Why do animals not have protruding muscles

Dog & Cat Body Condition Score

Many pets are too heavy without their owners being aware of it.

Obesity can first be recognized by external characteristics:

  • Animals of healthy weight have waistlines when looked down on from above.
  • The belly should not droop when viewed from the side of the ribs.
  • With light pressure, the ribs, spinal bulges and hips should be palpable. The ribs should not be visible.

You can also tell whether a pet is too heavy in terms of fitness. Animals that are too heavy often get tired faster, warm up faster in summer and often have a constant appetite.

In humans, the BMI is used to determine a healthy weight. For animals, there is also an objective system for classifying animals into a weight category, namely the Body Condition Score (BCS). This score can be divided into different scales with the corresponding characteristics.

We give the explanation on the basis of the BCS divided into 7 scales.

Scale 1 (-70%) (very lean)

The ribs, vertebrae, pelvic bones and other protruding bone parts are clearly visible from afar and there is no body fat on the body. There is a significant loss of muscle mass and an increased abdomen.

Scale 2 (-50%) (very lean)

The ribs, vertebrae and pelvic bones are clearly visible, some protruding bone parts are visible from afar. There is no fat layer felt on the body and there is only a limited amount of muscle mass. The stomach is also clearly drawn up.

Scale 3 (-20%) (underweight)

The ribs are easy to feel. No layer of fat on the ribs and they may be visible. The protruding bones may be visible and there is a distinct waist with a raised belly.

Scale 4 healthy weight

The ribs are easy to feel and covered with a thin / normal layer of fat. The waist is clearly visible from above and the belly is pulled up.

Scale 5 (+ 20%) (overweight)

The ribs are palpable, but covered with a layer of fat that is a little too thick. The waist can still be seen from above, but not clearly, and the belly is only slightly pulled up.

Scale 6 (+ 50%) (obese)

The ribs are difficult to feel and covered with a thick layer of fat. There are significant fat deposits on the back and the base of the tail, and the waist is not too barely visible. The stomach is not or is hardly pulled up.

Scale 7 (+ 70%) (obese)

Heavy fat deposits on the chest, back and base of the tail. The ribs are no longer palpable. The waist is no longer visible and the stomach is no longer pulled up. You will also see a (significant) increase in the size of the abdomen.