The Daily Healthy Calorie Intake for Your Dog

We are always extremely careful about the food we consume and the nutrients we take to fulfill our bodies’ need to function properly and healthily. Food is very vital for our physical and mental health; it is basically the fuel we live by. Some food choices are smart, like a fruit-salad bowl, full of vitamin-rich fruits that fill you up for quite some time, while other choices not so much, such as a bar of chocolate that probably has twice as much calorie and leaves you hungry again in no time.

The issue is that we take time and put a lot of effort into picking our food and deciding when to have a cheat meal, while completely neglecting to give the same amount of attention to the food our beloved pets consume.

There is no general calorie count for dogs, as it is highly depend on the individuality of the pet. It is dependent on the age, breed, growth rate, activity, amount of exercise done and, of course, the size of the dog. Calories as we call them are known by the term “Kilo calories” in veterinary medicine and are practically impossible to mathematically calculate. They can vary up to 20% depending on major factors uniquely differing from one dog to another, like the metabolic rate.

Regardless of the imprecision, one should still try to calculate with the information they have, work with the results they’ve got and keep an eye on the dog’s weight, response to given food amount, energy and overall wellness and health to determine whether the set nutrition plan is affective or whether it needs improvising and where. You’ll have to watch your dog’s body condition and carefully start adjusting the plan accordingly.

It is advised to indulge your veterinarian with such decision and consult them about the dietary plan you’re willing to set for your beloved furry partner. Make sure not to act on your own without asking for a professional opinion if your dog suffers or has suffered in the past from health issues, and especially not if they require special medical attention or a specialized diet.

In this article we are going to show you how veterinarians determine the maintenance energy requirements for dogs (aka the calories needed to maintain a healthy, energetic life.)
The calculation is rather simple, all you have to do is just gather up all your dog’s info, make sure they’re correct and up-to-date and voila.

Commonly Used Multipliers:

Typical neutered pet     1.6
Typical intact pet           1.8
Weight loss                      1
Weight gain                     1.7
Light work                       2
Moderate work               3
Heavy work                     6
Growth (less than 4 months old)           3
Growth (more than 4 months old)        2

The following is an example of a calculation done for a neutered dog weighing around 45 pounds (20,41 kg):
45 lbs / 2.2 = 20.5 kg
70 x 20.5^0.75 = 674 kcal/day
1.6 x 672 = 1075 kcal/day

Again, this calculation is sadly not a “one-size fits all.” As expressed earlier, minor details may influence the calculation and tip the scale. Usually the amount of calories needed vary between 860 and 1290 a day.

If you find yourself interested in calculating the nutritious needs of your dog, but have no patience or talent for math, you can always check the World Small Animal Veterinary Association’s (WSAVA) Global Nutrition Committee table and read your dog into it. In case you happen to be a lover for both, cats and dogs, you will find what you need for both on said website. For both as an average health calculation.