Your dog’s Body Condition Score

It’s best to use shape as well as the scales to check if your dog is fit and healthy. Checking their shape regularly will help you know if your dog gained or lost weight. By feeling and looking at their body, you can carry out a ‘Body Condition Score’, which will tell you where your dog sits on the 9-point body condition scale.

It’s really easy to do a Body Condition Score on your dog – they will probably even enjoy it. It entails running your hands (and eyes) over their body to check their shape, which will help you know if your dog is healthy or needs to lose weight.


How to do a Body Condition Score

  1. Run your hands along your dog’s sides. The skin should move freely over the ribs, which you should be able to feel with a light touch.
  2. Run your hands along your dog’s back. You should be able to feel the spine and hipbones under the skin without being able to see them.
  3. Gently feel the base of your dog’s tail. There shouldn’t be a build-up of fat.
  4. Feel under your dog’s tummy. It should go in, not bulge out.
  5. Look at your dog from the side and from above. You should be able to see a waist. If not, your dog may be overweight.
A depiction of underweight, ideal weight, and overweight dogs, along with their Body Condition Score and what this means

Is your dog piling on the pounds?

Sometimes it can be hard to tell if your dog is putting on weight. The best person to ask for advise if your vet but our blog has some top tips.

Read more

Obesity in dogs

Being obese puts your dog at risk of health problems and will likely reduce how long they live. For more information on obesity in dogs, visit our Pet Health Hub.

Find out more

Royal Canin

Proudly supported by Royal Canin, we’re here to help you get your pet into shape. The PDSA Pet Store has lots of tasty food to tantalise your canine’s tastebuds while helping them lose weight.

Shop the range

For more top tips and expert vet advice on how to improve your pet’s diet and exercise regime, download our free Weigh Up diet and exercise guide.