How To Assess Your Dog's Body Condition Score

Stand above and side-on to assess waist taper, rib visibility, abdominal tuck, and fat deposits.  

Visual Evaluation  

Run hands over ribs, waist, and base of tail feeling for prominent bones or excess fat covering them.   

Palpitation Check  

Match your dog's appearance and feel to the closest descriptive graphics and photos on the standardized 1-9 BCS chart.  

Compare to Chart  

Low BCS means underweight up to emaciated. High BCS indicates overweight progressing to obese.  

Determine Score  

Perform hands-on BCS assessments monthly when healthy to catch early weight changes for intervention if needed.   

Reevaluate Regularly  

Share your at home BCS findings with your veterinarian for context on appropriate goals and direction for your dog's breed and age.  

Discuss with Your Vet

If overweight, consult your vet on safe nutritional and exercise adjustments to reach healthier BCS range over time.  

Weight Loss Plan  

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