Wildly fluctuating weight is often an initial indication of a deeper health issue in large animals. It is vital that every veterinary office has a reliable, accurate large digital pet scale. Large pet scales need to be easily accessible from the ground, have an easy to read digital display, include metric conversion capability, and be equipped with a non slip surface to keep animals from slipping, falling or otherwise being injured. Typically, large digital pet scales are more costly than small animal scales; generally they are sold for between $700 and $1300. Often, these scales are used to weigh medium to large size dogs or livestock. Some features to look for when purchasing a large digital pet scale:
- Weight capacity should be around at least 400 to 500 pounds. If animals such as horses will be weighed, the weighing capacity needs to be about 2500 pounds.
- The scale should be at least two feet wide to accommodate most large pets. Again, if livestock frequents your clinic, an even larger scale is in order.
- The lower the profile of the platform, the better. The large animal to be weighed might already be nervous in a strange place. Making the animal step onto a high scale will make it even more anxious.
- Scales should be made out welded aluminum and include a rubber mat. The scale will probably need to be washed frequently, and these materials are easy to clean. A detached digital display is a good hygienic option. The load sensors must be stainless steel in order to provide both water resistance, and high levels of ruggedness.
- Many large animal scales have motion sensing technology, and sometimes adjustable feet, to make it easier for the scale to weigh large, unsteady animals accurately.
- Consider purchasing a scale with a rechargeable battery pack, if you need a degree of portability.
- The best large pet scales have automatic shut off to save battery power and reduce energy use. If you purchase a scale that eats up batteries, the cost may end up significant over time.
- Consider purchasing a scale that also can weigh very small increments. There are scales on the market which weigh accurately from one tenth of a pound up to 500 pounds. Most large animal pet scales have a .2lb readability. There are large animal scales on the market which allow you to switch the scale increment based on the weight of the animal; for example, a larger animal is weighed by every four ounces and a small animal is weighed by the ounce.
- Newer model scales are outfitted with USB ports and can be hooked up to a computer, automatically sending data such as gross weight, net weight, and tare weight.