5 out of 9 is the perfect Body Condition Score (BCS) (i.e. the Brad Pitt or Jessica Biel of the pet world), so a BCS below a 5 means your pet may have missed too many meals.
In Hollywood we say “you can never be too rich or too thin”, but being underweight means they may be actually be unhealthy, which is never all alright with us!
If you can’t feel any fat over your pet’s ribs or if you readily see their back or hip bones, then your pet gets a concerning BCS between 1 and 3 out of 9. An emaciated pet looking like they have been spending too many late nights with Amy Winehouse (or with any starlet prepping for awards season) is not a healthy pet!
Pets having an excessively skinny body condition are typically afflicted by disease or neglect. Liver or kidney failure, cancer, gastrointestinal parasite infestations, bacteria or viral infections, and malnutrition can all contribute to an unhealthy, gaunt appearance.
Above is a strong visual example of an underweight dog. This unfortunate street canine treated during Dr. Patrick's recent trip to Peru with Amazon Cares has a 2 out of 9 BCS.
If your pet looks too thin or any other health issues, schedule a consultation and physical exam with your veterinarian.