An easy and quick evaluation is to look at the pet from the top.

Ribs – Are you able to feel your pets’ ribs without pressing down?

General appearance – When standing over your pet looking down, do you see an hourglass figure?

If the answer is no to either of these observations, then your pet is overweight.  It is easy to fail to recognize early obesity so evaluation is important. If you think your pet may be obese, it probably is. A more detailed degree of obesity many be identified using:

Body Condition Scores

How are Body Condition Scores Measured?

Each time we examine the pet, a body condition score is assigned. Your pet’s body condition is rated on a scale of 1 to 5.(1 means too thin and 5 means obese). The desired score for your pet is in the middle at three. If we have examined your pet you may call us t 417-623-3080 and we will be glad to provide you with your pet’s last score.

Classifications of body scoring

5 – Obese
A thick layer of fat makes your pet’s ribs very difficult to find. Bony areas like the knees are covered by a moderate to thin layer of fat.

4 – Overweight
The ribs and bony areas are difficult to feel with a thick layer of fat.

3 – Ideal
You can easily feel your pet’s ribs, but there is a slight layer of fat covering them. Bony prominences also have just a slight layer of fat.

2 – Underweight
Little fat is covering the ribs, and they are visible without having to touch your pet.

1 – Very Thin
There is no fat around the ribs, and they are visible to protruding to the eye. Bony prominences are also visible with no sign of fat.

Body Scores are often easier to understand with a picture chart demonstrating each score.

Body Score Condition Chart