Whether you are a zookeeper, a veterinarian, or just a pet owner, it is very important for you to know your animal’s weight. An animal’s weight not only provides a glimpse into its health, but also helps caretakers to decide the amount of food, water, medicine and even exercise that the animal should have.
When it comes to weighing animals, here are some things you should keep in mind.
Get a durable vet scale
When looking for a scale to weigh animals, be sure to go for one that is tough and durable. Even if you only deal with small pets, you still need one that is able to withstand multiple washes and vigorous use. Not to mention stomping and clawing and biting.
One recommendation is stainless steel scales, as these are strong, resistant to rust and easy to clean. Try to get models with removable pans, so that you can easily reach every part of the scale. Scales with an IP66 rated washdown housing are great as they can be subjected to proper washing after every use.
Also, be sure to get a scale with good shock protection. As mentioned earlier, animals may not be gentle with the scale.
You need dynamic weighing
Dynamic weighing is the ability to weigh something in motion, and this is especially important when it comes to weighing animals. Most animals are not particularly cooperative and will probably not remain stationery when being weighed.
With the dynamic weighing feature, the vet scale will be able to filter through weight fluctuations and work out an average weight. Even if the animals move around, their weight can still be captured.
Consider having more than one scale
If you’re a pet owner or someone who specialise in only one type of animal, having just one vet scale may be sufficient. However, a farm, a zoo or a veterinarian facility may need several different types of scales. For example, smaller animals like rabbits or cats would do better with a smaller scale, while bigger animals such as horses or hippos would need a bigger and tougher platform or weigh beams.
You may also consider having at least one portable scale, so that you can use it in the field if and when needed.
Be ready to coax the animals
Don’t expect animals to be keen and obedient when it comes to weighing time! Be prepared to coax the animal onto the scale, whether with treats or a gentle nudge. When first introducing a new scale, be patient and allow the animals to get acquainted with it. This may take some time, but it would help the animals get used to the equipment as well as the process, to avoid them (and their handlers) feeling stressed.
Some animals, such as birds, may need a perch, while others may need to be held by their handler to be weighed. In such conditions, remember to use the Tare function.
Look beyond the numbers
There are many factors that affect an animal’s weight – medical conditions and injuries are just some of them. Stress can also cause weight loss in animals.
It is helpful to know the weight range that an animal should be in. And, to better make sense of what the actual weight indicates, keep a record of past results for better data analysis.
If you’re looking for veterinary, livestock and animal scales, take a look at our selection, or contact our team for more information.