Daily Calorie Requirements for Dogs

Maintaining your dog's ideal weight enables them to enjoy a longer, more active, happier and healthier life.

Achieving and maintaining a dog's healthy body condition has been proven to reduce the risk of illness and add to the longevity and general well-being of the animal. As animal advocates, we take on the challenge of educating and coaching our pet-owner community about nutrition and best practices in feeding.

Approximate Calories (kCal) Needed per kg of Body Weight

Daily calories per kg of body weight needed for dogs with different activity levels.

As a general guide, dogs below 2 years of age will need 10-20% more calories than dogs between 3-7 years of age. Dogs older than 7 generally require less energy and less food.

Inactive / Senior 55 calories / kg body weight 44 calories / kg body weight 37 calories / kg body weight
Normal 70 calories / kg body weight 50 calories / kg body weight 45 calories / kg body weight
Active 77 calories / kg body weight 60 calories / kg body weight 53 calories / kg body weight

Calories for Weight Loss

No matter how active your dog is, their body weight has a major influence on their daily calorie requirement. The bigger they are, the more calories they require. If your dog needs to lose weight, the safest way to feed your dog is to reduce its daily calorie intake to 75% of the desired weight value until they reach their target weight

Example:

Our dog weighing 25 kg with an Inactive activity level is 5 kg overweight. He should weigh 20 kg.

To get this dog safely down to 20 kg we calculate the daily calorie requirement for a 20 kg dog, which is equal to a caloric intake of 880 calories per day.

While the dog is in weight loss mode, feed 75% of this amount, or about 660 calories. The same approach applies if you are trying to increase your dogs' weight, in which case you would feed at 125% of their target weight calories until they attain their goal.

How often should I feed my dog?

The biological evolution of dogs as hunters have given them specialised digestive and gastrointestinal adaptations that allow them to ingest a large meal followed by up to days of not eating. However, for most adult dogs, feeding once or twice per day is recommended. Many dogs will benefit from eating equally divided meals two to three times per day. Regardless of the feeding schedule you choose, avoid allowing your dog to exercise vigorously after consuming a large meal, especially if your dog eats its food rapidly. This will help minimise problems with bloat, intestinal obstruction, or other serious digestive disorders.

Please note: This information is for general guidance only. Every dog is different, and the same dog will require more or less as they age, please consult your vet for a specific caloric recommendation.

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