How do I calculate my dog’s ideal weight? A Step-by-Step Guide

Calculating Ideal Weight for Cats and Dogs

With the above information we can estimate the ideal weight of an overweight pet.


A 100 lb dog with a BCS of 5 or 9 (depending on the scale used).

This dog is 40% overweight so its lean body weight would be 60% of its present weight.

100 lbs X .6 = 60 lbs

60 lbs represents a dog with no fat, which is not healthy. From the information above, ideal animals should have about 20% body fat, or 80% lean weight.

The ideal weight for our dog is 75 lbs. More correctly, the ideal weight is between 70-80 lbs because the ideal body fat ranges from 15-24%, or 76-85% lean body mass.

This calculation is not accurate for grossly obese pets. Such pets exceed the standard BCS scoring so the correlation of percentage of body fat to BCS score is difficult to define. Typically the percent of body fat is underestimated, which has a profound effect on designing a weight loss program for these pets.

Where Can You Find Your Dog’s Ideal Weight?

To find out what your dog should weigh, you could simply look it up in a table of suggested weights.

However, nearly every table provides this information in a range of weights.

For Labrador retrievers, the American Kennel Club suggests a range of 65 to 80 pounds.

That’s a huge difference of nearly 23%.

That figure can vary, depending on whether your pet is a male or a female.

Goldendoodles. Puggles. Cockapoos. And other genetic mixes.

Where do you go to find the ideal weight for non-standard breeds like these?

You certainly won’t find that kind of information on an AKC breed table.

How do I calculate my dog’s ideal weight?

There’s no clear reference for every individual dog. Because dogs come in so many builds, shapes and sizes.

Step 3: Look From The Side

Finally, look at your dog from a side angle. Here you’ll want to look for some of the same things you saw in the top-down view, such as whether or not you can see the ribs, pelvis, etc. You’ll also want to look out for an “abdominal tuck,” which simply means that your dog’s abdomen tucks upward near the rear legs.

How to know if your dog is a healthy weight?

You want your dog to be healthy. And just as it’s important for people to maintain a healthy weight, it’s also important for dogs.

Keeping your dog at a healthy weight can help ensure they live a long, healthy, happy life, with a lower risk of health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.

When you’re looking at another person, it’s usually pretty obvious if they’re too thin, too heavy, or just right. But when it comes to a dog…what exactly is a healthy weight? Its not always obvious on first glance.

To help you out, we’ve created an infographic (at the bottom of this post) that you can use as a handy reference guide. Before we get to that, however, here are a few pointers to help you get a better idea if your dog needs to lose weight…or gain it.