How Much Should My Dog Weigh? Weight Loss Guideline for Dogs

Are you wondering what a healthy dog’s weight is? We’ll explain how to calculate a healthy weight for your dog and give you some weight loss guidelines for overweight and obese dogs.

How Much Should My Dog Weigh?

The sure-fire way to know if your dog is healthy is to take them to the vet. Your veterinarian will weigh your dog but also assess its body composition and condition.

If your dog is a pure breed and you are looking for basic weight guidelines, you should check out the American Kennel Club Breed Weight Chart for a weight range for your dog’s breed.

How Much Should a Mixed Breed Dog Weigh?

Do you have a mixed dog breed? No worries. Taking your mixed breed dog to the vet is the best way to learn how much your dog should weigh. But we can help determine a ballpark weight range for your mixed breed.

The PetMD Healthy Weight Tool is fantastic for mixed breed dogs if you can determine which breed is the most dominant for your dog or if you know your breed mix.

How to Calculate a Healthy Weight for Your Dog

To calculate a healthy weight for your dog, you’ll want to assess the Body Condition Score of your dog with their body weight. The Body Condition Score (BCS) uses a nine-point scale to determine if your dog is in a healthy condition by assessing its ribs, abdomen, and waistline. Dogs that score over a 6 on the scale are considered overweight.

Overweight dogs appear to have no waistline or abdominal tuck and have excess fat on their ribs. Underweight dogs will have accentuated abdominal tuck and waistline with protruding ribs, pelvis, and vertebrae.

Calculating a Target Dog Weight

Once you know your dog’s BCS, you can calculate your dog’s target weight:

  1. Subtract 5 points from your dog’s BCS.
  2. Multiply that number by 10.
  3. Add 100.
  4. To get a decimal number, use that number to divide it into 100 (i.e., 100/ new number).
  5. Multiply the decimal by your dog’s current weight to get your dog’s target weight.

The equation for target weight:

Target Weight = (Starting Weight) x (100 / 100 + [(Starting BCS – 5) x 10)])

If you don’t want to do the math yourself, you can use this How Much Should My Dog Weigh Calculator from PetMD.

How to Help Your Dog Lose Weight

One in three dogs is overweight or obese. Dog owners with overweight dogs will spend more on healthcare and medications than healthy-weight dogs. You can do several things to help your dog lose weight:

Check Your Pet Food Labels

To ensure your dog is eating healthy dog food, you should follow the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) four rules:

  • The 95 Percent Rule: Whatever main ingredient the dog food claims to be, the ingredients must be made from 95% of that ingredient. For example, Salmon dog food should be 95% salmon.
  • The 25 Percent Rule: If the product name includes the words “dinner, entrée, or platter,” then the main ingredient must be 25% of the food, not counting water.
  • The With Rule: If the dog food label includes the word “with,” then the main ingredient must be 3% of the product.
  • The Flavor Rule: If the label includes the word “flavor,” then the food must consist of a sufficient amount of the ingredient to detect the flavor.

You also want to look for the terms “Complete and Balanced” or “100 Percent Nutritious.” Dog food labels that include these terms meet the government standards for adequate nutrition designated by the AAFCO.

The Best Dog Food For Weight Loss:

  • Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food
  • Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula
  • Nutro Natural Choice Dry Dog Food
  • Wellness Complete Health Dry Dog Food
  • Purina Pro Plan Focus Wet Dog Food



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