Although weighing your dog and monitoring their weight regularly is a good idea, this can be tricky as there is a lot of variation between breeds and it’s not always easy to know what is right for your pet. That’s where dog body condition scoring can make things easier.
What is the dog body condition score?
Dog body condition scoring allows you to assess the amount of fat your dog is carrying, it is easy to do at home without scales, and can identify problems in overweight dogs before the scales show a big change. What’s more, the scale applies to nearly every kind of dog, so you can easily check them between visits to the vet whether they’re big, small, wiry or extremely furry!
Why is the dog body condition score important?
Owning a dog means keeping a close eye on your dog’s body score and working to maintain an 'ideal' score of four or five throughout all stages of your dog's life. This can also decrease the risk of health problems associated with owning an overweight dog. These include arthritis, heart disease and even diabetes, which not only mean large vet bills but an unhappy, uncomfortable dog – more reason than ever to get them in shape!
Like people, each one processes their food in a slightly different way, particularly depending on their age and activity level. If your dog gets more calories than they need, those excess calories may be stored as fat, which in the worst case can lead to obesity in dogs.
"Learning how to perform a body condition score for your pet, and regularly assessing this in combination with appropriate nutrition and exercise, will ensure you're doing your best for your pet's health and wellbeing", says Zara Boland, Purina's vet.