2001-Fri Feb 24 12:35:42 MST 2017
Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
When checking your pet’s weight, your veterinarian will not only weigh your pet on a scale but also assess the appearance of your pet’s body condition. Body condition is usually evaluated on a scale of 1 to 9, with 1 being too thin, 9 being obese, and 5 representing the ideal weight. A similar body condition scoring system uses a 1-to-5 scale, with 1 being too thin, 3 being ideal, and 5 indicating obesity.
When your pet is the ideal weight, you should be able to feel (but not see) the ribs, with a minimal fat covering. When observing your pet from above, your pet’s waist should be visible behind the rib cage. In dogs, the abdomen should “tuck up” behind the ribcage when viewed from the side.
Visible ribs, spinal vertebrae, and hip bones are usually signs that the pet is too thin. When pets are overweight, it is difficult to feel the ribs, and the waist is not visible when viewed from above.
Unexplained weight changes in your pet may be the first sign of a health problem. Regular weight checks enable your veterinarian to investigate these problems early. Excessive weight gain by itself may lead to other health problems, including:
Regular weight checks can help you keep your pet at the ideal weight, which can help him or her have a longer, healthier life.
This article has been reviewed by a Veterinarian.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Dogs and cats help improve our mental,
social and physical health — and we
have the science to prove it!
We asked our readers to share the funny
things and skillful tricks their dogs will do
to get Milk-Bone® Pill…
It’s more than just cute when your kitty
naps in a box — it’s an instinctive
behavior that’s hardwired in her…
Herding dog, search-and-rescue dog, guide dog, police dog, farm dog — you name it, the German Shepherd can do it.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
Thank you for subscribing.