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WAGSTA Wellness

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How to measure and weigh your dog

Monitoring your dog’s weight loss progress is a key component of your WAGSTA Wellness Program.

Throughout your dog’s diet you will conduct fortnightly weigh-ins and monthly measure-ups. Please follow the guidelines below to make your measurements as accurate as possible.

How to take dog measurements with a measuring tape.

For consistency in measuring technique it is important to ensure one person completes all tape measurements throughout the program.

Have someone hold your dog whilst you conduct measurements.

Position the tape snugly against your dog’s body, whilst making sure the tape is not twisted and does not press into the tissues.

Aim to take all measurements in the same position on your dog’s body at each measure-up.

Take measurements of your dog’s neck, chest and abdominal circumference:


Position of neck, chest and abdomen measurements.

Place the tape measure in the position where your dog’s collar usually sits/ roughly midway along the neck.

(Remove your dog’s collar to take this measurement).

Have your dog standing square (evenly on all four legs),

Place the tape measure around the chest, directly behind the points of the elbow.

Ensure the tape measure runs vertically on both sides of the chest. Make sure it is not oblique or twisted.

Place your tape measure halfway between the end of the rib cage and the start of the hindquarters.

For male dogs ensure the prepuce is not contained in the measurement. Slide the measure forwards, if this occurs.

Ensure the tape measure runs vertically on both sides of the tummy. Make sure it is not oblique or twisted.


Tip: We are looking at the overall trend in your dog’s measurements. Tape measurements often include a margin of operator error due to the positioning and tightness of the tape measure. So please do not place too much emphasis on individual measurements.

Some weeks it may appear as though your dog has become fatter rather than slimmer!
This will most likely be due to variances in the method of measurement rather than weight gain.
Over time a trend of reduced measurements will become apparent 🙂

How to Accurately Weigh your Dog

1. Always weigh your dog at the same time of the day.

2. Weigh your dog on an empty stomach- before they are fed or have a large drink.

3. Weigh your dog after they have had a chance to toilet.

4. Ensure your dog is dry when you weigh them.

5. If your dog is wearing a collar ensure the same collar is worn at each weigh-in.

6. For dogs weighing over 20 kg (44 lbs.) use dog scales. These walk-on scales are available for free use in the waiting room of veterinary clinics and in large pet retail outlets.

(Alternatively, in-home versions such as the W.C Redmon Precision Digital Large pet scale can be purchased from on-line retailers.)

7. For smaller dogs, digital bathroom scales are suitable.

To weigh your dog with bathroom scales simply:

  •  Step onto the scales whilst holding your dog. Record weight.

(weight a)

  •  Step onto the scales without your dog. Record your own weight .

(weight b)

  •  (weight a) minus (weight b) = dog weight

When using scales make sure they are sited on a hard, flat surface. Have a second person assist with reading and recording the weight.  Avoid lifting dogs weighing more than 20 kilograms (44 lbs.)



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