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.
- Ribs, spine, shoulders and pelvis easily visible. Obvious loss of muscle tissue. No detectable body fat.
- Ribs, spine, shoulders and pelvis easily visible. Some loss of muscle tissue. No detectable body fat.
- Ribs and shoulders visible. Prominent pelvic bone. Obvious tuck at the waist and abdomen.
- Ribs detectable by palpation with a thin fat covering. Easy to detect waist when viewed from above.
- Ribs detectable by palpation with an ideal fat covering. Waist tucked behind ribs when viewed from above.
- Ribs only detectable by palpation due to a slight excess fat covering. Waist observable from above.
- Excess fat covers ribs making them difficult to palpate. Noticeable fat covering. Waist no longer viewable.
- Can no longer palpate ribs. No waist/abdomen tuck. Enlarged or ballooned stomach.
- 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