pets can find homes. Sign up for Shelter Pet PR.
  4. Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats.
  5. According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP), less than 2% of cats and only 15 to 20% of dogs are returned to their owners.
  6. 25% of dogs that enter local shelters are purebred.
  7. About twice as many animals enter shelters as strays compared to the number that are relinquished by their owners.
  8. It’s impossible to determine how many stray dogs and cats live in the United States. Estimates for cats alone range up to 70 million.
  9. Only 10% of the animals received by shelters have been spayed or neutered. Overpopulation, due to owners letting their pets accidentally or intentionally reproduce, sees millions of these “excess” animals killed annually.
  10. Many strays are lost pets that were not kept properly indoors or provided with identification.
  11. According to The Humane Society, there are about 3,500 brick-and-mortar animal shelters in the US and 10,000 rescue groups and animal sanctuaries in North America.

Here are a some adoptions for consideration:  puccicafe.com/adoptions

Be Notified when there is a FDA Dog Food Recall 

Dog Food Recall