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A Guide to Body Condition Scoring in Dogs

Body Condition Score in Dogs

 

A Guide to Body Condition Scoring

Body condition scoring is an easy way for pet owners to determine if their pet is over/underweight. Using a 5 or 9 point scale, owners make observations to determine their pet’s score. When using the 9 point scale, a score of 1-3 is considered underweight, 4-5 ideal, 6-9 overweight.

  1. Ribs, spine, shoulders and pelvis easily visible. Obvious loss of muscle tissue. No detectable body fat.
  2. Ribs, spine, shoulders and pelvis easily visible. Some loss of muscle tissue. No detectable body fat.
  3. Ribs and shoulders visible. Prominent pelvic bone. Obvious tuck at the waist and abdomen.
  4. Ribs detectable by palpation with a thin fat covering. Easy to detect waist when viewed from above.
  5. Ribs detectable by palpation with an ideal fat covering. Waist tucked behind ribs when viewed from above.
  6. Ribs only detectable by palpation due to a slight excess fat covering. Waist observable from above.
  7. Excess fat covers ribs making them difficult to palpate. Noticeable fat covering. Waist no longer viewable.
  8. Can no longer palpate ribs. No waist/abdomen tuck. Enlarged or ballooned stomach.
  9. Major fat deposits cover body. Neck and limbs appear fat. Obvious enlargement of the stomach/abdomen area.

Based on the BODY CONDITION SYSTEM – Development and Validation of a Body Condition Score System for dogs. Canine Practice July/August 1997; 22:10-15

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