Tricks to calculate your dog’s daily calorie needs!

We love dogs, and our dogs love treats. Dogs love treats, but for that reason, we can’t feed them in excess to show our love. Everything must be in limits when concerned to diets for all the creatures on this earth.

Calculating our dog’s daily calorie needs based on the activity, age, breed weight, lifestyle, health conditions and much more. Distinct factors determine the daily calorie needs of dogs, but the toughest part is to determine exactly how much we should serve them.

It’s very inhumane on denying treats to our dogs. But, in the case of dogs and treats, we must be in limits so that we can save our dog’s life. Human foods can be served to dogs but in limits. There are some toxic human foods too. But, as a responsible pet parent, we must be aware of the toxic as well as healthy human foods list for our dogs. Now let’s learn how to calculate the dog’s daily calorie needs!

Calculating Dog’s daily calorie needs

Metabolism, activity, and tasks of your dog on a daily basis may include 20% variation in every dog. Dogs like Pomeranian, Pug, Retriever are active and may consume little more than other breeds.

AAFCO(Association of American Feed Control Officials) have set limits for daily calories of dog diet plan. But the reality varies from their theories. Some of our dogs may feel hunger in mid of the day and some in late nights. It purely depends on their metabolism, age, breed weight and much more.

While serving dogs it’s not necessary that you must serve a lot of foods, but you must serve healthy, nutritious diets to your dog. The healthy foods, veggies, fruits, chick meat, must be served to dogs instead of serving table scraps and left outs from our dining.

Human foods may contain onion, garlic, nuts, alcoholic beverages and much more which are toxic to dogs. Hence you must take good care of dog’s diet plan. Calorie calculators can’t determine the factors mentioned above which are important to calculate our dog’s daily calorie needs.

Vet’s standard calculation formula

Vet’s use the standard formula of dog’s calorie needs by metabolism and activity. Here are the directions for calculating your dog’s daily calorie needs.

If you weigh your dog in pounds, then it must be converted into kilograms. Hence divide the body weight of dog in pounds by 2.2!

Resting Energy Requirement(RER)= 70*(Body weight of dog in KG)^0.75

Maintenance Energy Requirement(MER)= Multiplier suitable for your dog* RER


The multiplier used for dogs varies in sub-categories as follows:

  • Neutered or Spayed Dog= 1.6
  • Typical Intact Dog= 1.8
  • For Weight Loss=1
  • For weight gain=1.7
  • Family dogs= 2
  • Moderate worker dogs= 3
  • Heavy worker guard dogs= 6
  • Less than 4 months= 3
  • More than 4 months= 2

For a dog weighing 45 pounds, the daily calorie needs must be calculated in this form!

45 lbs / 2.2 = 20.5 kg

70 x 20.5^0.75 = 674 kcal/day

1.6 x 672 = 1075 kcal/day

It’s not the exact requirement. The exact calorie needs for dogs may vary due to weather, environment, activities, age, lifestyle and much more.

You can somehow or another match the dog’s calorie requirements with this calculated amount. In many commercial dog treats, they recommend feeding their calories with the help of body weight of dogs in pounds.

For instance, in some food packs, you can find 5-10 pounds of body weight dogs must be served with a bowl of treat and similar to that. You can also follow the instructions on the food labels if you find it difficult to calculate the calorie requirement.

Be sure to serve only safe ingredients, commercial foods to your dog. Everything your serve in your dog’s bowl counts the love and days you are going to spend with your dog! Serve dogs and survive a healthy lifestyle!

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