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Is my pet overweight?
Understanding your pet's Body Condition Score (BCS)

Dogs and cats come in all shapes and sizes, but the same general criteria determine whether your pet is under- or overweight. Using the guidelines here, a quick evaluation of your dog's or cat's shape can tell you whether they're at a healthy weight.

If you have any concerns, have your veterinarian develop a proper diet plan for your pet.

Dogs viewing dog body condition chart
Cats viewing cat body condition chart
Pet Obesity: A Growing Problem.
52.5%
OF DOGS
equals
36.7 Million
DOGS OVERWEIGHT OR OBESE
Source: 2012 Pet Obesity Study for the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention
Pet Obesity: A Growing Problem.
58.3%
Of Cats
equals
43.2 Million
Cats OVERWEIGHT OR OBESE
Source: 2012 Pet Obesity Study for the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention
The Purina Body Condition System:
Too Thin
1
underweight top view underweight side view
1
Ribs, lumbar vertebrae, pelvic bones and all bony prominences evident from a distance. No discernible body fat. Obvious loss of muscle mass.
1 1
Ribs, lumbar vertebrae and pelvic bones easily visible. No palpable fat. Some evidence of other bony prominence. Minimal loss of muscle mass.
1
underweight top view underweight side view
1
Ribs easily palpated and may be visible with no palpable fat. Tops of lumbar vertebrae visible. Pelvic bones becoming prominent. Obvious waist and abdominal tuck.
1
underweight top view underweight side view
1
Ribs visible on shorthaired cats; no palpable fat; severe abdominal tuck; lumbar vertebrae and wings of ilia easily palpated.
1 1
Ribs easily visible on shorthaired cats; lumbar vertebrae obvious with minimal muscle mass; pronounced abdominal tuck; no palpable fat.
1
underweight top view underweight side view
1
Ribs easily palpable with minimal fat covering; lumbar vertebrae obvious; obvious waist behind ribs; minimal abdominal fat.
Ideal
1
underweight top view underweight side view
1
Ribs easily palpable, with minimal fat covering. Waist easily noted, viewed from above. Abdominal tuck evident.
1
Ribs palpable without excess fat covering. Waist observed behind ribs when viewed from above. Abdomen tucked up when viewed from side.
1
underweight top view underweight side view
1
Ribs palpable with minimal fat covering; noticeable waist behind ribs; slight abdominal tuck; abdominal fat pad absent.
1
Well-proportioned; observe waist behind ribs; ribs palpable with slight fat covering; abdominal fat pad minimal.
Too Heavy
1
underweight top view underweight side view
1
Ribs palpable with slight excess fat covering. Waist is discernible viewed from above but is not prominent. Abdominal tuck apparent.
1 1
Ribs palpable with difficulty; heavy fat cover. Noticeable fat deposits over lumbar area and base of tail. Waist absent or barely visible. Abdominal tuck may be present.
1
underweight top view underweight side view
1
Ribs not palpable under very heavy fat cover, or palpable only with significant pressure. Heavy fat deposits over lumbar area and base of tail. Waist absent. No abdominal tuck. Obvious abdominal distention may be present.
1 1
Ribs not palpable under very heavy fat cover, or palpable only with significant pressure. Heavy fat deposits over lumbar area and base of tail. Waist absent. No abdominal tuck. Obvious abdominal distention may be present.
1
underweight top view underweight side view
1
Ribs palpable with slight excess fat covering; waist and abdominal fat pad distinguishable but not obvious; abdominal tuck absent.
1 1
Ribs not easily palpated with moderate fat covering; waist poorly discernible; obvious rounding of abdomen; moderate abdominal fat pad.
1
underweight top view underweight side view
1
Ribs not palpable with excess fat covering; waist absent; obvious rounding of abdomen with prominent abdominal fat pad; fat deposits present over lumbar area.
1 1
Ribs not palpable under heavy fat cover; heavy fat deposits over lumbar area, face and limbs; distention of abdomen with no waist; extensive abdominal fat deposits.
 
Download the Dog Body Condition Chart
Download the Cat Body Condition Chart
The BODY CONDITION SYSTEM was developed at the Nestlé Purina Pet Care Center and has been validated as documented in the following publications: Mawby D, Bartges JW, Moyers T, et. al. Comparison of body fat estimates by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry and deuterium oxide dilution in client owned dogs. Compendium 2001; 23 (9A): 70 Laflamme DP. Development and Validation of a Body Condition Score System for Dogs. Canine Practice July/August 1997; 22:10-15 Kealy, et. al. Effects of Diet Restriction on Life Span and Age-Related Changes in Dogs. JAVMA 2002; 220:1315-1320