About Body Condition Scoring
A body scoring system for dogs assigns a numerical value. Depending on the body scoring system, a score from 1 to 9 or 1 to 5, will be given based on the amount of fat and the body condition. Body condition is assigned by assessing the ribs, the dog’s profile and an overhead check or view.
Body condition scoring is done by assessing fat both visually and by palpation, or feeling for fat in different body areas. This body condition scoring system is a helpful management tool that can be used across breeds and by all animal owners or producers. Although weighing a cat or dog is also a good idea, body condition scoring can help identify problems before the scales show that a change has occurred.
Body condition scoring is a method of evaluating the percentage of fat on a cat or dog’s body.
In an ideal body condition, a cat or dog’s ribs can be felt without excess fat covering; the waist should be easily visible when viewed from above (giving an hourglass shape) and the abdomen should be tucked up towards the pelvis when viewed from the side.
Dog Body Condition Scoring:
The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association’s Code of Practice for Canadian Kennel Operations states that body condition should be monitored. Body condition is important when breeding dogs and assessing for disease or illness.
Cat Body Condition Scoring:
The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association’s Code of Practice for Canadian Cattery Operations states that body condition should be monitored. Early recognition of abnormalities in behaviour, appetite, elimination and coat/body condition by individuals who see the cats and kittens on a day-to-day basis is crucial.