Dr Steele from Advanced Animal Care of Mount Pleasant, www.advancedanimalcaremp.com, was kind enough to send us information about determining your dog’s body condition score. Read below and keep an eye out for his article in the Dec/Jan issue about combating canine obesity.
To determine your dog’s body condition score, follow these simple steps. All of these steps are done with your dog standing in a comfortable position.
First run your hand down his side. You should be able to feel the ribs easily without pushing in. You should not see your dog’s ribs when standing at rest. If you have to push in, that is extra fat.
Next, run your hand down the middle of his back. You should be able to feel the bumps of the spine very easily. If you run your hand side to side across the back you should feel a distinct tapered or rounded feel to the back with the spine being the highest point. If your dog has a flat back, he may be overweight. Some breeds of dogs such as bull dogs and some terriers have a broad back and chest and may give the appearance of flatness, but the spine should still be the highest point.
Last, take a look from above your dog. There should be a distinct waist behind the last rib and in front of the hip bone. Take a look at the chart to see where your dog is. Each number above five is equivalent to 10% of excess body weight. For example, a body condition score of 7 is 20% overweight.