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Home > Dogs > How to Weigh Your Dog at Home: Vet Approved Tips & Steps

How to Weigh Your Dog at Home: Vet Approved Tips & Steps

dog sitting on the weighing scale

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Dr. Amanda Charles

Veterinarian, BVSc GPCert (Derm) MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Unfortunately, canine obesity is a prevalent problem that can be avoided. Therefore, as dog owners, we must monitor our dog’s weight and overall health. Getting your dog to hop on the scale to be weighed is one of the best ways to determine whether they are overweight or underweight. While some dogs may not object to the process, especially if rewarded with a treat, others may not enjoy it or struggle to sit still. If you need to monitor your dog’s weight at home, we have a step-by-step guide to help you.


How Often Should I Weigh My Dog? 

Most veterinarians suggest that dogs should be weighed at least once a year, but weighing them every 6 months is ideal for dogs with no health concerns. Sometimes, your dog may need to be weighed more frequently, depending on their health conditions and age.

Frequent weight checks may be necessary for chronic illnesses, especially those that affect appetite or water intake, such as diabetes or cancer. Puppies must be weighed more often, at least every 3–4 weeks, for the first 6 months of their life.

tiny yorkshire terrier dog on pet veterinary scale set on wooden bench
Image Credit: Anne Richard, Shutterstock

Tips for Weighing Your Dog

Although weighing your dog at the vet’s office is more accurate, you can keep track of their development by weighing them at home.

Here are some tips for weighing your dog at home:
  • Try to use the same scale every time you weigh your dog. If you use a different scale, their differences may mislead you to believe that your pet has gained or lost weight.
  • Weigh your dog every day at the same time, ideally when they have an empty stomach and have been to the bathroom.
  • Weigh your dog on a level surface, preferably a bathroom or kitchen floor, since carpeting can affect the accuracy of the scales.

How to Weigh a Small Dog or Puppy at Home

Here is how you can weigh a small dog at home step by step:

  1. If you can easily pick your dog up, you can use a bathroom scale. Pick your dog up and hold them firmly so they don’t wiggle or attempt to jump.
  2. Once you have your dog in your arms and they’re calm, step onto the scale.
  3. Look down at the final number on the scale screen and write it down. This number is the weight of you and your dog.
  4. Now, let your dog go and stand on the scale on your own.
  5. Record the number on the scale.
  6. Take the first number you recorded, which included your dog, and subtract your weight.
  7. The answer will be your dog’s weight, which you can now compare to the breed’s ideal weight. This can vary though so ask your vet to determine the ideal weight for your individual dog.
small chihuahua puppy in the hands of a girl
Image Credit: Adam Hoglund, Shutterstock

How to Weigh a Large Dog at Home

  • Large dogs are too heavy to pick up, but you can still weigh your large dog at home with a scale by placing a platform over the scale. You can use a large cardboard box or a large piece of wood or plastic.
  • Ensure the scale supports the platform and you can read the weight on the display screen.
  • Lure your dog onto the scale platform and get them to sit. You can use a treat and the “sit” command.
  • Read the weight on the scale and offer your dog a treat for their cooperative behavior.
  • Now, weigh the platform independently to determine its weight.
  • Subtract the weight of the platform from the total weight of your dog on the platform.


What If My Dog Doesn’t Like Being Weighed? 

Many dogs don’t enjoy being on the scale or even being held, which can make the process difficult. While it’s best to begin weighing your dog often while they’re still a puppy and positively reinforce the process with praise and treats, your dog may be older and not used to the scale or has possibly had a bad experience with one.

Clicker Training

Regardless of your dog’s age, clicker training can help your dog become used to being weighed without stress. Click and give your dog a treat each time they sniff the scale. Do the same every time your dog places a foot on the scale, and work your way toward getting your dog to sit on it.

clicker training a border collie dog
Image Credit: Dora Zett, Shutterstock

Veterinarian’s Scale

The best and most effective solution is to take your dog to the veterinarian’s office since they have large scales that are big enough for all breeds. Your vet can also provide you with all the information you need to maintain your dog’s ideal weight.

Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Weight for Your Dog

Your dog’s weight can significantly affect their health, so it’s important to ensure you are taking the necessary steps to maintain your dog’s ideal weight.

  • The best approach to keep your pet at a healthy weight is to follow a dietary plan recommended by your veterinarian.
  • Do research on your dog’s breed and talk to your vet to understand their appropriate dietary and exercise needs.
  • Try to follow a schedule by feeding your dog at the same time every day.
  • Avoid feeding your dog too many table scraps. As hard as it is, try not to give in to begging!
  • Make sure there is no leftover food from other pets or yourself that your dog can eat.
  • Ensure you don’t offer too many treats to your dog, and make sure the treats you do offer are in line with their daily recommended allowance.
  • Ensure your dog gets daily exercise.
  • Maintain regular veterinary check-ups to ensure your pup is in good health and at an ideal weight.



While it’s best to have your dog weighed at the veterinarian’s room from a young age, it can’t always be done, and in some cases, you will need to weigh your dog at home. Fortunately, it is possible, but it is easier for smaller dogs or puppies since you can hold them in your arms and climb onto the scale.

Bigger dogs need a wide platform placed on the scale and sometimes a little coaxing. Getting your dog comfortable with stepping onto the scale can make it much easier to weigh them.

Featured Image Credit: Tikhonova Yana, Shutterstock

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