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March 9, 2009

Pet’s scales

s you know, wild animals that are sick and/or injured are more vulnerable to predators. This is why many wild animals INSTINCTIVELY attempt to hide their sickness and/or injury as a means of survival.

Did you know that this is also TRUE for many domestic pets?

Unfortunately, these instinctive behaviors can make it EXTREMELY difficult for pet owners to detect health problems with their pets until it is too lateā€¦

However – there is a FAST & EASY way to “help save your pet’s life”

Simply monitor your pet’s weight.

ANY weight change – especially in smaller pets and babies – can be a WARNING SIGN that the animal’s health is in DANGER.

A “Fast & Easy” way you can help to maintain your pet’s good health is to record their weight on a regular basis. Keeping track of your pet’s weight will enable you to discover any minor changes that would indicate a possible health concern.

Since there are many different species and sizes of pets, we highly recommend that you contact your veterinarian to help establish a weight program for your pet. This way you can determine the weight change variance (% change) that may indicate a health issue for your pet.

If you do not have a veterinarian, than you should consider contacting a veterinarian who is a specialist for your pet’s species (i.e. exotic, household, etc.).

Here are some additional monitoring tips regarding your pet’s weight:

  1. Write down your pet’s weight – do NOT rely on your memory
  2. If possible, use a computer spreadsheet program to track weight
  3. Set a schedule for weighing (i.e. twice a week)
  4. Weigh your pet at the same time each day, such as in the AM after a BM
  5. Establish a “baseline weight” for mature pets (i.e. their average weight)
  6. If your pet is stressed, injured, or sick – make a note and weigh them daily
  7. Monitor your pet’s food intake (i.e. more food = more weight)
  8. If applicable, consider weighing their food portions to maintain a stable diet
  9. Look for patterns (i.e. time of year = weight change?)
  10. When monitoring your pet’s health, weight LOSS is usually considered a more significant warning sign for health problems rather than weight GAIN

In order to make your digital pet scale selection FAST & Successful – we have provided you with the following “Digital Pet Scale Checklist”. Simply use this checklist to determine which scale features you need to successfully monitor your pet’s weight.

  1. Design
  2. Size
  3. TARE Feature
  4. Capacity vs. Accuracy
  5. AC/DC – Battery and/or 110V
  6. Weighing Units (lb, oz, kg, g)
  7. Removable Platform
  8. Manufacturers’ Warranty
  9. Price

DESIGN
Digital pet scales are available in a wide variety of designs (i.e. styles and colors). However, for most applications, you should consider style and color a lower priority.

SIZE
One of the higher priorities you should note is the scale’s dimensions. You simply need to select a scale size that will accommodate the size of your pet.

Your scale’s platform size is also an important feature and should be determined by the size of the pet to be weighed. However – as you will read in the next section, you may be able to increase the size of your digital scale’s platform by using the Tare Feature.

TARE Feature
Most digital scales have a valuable feature called TARE. This feature simply removes the weight of any item placed on the platform that you do not wish to be included with the final weight (i.e. by pressing the TARE button, it will reset the display to 0.0 by removing the weight of the item on the scale).

You can use the TARE feature to either increase the size of the platform and/or place pets in a container – then obtain the exact weight of the pet in the container.

Platform Example: If your pet will not fit or stay on your scale’s platform, you can increase the platform size by placing a flat item – such as a piece of plywood with carpeting – that is larger than the platform – and pushing the TARE button. This will remove the weight of the new platform and you will now have a larger platform.

Container Example: Place your container (i.e. box, bowl, etc.) on the scale’s platform that will hold your pet – then push the TARE button. Your scale’s display will reset to 0 by subtracting the weight of the container. Now – simply place your pet in the container and your scale will display the actual weight of your pet in the container.

SUGGESTION: In order to make your pet more comfortable, place a towel or related item in the container when weighing – this will hopefully help them to relax. If appropriate, try weighing them when they are sleeping.

CAPACITY vs. ACCURACY
Before you purchase a digital scale, you will need to answer the following two (2) questions:

  1. What is the maximum weight your pet will reach (i.e. 250g, 2lb, 5lb, etc.)?
  2. What is the minimum accuracy you need to monitor your pet’s weight (i.e. 1g or 0.5oz, etc.)?

Once you have determined this information, you will simply need to select a scale that meets your capacity and accuracy requirements.

BATTERY and/or 110V POWER
Digital scales are powered by either battery or 110V Power – some units offer both options. The battery operated scales will be more portable. However, the 110V scale will eliminate the use of batteries.

Since pet scales are usually small, you will find that most pet scales will operate via battery power. Since digital scales only use a small amount of power and most units have auto shut off, the batteries will keep going and going and going.

WEIGHING Units (lb, oz, kg, g)
Many scales offer both weighing units – pounds/ounces and kilogram/grams. However, you need to make sure that the scale has the weighing units you need to weigh your pet accurately.

BIRD PERCH PLATFORMS
Some scales offer bird perches built onto their scale, which allows for FAST & EASY weighing of your bird. Simply select the appropriate diameter of the perch for your bird size.
MANUFACTURERS’ WARRANTY
You will discover most manufacturers offer at least a one (1) year warranty. In addition – you will find some who even offer 2-5 year warranties.

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