Body Condition Scoring
April 30, 2018
Body Condition Scoring (BCS), is monitoring a dog’s condition in the same way you review your stock.
The most effective way to know how much to feed your working dog is to feed by eye. Just as you appraise your ewes and lambs body condition, so too can you appraise your working dogs’ body condition.
What is body condition scoring?
BCS is a 9 point scoring system of your dog’s weight and body condition: 1 being emaciated and 9 being obese. By using this system you can easily tell if you need to feed your working dog more or less. The ideal working dog will be sitting at a BCS of around 4-5. Keep in mind that there are no half scores using this system.
How to body condition score.
Looking at your working dog from above, you should ideally be able to see their waist but not see any protruding hip bones or spine.
Looking from the side, they should have an abdominal tuck.
Ribs should be easily felt without being obviously visible.
If you can see the dog’s ribs, spine, or hip bones from a distance, you need to increase the amount of kibble you are feeding.
An important thing to remember is how much work your dog will be doing in the near future. If the season is just starting it’s a good idea to have them sitting around a body condition score of 5 so they can afford to lose a little fat as their work rate increases into the season.
Benefits of BCS
- Easily track how much food your dog needs so that they can stay in top condition.
- Being a standardised scoring system, it’s easy to communicate to your vet or any other professional when needed.
- By making sure your working dog maintains an ideal body condition score, you can rest assured that they are ready for working hard on the farm.
For dogs to perform at their best, it’s important to feed them a source of good quality highly digestible protein such as that in Eukanuba™ Premium Performance. This supports strong, healthy lean muscles and tissue repair. Coupled with a good body condition score, farm dogs can be the lean, keen performance machines that every farm needs.