Obesity in dogs

Do you love your dog
enough to know
their ideal shape?

  1. Look
  2. Feel
  3. Weigh

Love can be blind. Our Body Condition Scoring technique will help you remove the blinkers and determine if your dog is an ideal shape.


What can you see?

Don’t be love blind.

Look from above; how easily can you see the curve of their waist behind their ribs? What abdominal tuck can you see? If they’re not clear – or not there at all – your dog will not be at his or her ideal shape. On the other hand, if the ribs, pelvic bone and vertebra are visible your dog could be underweight. Download a Body Condition Score chart to find out your dog’s shape.

Graphic of two dogs labelled Ideal and Obese


What can you feel?

The shape of your dog is in your hands.

With a light touch and flat hands feel all over your dog’s body. Start by placing your thumbs between the shoulder blades, just at the back of your dog’s head and move back, smoothing the fur as you go. You should be able to feel the ribs easily without too much fat covering them. Use the knuckles on your hand for comparison; hold out your hand flat and run your fingers over the knuckles on the back of your hand. This is how the ribs should feel. More prominent than this and your dog is underweight. Less prominent and they’re carrying excess weight. Download a Body Condition Score chart to find out your dog’s shape.

Dog with graphic of human hands


What portion size do you serve?

Love is not a guessing game.

Measuring aids, such as scoops and cups, are a highly inaccurate way of measuring out your dog’s meals. Without knowing it, you could be giving them 20%* more or less food with each serving. Using digital scales to weigh out portions gives you greater control and provides your dog with an accurate daily calorie allowance.

In addition to weighing your dog’s food, it is important to keep a record of your dog’s weight too. Click here to download our helpful Weight Record Chart:

Graphic of dog with scales and bowl
*German et al. (2011) Journey of animal philosophy and animal nutrition measuring cups


Contact your vet

Contact your vet to have your dog weighed, Body Condition Scored and gain advice and guidance on pet nutrition.

Love them better

If your dog has scored six or more on the Body Condition Score chart, it would be a good idea to contact your vet and discuss a suitable weight management programme for their breed and age. You can also find out more about how to manage your pet’s shape with this handy guide.

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