How Many Calories Does Your Dog Breed Need?

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How Many Calories Does Your Dog Breed Need?

The Age of your dog, its size, the climate they are in, pregnancy, and other factors are crucial to consider as they have a direct impact on your dog's health and the number of calories they require every day.

To begin, understand that, while the daily diet recommendations on the dog foods you receive at home are beneficial, they are not as simple to follow. 

This is because the calories recommended by the dog food brand are merely an approximate estimate of how many calories a pet dog of any breed needs to be healthy.

These suggestions can be used only as a guideline as they do not take into consideration the pregnancy, age, size, climate, and so on.

They are crucial considerations to bear in mind while feeding your dog, since they can have a direct impact on them and their health.

Owners should be careful and pay adequate attention to the number of calories they give to their dogs as it can make them obese and overweight. 

In addition to your dog's daily calorie needs, make sure they have important equipment required for daily exercises like extendable leashes and blind dog halos. This will allow safer and regular physical routines for your pet that can help have a healthier lifestyle.

Let us now understand how should you calculate your dog's nutritional requirements based on the below-mentioned factors: 

What is the necessary calorie requirement for your dog? 


A smaller breed of dog generally needs more calories than their larger counterpart.

Small animals' metabolic rates are high, requiring them to consume more calories than larger animals, which contributes to their nutritional requirements.

Small dogs are generally physically more active thus needing more nutrition in general. As a result, the size of the dog is an important factor in determining how many calories they need.

Despite the size of your dog, you should always feed them a highly nutritious diet. 

There are various sorts of dog diets and their benefits for dogs. For example, filling your dog's bowl with wet food will help them stay hydrated, whilst dry food can aid their dental health overall.


Puppies, in general, require more calories because their daily activities include a lot of playing and exploring, resulting in a more active routine than an aged and older dog.

And older dogs have a lower ability to metabolize glucose from carbohydrates. As a result, if older dogs are given more calories, obesity and diabetes may develop.

Lactation or Pregnancy 

Pregnancy in any animal requires a higher amount of calories as the mother needs it for the proper nutritional development of her babies before and after their birth. 

It is also required for the production of milk in the female dog. Pregnant female dogs require up to 4-8 times the amount of calories as non-pregnant female dogs. The required calories increase as the number of puppies in the womb grows.

Climatic conditions 

Because calories generate heat in dogs' bodies, dogs in colder areas require more food and nutrition than dogs in warmer climates. 

They need it to maintain a constant body temperature. Dogs in hotter climates already generate enough heat. As a result, they don't need as many calories.

Injured or sickness

Any injury or illness necessitates the dog consuming additional calories in order to adequately heal and repair body functions.

Extra calories will really help in a situation like this because most of the body is busy repairing the damaged cell or organ. The exact calories and nutrition will be determined by your dog's veterinarian depending upon the medical tests. 

How to Calculate Your Dog's Calorie Requirements

It takes some getting used to calculating the exact required calories down to the numbers even if we calculate the exact age, lifestyle, activity, and other general factors or kilocalories a pet requires as they are known in veterinary medicine. 

Metabolic variations can change the numbers by an average of 20% plus or minus. As a result, any number you come up with should only be considered an estimate. 

Feed that many calories, then keep an eye on the dog's weight, body condition, and overall health and adjust as needed.

Include your veterinarian in this discussion, especially if your dog has any health issues or dietary restrictions. Nutrition is not a one-size-fits-all thing, and determining how many calories a pet should consume is no exception. Calorie "calculators" or tables cannot account for the unique circumstances of each animal.

Calorie requirements for your dog are also known as maintenance energy requirements. Standard procedures are followed by veterinarians to ensure that your dog consumes the proper amount of maintenance energy. 

The steps are as follows:

  1. Determine your dog's body weight in kilograms. Divide by 2.2 to get the answer.
  1. Next, determine your dog's resting energy requirement (RER). To do so, multiply your dog's body weight in kilograms by 70.
  1. Lastly, figure out how much energy your dog needs to stay healthy (MER). Multiply the RER by a predetermined factor that is explained below to get the closest MER. The number you receive will be the number of calories your dog requires.

Veterinarians have predetermined some basic calories for your dog depending on certain conditions mentioned below:

  • Working and active dogs – 2.0- 5.0 x RER
  • Newly born puppies till the age of 4 months – 3.0 x RER
  • Puppies from 5 months and above – 2.0 x RER
  • A dog that needs to Weight gain – 1.2-1.8 x RER
  • Obese and inactive dogs – 1.2-1.4 x RER
  • Normal adult dog – 1.8 x RER
  • Neutered adults – 1.6 x RER

Active dog daily calorie intake

  • Small sizes breed dogs -10lb = 400 calories a day
  • Medium sized breed dogs -30-50lb = 900-1300 calories a day
  • Large sized breeds dog -70lb = 1700 calories a day

Inactive dog daily calorie intake

  • Small sizes breed dogs -10lb = 300 calories a day
  • Medium sized breed dogs -30-50lb = 670-990 calories a day
  • Large sized breed dogs -70lb = 1300 calories a day 

You can also use the tables made by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association's (WSAVA) Global Nutrition Committee instead. Or you can go through the above points and calculate the necessary calorie requirement for your pet.

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