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Dogs are often considered to be omnivores, meaning that they will eat both plants and animals; however, they do have some nutritional limitations. This chapter considers nutritional assessment, life-stage feeding, choosing a food and obesity.

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4.1 All dogs should be assigned a body condition score (BCS). This WSAVA chart scores body condition out of 9. (Courtesy of WSAVA Global Nutrition Committee) A 5-point scale may also be used for body condition scoring. (© Pet Food Manufacturers Association)
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4.2 The body fat index (BFI) is especially useful for overweight dogs (© Reprinted with permission by the copyright owner, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc.)
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4.3 This 2-year-old Gordon Setter is showing severe muscle loss. The dog had a thoracic mass and was eating poorly.
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4.4 Determining muscle condition score. (Courtesy of WSAVA Global Nutrition Committee)
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4.7 These growing English Springer Spaniel puppies are showing good body condition (BCS 5/9). (Courtesy of Jimmy Simpson)
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4.8 German Shepherd bitch with puppies showing good growth from adequate lactation. (Courtesy of Nicki Redpath)
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4.9 This 5-year-old male neutered Corgi had a BCS of 9/9 and almost 50% body fat. He was at serious risk of obesity-related disease and a weight loss programme was instigated.
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