Kenosha Animal Hospital

6223 39th Avenue
Kenosha, WI 53142




The Pfizer Animal Health Company developed the following quiz to be used by dog owners to help evaluate their current feeding and exercise habits. Please take a few minutes and answer the following questions. You may want to share your answers with your veterinarian to help determine if your dog is at risk for obesity. (Unfortunately, a specific questionnaire for cat owners is not yet available. As soon as I find or develop one, you'll be reading about it in a future article.) Pfizer named it the BARC quiz, an acronym for Body Assessment Rating for Canines.

1. Is your dog a breed that is prone to obesity, such as retrievers (Labrador and golden), beagles, basset hounds, cocker spaniels, dachshunds, shelties, and terriers?

2. Do you have a multi-dog household? (Dogs in multi-dog households tend to eat more and faster than dogs in one-dog households.)

3. Is your dog over 5 years old AND still being fed the same type and amount of food as when he or she was younger?

4. Feel your dog's ribs. Do you find it difficult to determine where one rib ends and one begins?

5. Stand at your dog's side and look at the tuck-up - the belly area between the rib cage and hindquarters. Is the body more "square-shaped" in this area?

6. Do you regularly feed your dog table scraps and/or multiple non-meal treats each day?

7. When you feed your dog, do you just pour the food into the bowl (rather than giving a specific measured amount each time)?

8. Does your dog have difficulty standing up or jumping on the couch?

9. Does your dog get less than 20 to 30 minutes per day of outside exercise/play time?

Total the number of times you answered "yes"…

1 - 3: There is a low risk that your dog is overweight or obese. You may want to repeat this survey every few months, especially if you see changes in your dog's weight.

4 - 6: Your dog may be overweight or living a lifestyle that could lead him or her to become overweight or obese. You may want to discuss your dog's weight at your next visit.

7 - 9: Your dog is at a very high risk for being overweight or obese. See a veterinarian immediately to discuss an action plan for your dog.