A Guide to Calculate the Caloric Needs of Your Dog

A Guide to Calculate the Caloric Needs of Your Dog

Table of Contents

We are always worried about how many calories we are intaking, whether or not we are intaking a healthy amount of vitamins and minerals, whether or not our body has enough nutrients to go on; and a similar tabular data is required to determine whether or not your lovable pet dog is intaking all required dietary nutrients. In this article, we provide how many Caloric Needs of Dogs.

Your pet dog needs as much attention to their diet as human beings, as they are always moving around, engaging in physical activity without taking much of their time out to rest. 

Every bundle of canine food has a suggested amount of calories recorded on it. It depends on grown-up weight, albeit a few food varieties list proposals for dogs of different ages. 

The issue with these suggestions is that they don’t represent your canine’s present well-being status, whether or not your canine is fixed, or how dynamic your canine is on a given day. 

Those proposals are ideas in light of the normal canine in each gathering, however very much like with people, each canine is unique and what works for one canine may not work for another. 

Working out your canine’s calorie needs will assist you with guaranteeing your canine is getting the perfect proportion of food consistently.


Calories are the measurement of energy. The term is used to show energy content in food and the energy essentials for animals. One kilocalorie, or kcal, is comparable to 1000 calories. In any case, the articulation “Calorie” is overall used to portray one kcal when seeing food stamps or discussing dietary needs. 

When looking at pet food denotes, the term kcal is used most often. Regardless, you can ponder Calories and kcals interchangeable terms. Kcal content is valuable when searching for canine food and treats. You should similarly consider the calorie content of any secured human food you may deal with your canine, as these add to your canine’s step-by-step utilization.

Factors Determining Caloric Needs of Dogs

Factors Determining Caloric Need of Dogs

1. Age

With age varies the caloric need of dogs. When some are younger, they might not need as much caloric intake as they would when they are in their growing stages. 

Dogs engage themselves in as much physical activity as they can in their growing stage and between the age of 2-and 8 years old, and this is when you need to pay the most attention to their caloric needs. 

Also See:- Puppy Weight Calculator

Years after they turn 8 years old, they will have different dietary requirements as they will grow tired easily, they will not play as much, and would want to rest more. 

If you feed them as many calories as you were feeding them before, it might lead to obesity and other diseases that follow obesity. 

2. Gender

One major factor that determines the number of calories that your dog needs is its gender. As has been scientifically established, dogs need a slightly higher amount of calories as their physical build is different from their female counterparts. 

3. Breed

The caloric need of dogs varies with the breed. You might calculate a generic dietary requirement but it might not always hold, about different breeds. 

Some breeds are small, some are relatively very small, some breeds are designer dogs, and some are guard dogs. 

Since all of them have different purposes in their life, the caloric content differs according to the activities that they participate in everyday life. 

4. Physical Activity

Dog Physical Activity
Summertime leisure activities. A little girl with her dog is having fun on the field in the sunny daytime.

We can not judge dogs by their breeds alone. Many dogs might be of the same breeds but still different in the amount of energy they can spare for physical activity. 

Some dogs might engage in more physical activity than a dog from the same breed who does not like physical activities as much. 

If you feed both dogs the same amount of calories, one might turn out to be obese and lazy. 

5. Stress

If your dog is under stress, their physical activity is bound to decrease and they will also reduce the amount of food intake hereby accounting for a much lesser amount of caloric intake than what is required.

6. Neutered Dog

With neutering there comes a dropping in the hormonal level of dogs making them less likely to grow muscles so the food that they take would only increase their fat. 

7. Body Condition

Body Condition of your dogs
  • Your canine’s body condition is a fundamental thing to consider before calculating the caloric need. General ideas for caloric confirmation rely upon an ideal body condition. 
  • Accepting that your canine is overweight or underweight is the first step in dealing with the aftermath. After this comes the calculation of the number of calories recommended for your canine’s ideal weight. 
  • Counsel your veterinarian for assistance in choosing your canine’s optimal body keeping their weight and caloric prerequisites in mind. In case your canine prerequisites to lose or gain weight, this should be done bit by bit and with clinical oversight. 
  • Moreover, your vet should review your canine’s overall prosperity and guarantee there is everything except a principal disease impacting your canine’s weight.

Ideal Number of Feedings Per Day

Ideally, you should feed your canine in 2-3 split dinners every day. Feeding them only once every day may leave them extra hungry during dinner time and may push them towards obesity or glutting. 

You should fill their bowl reliably with the restricted proportion of food for that day. Assessing your canine’s food will help you with checking definitively how much your canine is eating on whatever day.

Process of Calculating the Caloric Need of Dogs

You must have your pet checked by your veterinarian and determine their weight under the current circumstances and environment. 

Taking into account your pet’s degree of excess weight, you may pick a true weight higher than the best weight to start. 

Also See:- Dog Name Finder

Normal principles for safe weight decrease in canines is the decrease of 3-5% body weight every month and around 0.5 pounds every month which is great progress, gradual yet steady. A fundamental condition for weight decrease in pets is:

How to Convert Weight from Pound to KG

How to Convert Weight from Pound to KG

To convert the given weight in pounds into kilograms, as kilograms is a more standardized version of measurement, you simply have to divide the weight in pounds by 2.2, and the result would be the weight in kilograms.

Resting Energy Requirement

Resting Energy Requirement tends to how many calories are needed for a body in a 24-hour time frame during a non-mobile period, when it is essentially static or at rest.

Calculating Resting Energy Requirement(RER)

  • RER in kcal/day = (ideal or target weight in kg ^ 0.75) x 70
  • or (ideal or target weight in kg) to the 3⁄4 power) x 70
  • Or 30 x (body weight in kilograms) + 70

For weight reduction in canines, taking care of the RER calories for the progression weight reduction target weight (or optimal load at times) ought to be sufficient. 

In cases that neglect to react to this number of calories, the total should be substituted by a lower number by your veterinarian. 

We emphatically exhort people with pets to not decrease taking care of the specified RER calories except if under direct oversight by their veterinary medical care supplier.

Maintenance Energy Requirement 

Maintenance Energy Requirement is how much energy an animal needs to maintain energy equilibrium and records for thermoregulation, unconstrained activity, and exercise. 

It addresses energy lost as a result of metabolism and other digestive processes in the form of heat.

MER = RER *Signalment*Activity level * BCS

Wherein BCS stands for Body Condition Score

Signalment is the factor number that is different for dogs and cats depending on their genetic factors as in whether they are spayed or neutered. 

For a neutered dog, the signalment factor is 1.6 whereas, for an intact adult dog, the signalment factor accounts for 1.8.

The activity level also measures up to a number where the activity level is signified by numbers varying from 1 to 1.6, depending on their activity level, where 1 is for dogs who are extremely inactive and 1.6 for dogs who are excessively active like guard dogs.

The Absolute Calorie Requirement Chart

The Absolute Calorie Requirement Chart
Ideal TargetRER Required80% RER70% RERMaintenance Diet

As specified above, the caloric needs for dogs are different, marginally in some cases and exceptionally in most. You cannot calculate the caloric need for dogs by not taking their specific features into account. 

Below is the suggested amount of calorie intake for dogs in different stages of their life.

  • 10-Pound Adult (Underweight): 245-375 calories/day
  • 10-Pound Adult (Overweight): 180-210 calories/day
  • 50-Pound Adult (Fixed): 750-1200 calories/day
  • 50-Pound Adult (Intact): 750-1350 calories/day
  • 100-Pound Adult (Active): 1430-7100 calories/day
  • 100-Pound Adult (Obese): 1400-1430 calories/day

But again, this is only according to their age, that does not mean that any dog of any breed will be able to take this suggested number of calories. As mentioned above, many factors determine the calculation of the caloric intake of dogs. 

Malnutrition in Dogs

Malnutrition in Dogs

Malnourished canines can refer to overweight or underweight dogs. Feeble well-being infers they are not getting the appropriate sustenance and it’s provoking deficiencies and sicknesses. 

Underweight canines that are malnourished can encounter very tough organ hurt, skin issues, thinning up top, pressure wounds, and slowness.

Also See:- Facial Swelling In Canines: Everything You Need To Know.

Obesity in canines can incite critical changes in lifestyle and limit many of their activities. It can incite joint agony in addition to the risk of injuries like tendon tears and slipped vertebral plates. 

Enormous canines become depleted adequately and can encounter the evil impacts of diabetes, huge combinations of fat around the organs, liver issues, and other veritable illnesses.

Extra Calories That Your Dog Intakes

Extra Calories That Your Dog Intakes
  1. Dealing with treats or table pieces will add to your canine’s calorie confirmation. Be sure that treats and goodies make up to 10% or less of your canine’s everyday utilization. 
  2. A great deal of your canine’s everyday calorie confirmation should come from an aggregate and changed eating schedule. 
  3. Counsel your vet for direction while deciding on an eating routine for your canine as anything below or above the caloric need of dogs specified for them would lead to malnutrition.
  4. While picking a packaged food item, look for food that satisfies AAFCO rules for your canine’s life stage (this should be on the imprint). 
  5. The rules determined on the bundle can be used as typical rules for feeding and are fine for most canines. Regardless, you may need to change the aggregate you feed as per your canine’s necessities. Canine food stamps usually list the kcal per cup or container of food. The kcals may similarly be isolated by the gram.
  6. Hand-crafted canine food is more mind-boggling. Regardless of calories, you should contemplate protein, fat, and water content similar to the appropriate proportion of supplements, minerals, and various enhancements. 
  7. It is of the utmost importance to examine with a veterinarian the arrangement of an aggregate and specially designed eating routine for your canine.

Calorie Calculators

Calorie Calculators
  • If you are still confused about the entire process, there are available tools online that perform this task for you and would tell you the specific amount of caloric intake necessary for your dog daily upon entering their weight and other specific details. 
  • Keep certain things in mind before giving any desired amount of calories to your dogs without first consulting your veterinarian that this might have serious repercussions on your dog’s health. 
  • Dogs are vulnerable creatures and depend on you wholly for their well-being, so being a responsible adult, ensure that you are providing them the adequate amount of calories required by their specific body depending on their specific conditions and factors.  
  • The caloric need of dogs is something that can be easily determined so do not lag off in such a minor precaution for a long and healthy life of your dog.

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