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It can sometimes be difficult to tell if your poodle is at the correct weight, or to even know what that weight is. So we’ve made it easy with this poodle weight guide, and we’ll answer the question, is your poodle is too skinny?

Below you will find the average adult and puppy weights for Toy, Miniature, and Standard Poodles, as well as reasons your Poodle might be skinny. Plus how to get your Poodle to gain weight.

How much should your Poodle weigh?

Knowing how much your Poodle should weigh, and how to tell if your Poodle is at a healthy weight, is the first step in determining what you need to do next.

A good way to tell if your dog, puppy or adult, is too skinny or not is to feel their ribs.

You can use your hand as a means of comparison to help you determine if your Poodle is healthy, too skinny, or overweight.

Underweight Test

Run your fingers across the back of your other hand’s fingers, at the height where you typically wear a ring. Notice the deeper depressions that your finger finds.

If your Poodle’s ribs feel like this, your Poodle is likely too skinny.

Overweight Test

Run your fingers along the palm of your hand, right under where your fingers stop. You’ll notice that even if you press hard, it’s difficult to feel any bones.

If your Poodle’s ribs feel like this, your Poodle is likely overweight.

Perfect Weight Test

Finally, run your fingers across the back of your hand, below your knuckles. Notice how if you use light pressure, you can feel the bones in your hand without too much effort.

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If your Poodle’s ribs feel like this, your Poodle is likely at a healthy weight!

dog rib test for ideal weight

Specific to a Poodle

Sometimes, you may see or feel the hip bones on the back of your Poodle. Due to a Poodle’s structure, this is common for many Poodles.

Ideally, you shouldn’t be able to feel their spine. Slightly protruding hip bones and ribs that can be felt without too much difficulty are normal.

Being able to feel your Poodle’s spine or other bones often indicates they are too skinny or lack muscle mass.

It’s also the case that a Poodle that is skinny, but otherwise fit and healthy, should have well-defined muscles. If your Poodle has plenty of muscles, but is on the skinnier end of healthy, they may simply have a high metabolism.

A Poodle that is skinny and also lacks muscle mass is much more of a concern. Healthy dogs should always have adequate muscling covering their body.

If this is the case for your Poodle, make sure you visit their veterinarian to determine if there is a medical reason they are skinny.

Have you read this post yet? Your Poodle Size Guide: Toy, Mini, Standard

Poodle Weight Chart

While Poodles have a variety of sizes, there are average weights for each size of the breed: Toy, Miniature, and Standard.

It’s always best to physically feel your dog to determine if they are at a healthy weight using the above method.

However, we’ve included a weight chart on the average weight for Poodles at a variety of ages in order to help you determine if your Poodle is drastically different than normal.

As you can see from the chart, Poodles can have a wide range of weights, especially when you account for their different sizes of Toy, Miniature, and Standard.

Age Toy Poodle Miniature Poodle Standard Poodle
8 weeks 1 lb 3-4 lbs 5-10 lbs
6 months 3 lbs 7-8 lbs 20-40 lbs
1 year 4-6 lbs 10-15 lbs 40 – 70 lbs

Even a single size of Poodle, such as the Standard Poodle, can have a wide range of adult weights. According to the American Kennel Club, the average Standard Poodle female weighs 40-50lbs as an adult, while a male Standard Poodle usually weighs 60-70lbs.

How to get a Poodle to gain weight

If you’ve determined that your Poodle is truly too skinny, and you’ve had your Poodle into the veterinarian to rule out a medical cause, there are several things you can do to encourage your Poodle to gain weight.

The first (and most obvious) answer is to feed your Poodle more.

Eat quality, not quantity

If your poodle is already eating a lot, or is a picky eater, then consider changing their food to a higher quality diet.

Different brands of dog food contain different amounts of calories per cup of food.

If your Poodle insists on only eating a small amount, it’s beneficial to ensure that the small amount is packed with more calories to ensure they get the nutrition they need.

Change it up

Sometimes, changing the type of food your Poodle eats also encourages them to eat, because it’s something new.

We recommend the following brands of dog food for poodles, due to their high quality ingredients such as raw meats, whole grains, veggies and fruits.

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Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice
Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
And for puppies: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

If possible, you’ll want to avoid adding things to your Poodle’s food to encourage them to eat.

If you start adding gravy or toppers to encourage your poodle to eat, they are likely to hold out on eating even longer in the future as they wait for the junk food that they want to be added.

Set eating times

Try to set specific meal times for your Poodle to encourage them to eat their kibble at a designated time, and avoid feeding too many snacks in between.

After filling your Poodle’s bowl with their breakfast, offer it to them for 5-10 minutes. If they don’t eat, simply pick up the bowl and offer it to them again at dinner time, repeating the same 5-10 minute window.

In general, dogs will overeat, but rarely starve themselves unless there is another problem going on medically or behaviorally.

When your Poodle is finally hungry enough to eat, they will eat!

One thing to keep in mind if you have a Toy Poodle, though, is that small dogs are prone to periods of low blood sugar.

You may want to offer your Toy Poodle the kibble in short sessions more frequently, so you are still able to encourage them to eat at a specific time and eat the bowl entirely without as much time between to drop blood sugar.

Your dog’s veterinarian will be able to best advise you on if low blood sugar is a risk for your dog.

In some cases, switching to wet food will also encourage your dog to eat more, even if it’s mixed with their regular kibble.

Medical reasons for being too skinny

In many cases, a dog that is truly too skinny isn’t that way because they are a picky eater. Instead, they can have an underlying medical problem that makes it difficult for them to absorb nutrients, or makes it so they prefer to avoid their food.

A variety of ailments can make a dog want to avoid eating, including a painful mouth due to an abscess or rotting tooth. In general, smaller dogs have worse teeth than larger dogs, so if you own a Toy or Miniature Poodle, this is especially important for you to keep in mind.

In addition, there are a variety of medical conditions that can cause your dog to feel nauseous and make them want to avoid eating.

In other cases, your dog may eat plenty, but still not be able to gain weight.

If this is the case, your veterinarian will likely evaluate your dog for a variety of conditions, including to see if they are able to absorb the nutrients that are available in their food.

Sometimes, a special diet with nutrients that are more bioavailable is necessary to help your Poodle gain weight.

It’s also the case that parasitic worms may cause your dog to become too skinny, as they rely on the nutrients in your Poodle’s body to live.

You may or may not notice a pot-bellied appearance if this is the case, as the worms can sometimes grow into quite a large mass inside your dog’s intestines.

Not all parasitic worms will be visible to the naked eye in your dog’s stool. While you should definitely monitor their stool just in case, it’s best to take a stool sample to the veterinarian to determine if they can find eggs or other signs of a parasitic worm infection that you can’t otherwise see.

Is your puppy eating the correct dry food? Breed and size are important. In our Dry Food Choosing Guide, we give you the best dry food for your puppy: