Measuring body composition in dogs using multifrequency bioelectrical impedance analysis and dual energy X-ray absorptiometry

Vet J. 2016 Jun;212:65-70. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2016.04.007. Epub 2016 Apr 14.


Thirty-five healthy, neutered, mixed breed dogs were used to determine the ability of multifrequency bioelectrical impedance analysis (MFBIA) to predict accurately fat-free mass (FFM) in dogs using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA)-measured FFM as reference. A second aim was to compare MFBIA predictions with morphometric predictions. MFBIA-based predictors provided an accurate measure of FFM, within 1.5% when compared to DXA-derived FFM, in normal weight dogs. FFM estimates were most highly correlated with DXA-measured FFM when the prediction equation included resistance quotient, bodyweight, and body condition score. At the population level, the inclusion of impedance as a predictor variable did not add substantially to the predictive power achieved with morphometric variables alone; in individual dogs, impedance predictors were more valuable than morphometric predictors. These results indicate that, following further validation, MFBIA could provide a useful tool in clinical practice to objectively measure FFM in canine patients and help improve compliance with prevention and treatment programs for obesity in dogs.

Keywords: Bioelectrical impedance; Body composition; DXA; Dog; Fat-free mass; Obesity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon / veterinary*
  • Adipose Tissue / diagnostic imaging*
  • Animals
  • Body Composition*
  • Dogs
  • Electric Impedance*
  • Female
  • Male