Just as how we have body mass index (BMI) to assess whether we
are underweight, ideal weight, or overweight, canines have body
condition score (BCS). It is common knowledge that factors which
determine our overall health are body weight, body fat, and
muscle mass. Although it is important to keep weighing your
canine on a regular basis, it is also vital to know its body
condition score.To know your canine’s body condition score, you
just need to inspect your dog both visually and with your hands.
The body condition score starts from one and ends at nine, which
stand of very underweight and very overweight respectively. The
ideal score for any canine is four or five, which is what you
should be aiming for at all times.
How To Conduct The Body Condition
To know the body condition score of your canine, follow these
First, you need to stand next to your canine in such a way that
you can look down on it to assess its overall profile.
Next, you need to look at your canine from different angles so
that you can get a proper assessment of different profiles.
Last but not the least, use your hands to feel its ribcage as you
run them along the sides of your canine. Note down how the
ribcage feels as you perform this procedure on your canine.
Ideal Body Condition
When you run your hands along the sides of your canine, you
should be able to feel the ribcage beneath a small layer of fat.
When you are looking at your canine from the overhead view, the
shape of its body should look like an hourglass. You should
be able to view its waist without any problems. When you look at
your canine from different profiles, there should be an inward
tuck in its abdomen, which is towards its pelvis.
Underweight Body Condition
If you can easily feel the ribcage, then your canine may not have
any muscle mass near that area. Also, if the pelvic bones and
lumbar vertebrae are visible from all profiles, then your canine
is underweight. Also, if the layer of fat is minimal and you can
still see all the bones of your canine, then it is underweight.
Overweight Body Condition
If you are finding it challenging to get a feel of your canine’s
rib cage or if you have to apply pressure, there are chances it
is overweight. To confirm, take a look at its overhead profile to
get a better idea. If your canine’s waist is barely visible or
absent, and there is a lack of abdominal tuck, then your canine
is overweight.Use these simple steps to assess the body condition
score of your canine at home. If you are finding it challenging,
contact your vet for more information. If you have any questions
regarding this topic, feel free to leave a comment below!
How to Keep a Dog Mentally Active
Dogs make great companions. Leaving them for too long can get
them bored out of their minds.
Unfortunately, a bored dog is a destructive dog. Suddenly, most
of your property starts looking very appetizing to them. At this
point, don’t even be surprised when you get home and find your
couch chewed up.
What’s worse? There’s only so much “bad dog” can do here. You’re
better off engaging them mentally so they’re less likely to get
Why is mental stimulation
important for dogs?
Taking care of your dog’s health goes beyond ensuring it’s
physically fit. Most people know that it’s important to take
their dogs out for a walk or run frequently. That’s great.
In that same vein, their brain needs to be stimulated too.
Mental health isn’t just important in humans, it’s important in
dogs too. And by mentally stimulating your dog, you can rest
assured of their overall good health.
Below are a few benefits of
mentally stimulating your dog –
ü It results in lowered stress levels for your dogs.
ü This is a good way to handle their anxiety,
especially when you’re gone.
ü It provides a healthy outlet for them to use their
minds – unless you’d rather they destroy your house for fun.
ü It’s a great way for dogs to release all that extra
energy they seem to have buried in them. 
Ideas you can use to keep your
dog mentally active –
ü Give your dog a
job to do
This sounds rather tedious, doesn’t it? Perhaps, but by giving
them a job, you’re engaging them positively. It doesn’t even have
to be something complicated.
Whatever you can come up with that they can do for a reward will
Great job options include finding stuff with their nose, chasing
squirrels or rodents, putting their toys away, or even the usual
The goal is to engage your dog in activities that will help to
sharpen its mind and boost its mental intelligence.
As for salaries, they come cheap. Extra treats or a "good boy”
ü Introduce your
dog to new tricks
Turns out even old dogs can learn new tricks. This is often such
an adventure for them. Plus, it can help stimulate them mentally.
Dogs are curious animals. Use this to your advantage.
The trick could be teaching them to figure out a puzzle. Who
knows? You might even have a performance dog on your hands.
If you have some space in your backyard, set up some hurdles and
train them to figure them out. Otherwise, smaller tricks such as
backing up, shaking paws, waving, or spinning work great.
ü Play interactive
games with your dog
Doing this not only helps to strengthen the bond between you and
your dog but also keeps their minds sharp.
The American Kennel Club agrees that most of
these cognitive training games do make your dog smarter.
A few recommendations here include teaching your dog to make eye
contact or switching up your walking routine to build their
Other great brain game ideas for dogs include dog puzzles, hide &
seek, treasure hunts, jump rope, and even teaching them how to
solve a problem. 
ü Introduce your
dog to new faces
Dogs tend to become aggressive when they meet a new face or a
stranger. Sometimes, it’s not even aggression, its fear or
However, to boost your dog's mental intelligence, they must be
exposed to other people and dogs.
The best way to do this is via a “slow process” to avoid
Here’s the right way to do
Ø Keep them in a separate room till everyone settles
Ø Allow them to make the first move when they’re ready
Ø Let the new person offer them some treats
Ø Be patient and encourage them kindly. 
ü Get some new
Most dog owners have to go to work without their dogs. This
leaves them bored while you are not around. Fortunately, you can
still engage your dog while you’re not around by getting it some
A new toy can be a new source of fun and adventure for it. But
don’t just buy one and throw at it. You need to choose the right
toy for your dog and introduce them to it.
Quiet toys that they can chew often end up being just that – chew
toys. This isn’t interesting to them.
Go for interactive toys. Once you bring it home, spend some time
introducing them to it and teaching them how to use it.
ü Get it a
This can be a bit dicey at first. Dogs like to think you’re
enough for them. So, they may not entertain the idea of a new dog
coming to steal all the attention from you.
A great alternative would be to set up a playdate for them at the
park or a friend’s place. They’d have their fill of fun and still
go home with you alone. This might be better for your sanity.
But, if you decide to go ahead and get a new dog, just know that
the first few weeks will be the hardest. Eventually, they should
A few things you should
consider here include –
attitude – if your dog is super aggressive, best
believe this process will be harder. Consider chaining both dogs
on opposite sides of a fence and allowing them to check each
One will likely establish dominance, then they can run off into
the sunset happily…or something less dramatic, but you get the
The new dog’s
size – smaller dogs can get hurt by larger dogs –
intentionally or not. If you choose to get a smaller dog or if
your dog is the small dog in this scenario, always keep an eye
out to ensure they’re safe.
However, you're better off choosing a dog that's the same size as
yours. That way, they're equally matched.
Play styles – this
is an often overlooked consideration. However, all dogs have
For instance, while collies enjoy chasing and running around,
most pit bulls would rather wrestle and even play fight. Putting
these two dogs together would be more trouble than fun.
If you’d like your dog to be a well-rounded, well-adjusted member
of both the human and canine societies, then make their mental
health a priority.
It's great that most of these activities are also physically
stimulating. Beyond that, doing these things with your dog
provides an excellent opportunity for you to bond with them.
At the end of the day, the benefits are numerous and we recommend
you give these a try.