Body Condition Scores (or BCS) is a wonderful way to monitor your dogs body weight…
Harley is now a senior doodle, my plan is to help him keep his doodleish youthful figure…
To aid me with that plan, I use BCS as my measuring tool in between regular vet visits.
OVERWEIGHT VS OBESE –
It is estimated that 24% to 44% of all dogs in the U.S. are overweight or obese, as are 50% of dogs between the ages of 5 and 10 years. Dogs that are 10% to 20% above ideal body weight are considered overweight. Obesity occurs when dogs are > 20% above ideal body weight, It is the most common nutritional disorder detected in dogs. Source: Clinicians Brief
Frightening statistics? Yes, but your dog doesn’t have to become one of them. BCS is a good way to visually evaluate your dog’s body composition using a numerical scale.
There are two commonly used scales. I chose the one that rates from 1-9.
- 1 to 3 – indicates a very thin dog
- 4 to 5 – is ideal
- 6 to 9 – is considered overweight
To access a dogs body condition score, you need to perform a visual examination from the side and from above.
BODY CONDITIONING SCORING –
Here’s a chart I found easy to read and very helpful…
I also found an article – that “made it plain” on what to look for and feel to get the correct BCS (check out the last paragraph).
WHAT’S MY STRATEGY? –
Being “obsessed” with what they eat, along with as much exercise as I can handle #exhausteddoodlemom
There’s a chapter in The Honest Kitchen’s “Dog Obsessed” book where Lucy talks about overweight dogs. She offers four fixes for fat dogs –
- Cut down on treats – I am a huge advocate for praise, hugs and wrestling as a reward for positive reinforcement. When they are “treated” I make sure it is as healthy as the food they receive at meal time.
- Rationing – For me – using THK dehydrated food makes measuring fail-proof.
- Beware of the too-big bowl – I can’t speak to this one. I’ve never been drawn to matching the quantity of food to the size of the bowl.
- Work it out – Exercise has always been a huge part of our regiment. Nothing stops us from getting our walks. Doodle Dad and I both are committed to daily adventures with plenty of fresh air, and a couple of balls.
WHERE SHOULD YOU START? –
Do you think your dog is overweight? Don’t panic. Give your dog the visual BCS exam. Keep in mind there can be “exceptions” in scoring based on –
- the breed
- hair types
- percentage of lean muscle mass on some breeds (i.e. Greyhounds)
- body fat for difference breeds (i.e. Huskies, Rottweillers)
Still unsure? See your vet. Ask him/her to help you determine if your dogs weight needs adjusting. Together you can determine a course of action (a change in diet and increased exercise) to reach the dogs ideal weight.
I WILL ADD –
A healthy “balanced” nutritious meal plan is a great start. Both Harley and Jaxson consistently maintain the ideal score of 5.
I am still A-mazed after 5 years that Harley’s weight while eating The Honest Kitchen food remains between 51-54 lbs. #Iwishitwereme …
Over the years, I’ve learned how to “treat” with fresh fruits and veggies, and now I’m confident enough to “cook” healthy treats also.
Stop back by later this week when I make Beef, Pumpkin and Quinoa burgers for the Boys.
Remember – Monday’s are for fresh starts ❤️
DISCLAIMER: I am not a veterinarian nor a scientist. I’m a pet parent always interested in understanding more about my dogs.
Groovy Goldendoodles™ is in a partnership with The Honest Kitchen®. GGD is being compensated for helping spread the word about The Honest Kitchen®, but Groovy Goldendoodles™ will only share information about a product we feel is relevant to our readers. The Honest Kitchen® is not responsible for the content of this article. I look to Harley and Jaxson for tail wagging approval.