How to Body Score Your Dog

Written by Lucy Marcham, Academy Trainer

Did you know up to 65% of dogs in the UK are now considered overweight?

Weight gain can have serious consequences for our furry friends, with the risk of health problems and a shorter lifespan. Keeping pets at an ideal weight is so important for their overall health and happiness.

However, it can be tricky for owners to know if their dog is the ideal weight. Regularly weighing your dog is important however the scales don’t tell the full story. Watch our video on Weighing your Dog.

By body-scoring your dog, you can uncover so much more information. So here is our guide to body scoring, to help you keep your dog fitter and healthier.


What is Body Scoring?

A body condition score was originally developed by vets to determine if a dog is the correct weight. This is an easy management tool that allows owners to assess the fat level of their pets.

This is achieved by feeling and observing your pet and looking for the tell-tale signs of excess weight.


How Do I Body Score My Dog?

It is always worth discussing body scoring with your vet, as they can give you even more tips and tools to help you get better acquainted with your pet.

 However, as a quick guide, here are three things to look out for:

1) Look at your dog from above. Does their waist (from rib cage to hips) curve in or out? If you aren’t seeing a visible waist this could indicate the dog is overweight.

2) Next look at your dog from the side. Does their tummy tuck in or go straight across? Are their hips, spine and ribs easily visible or covered in a slight layer of fat? If their tummy drops down and hangs low, this can be an indication of excess weight. If ribs, hips, and spine are visible this can be an indication the dog is underweight.

3) Lastly, run your hands across your dog’s hips, spine, and ribs. The ribs should typically feel how your knuckles feel when you lay your hand flat and rub your fingers across. If the ribs feel very prominent or are hard to feel that can be an indication the dog is underweight or overweight.

Regular body scoring and weighing are key to keeping your pet healthy.

However, don’t forget the importance of proper weight control food, like MORE Lighter. This specialist diet contains a weight-loss supplement that aids in converting fat to energy and maintaining a leaner body mass.

For more advice on exercise and how to make it more exciting, watch our video on Making Dog Walks More Fun.

Don’t forget our Academy-trained in-store teams are always here to help! Head over to your local Pets Corner for some expert advice and our free health club.