Shape of you

Being an Indie — Indian Pariah Dog, Bailey did not have any standard age-weight chart I could use to gauge her health and growth.

What is BCS:

Body Condition Score is a system of gauging your dog’s weight based on evaluating the fat distribution across key areas along your dog’s body. The BCS system is easy to follow at home and allows you to keep a check on your dog’s health weight-wise without making frequent trips to the vet or coaxing your dog to get on a weighing scale.

The 5-point and 9-point BCS scales. Original artwork- Pressure Kukur.

How to assign a Body Condition Score:

To assign a Body Condition Score, you need to see and feel your dog while your dog is standing (like in the chart above), and give a score on the 5 or 9 point chart based on the number your dog corresponds to.

Refer to the descriptions below to understand what each point on the 5-point and 9-point BCS scales means. Original artwork- Pressure Kukur.

Uses of BCS:

A dog’s Body Condition Score gives a pretty standard idea of the weight. If needed, it can be used to manage your dog’s weight through their diet and keep track of their growth. Based on the BCS assigned and taking into account the dog’s breed, level of activity, age, medical conditions and other factors, your veterinarian and/or nutritionist will recommend changes to your dog’s diet.

Some dog breeds are naturally skinny or have a high fat percentage and/or lots of fur. Body Condition Score should be read along with body fat percentage for such dogs. Photo by Kanashi on Unsplash

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