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Just as how we have body mass index (BMI) to assess whether we are underweight, ideal weight, or overweight, canines have body condition score (BCS). It is common knowledge that factors which determine our overall health are body weight, body fat, and muscle mass. Although it is important to keep weighing your canine on a regular basis, it is also vital to know its body condition score.
To know your canine’s body condition score, you just need to inspect your dog both visually and with your hands. The body condition score starts from one and ends at nine, which stand of very underweight and very overweight respectively. The ideal score for any canine is four or five, which is what you should be aiming for at all times.
How To Conduct The Body Condition Score?
To know the body condition score of your canine, follow these steps:
First, you need to stand next to your canine in such a way that you can look down on it to assess its overall profile.
Next, you need to look at your canine from different angles so that you can get a proper assessment of different profiles.
Last but not the least, use your hands to feel its ribcage as you run them along the sides of your canine. Note down how the ribcage feels as you perform this procedure on your canine.
Ideal Body Condition Score
When you run your hands along the sides of your canine, you should be able to feel the ribcage beneath a small layer of fat. When you are looking at your canine from the overhead view, the shape of its body should look like an hourglass. You should be able to view its waist without any problems. When you look at your canine from different profiles, there should be an inward tuck in its abdomen, which is towards its pelvis.
Underweight Body Condition Score
If you can easily feel the ribcage, then your canine may not have any muscle mass near that area. Also, if the pelvic bones and lumbar vertebrae are visible from all profiles, then your canine is underweight. Also, if the layer of fat is minimal and you can still see all the bones of your canine, then it is underweight.
Overweight Body Condition Score
If you are finding it challenging to get a feel of your canine’s rib cage or if you have to apply pressure, there are chances it is overweight. To confirm, take a look at its overhead profile to get a better idea. If your canine’s waist is barely visible or absent, and there is a lack of abdominal tuck, then your canine is overweight.
Use these simple steps to assess the body condition score of your canine at home. If you are finding it challenging, contact your vet for more information. If you have any questions regarding this topic, feel free to leave a comment below!