Pet Obesity

Posted on: April 22, 2013

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What Does A Healthy Weight Dog Look Like?

Dog-in-grass-042213-300x225The Body Condition Score chart provides an overall view of the range of body types from very thin to obese. Veterinarians use this system—a scale from 1 – 9, with 1 being very underweight and 9 being very overweight—to help ensure that everyone who examines animals uses the same criteria to determine physical condition and assigns scores consistently.

The chart gives pet owners a starting point for discussing nutrition and wellness with their veterinarian who can explain the pet’s score and design an action plan.

“The first step toward reversing pet obesity is helping pet parents recognize how pets at a healthy weight should look. The Body Condition Score chart helps our veterinarians communicate that information,” said Dr. Weis.

Body Condition Score Chart and Descriptions

What’s your pet’s score? Consult with your veterinarian to better understand your pet’s body condition and how professional nutritional counseling and exercise for your pet can help reach an ideal condition.

body_condition

VERY THIN
RIBS: Easily felt
TAIL BASE: Bones are raised
SIDE VIEW: Severe abdominal tuck
OVERHEAD VIEW: Accentuated hourglass shape

UNDERWEIGHT
RIBS: Easily felt
TAIL BASE: Bones are raised with slight fat cover
SIDE VIEW: Abdominal tuck
OVERHEAD VIEW: Marked hourglass shape

IDEAL
RIBS: Easily felt with slight fat cover
TAIL BASE: Smooth contour with slight fat cover
SIDE VIEW: Abdominal tuck
OVERHEAD VIEW: Well-proportioned waist  

OVERWEIGHT
RIBS: Difficult to feel under moderate fat cover
TAIL BASE: Some thickening, bones palpable under moderate fat cover
SIDE VIEW: No abdominal tuck
OVERHEAD VIEW: Back is slightly broadened at waist

OBESE
RIBS: Difficult to feel under thick fat cover
TAIL BASE: Thickened and difficult to feel under thick fat cover
SIDE VIEW: No waist, fat hangs from abdomen
OVERHEAD VIEW: Back is markedly broadened