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Calories for dogs...

April 19th, 2008, 06:38 PM
Would anybody know if there is a site that talks about how many calories a dog should get everyday?

My vet told me that is how we should feed our dogs - by calories - and not by cups like stated on bags of dog kibbles.



April 20th, 2008, 08:21 PM
Did you vet give you how many calories your dog needs per day? If so, on the back of the bag of most foods, it will tell you the calories (kcals) per cup, and you would then determine how many cups you need based on the calories in each cup. If it is not there, you can call the manufacturer.
Does this answer your question?

April 21st, 2008, 06:40 AM
I am starting to get an idea of how many kcal my Great Dane needs every day.

I found this bit of info on the Dogs in Canada site:

"Caloric requirements

The number of calories an animal needs varies with body size. A 4,500-kilogram elephant needs to eat 135 kilograms of grass and grain daily. In contrast, a hummingbird must consume half its body weight in sugar-rich nectar daily in order to survive.

From this comparison, it makes sense that the requirements of a Chihuahua differ from those of a Great Dane. A Chihuahua weighing three kilograms needs 330 calories while a 60-kilogram Great Dane needs 3,300 calories, not 6,600. Though a Chihuahua needs about 110 calories per kilogram body weight, the Great Dane needs only 55. A little dog must eat twice as much based on body weight compared to a large-breed dog."

April 21st, 2008, 06:45 AM
Gypsy girl

I did not get much info from the vet as they seems to always try to sell the food they carry which I'm not interested in.

From my point of view, dog food doesn't seem to be there strong point!! :)

April 21st, 2008, 05:29 PM
I think there is an easier way to go about this, if he did not specifically say how many calories.
What you vet is saying is that calories per day are based on body weight, and fluctuate based on metabolic rates.
For you, the easiest way to ensure that you are getting the correct calories, you simply need to look at your dogs body weight, and adjust according to activity level ,and how the dog looks. This way you are ensuring that your dog is getting enough calories by body requirements, as opposed to feeding per cups!

April 21st, 2008, 08:38 PM
That's how I feed my Great Dane as gypsy girl stated. As a giant breed I want to have the last 1-2 back ribs visible to the eye. I start by feeding the recommended feeding on the bag and assess weekly as to whether I need to increase or decrease food. When I do an adjustment I usually do it in 1/4 cup increments. I know from experience that Autumn needs 2468 calories to maintain her current body weight; I feed Go! Natural 2 cups (617 calories per cup) for breakfast/dinner.

This is not gospel, just what's worked for me. :)

Catherine Lane
April 23rd, 2008, 07:37 AM
Would anybody know if there is a site that talks about how many calories a dog should get everyday?

My vet told me that is how we should feed our dogs - by calories - and not by cups like stated on bags of dog kibbles.



Hi andiamo,

Your vet is absolutely correct on this one. To calculate a dog's energy requirements, there are a few simple steps we shoudl follow. I'm re-posting the following from my yahoogroup, which offers a free tutorial on how to formulate a proper home made diet for a healthy dog; the method is taken from the Nation Research Council's 2006 publication Nutrient Requirements of Dogs:

"Start by figuring out your dog's weight in kilograms. Next we figure out how many calories your dog needs to consume every day to maintain
it’s present body weight.
This is surprisingly simple to do.

First find the calculator built into your computer. Open the calculator,
click on view and choose the word “scientific”.
- Type the dogs weight in kilograms into the calculator on the computer
- Click the key with x^y (this does the “to the power of” calculation)
- Type in 0.75
- Click the equal sign =. ( the number you get is your dog’s BW to the
power of 0.75)
- Multiply that number by 130. The resulting number is how much
metabolizable energy your dog will need to consume(otherwise know as
how many calories your dog needs daily)."

Ok, a bit of math. And in my experience, the 130 number may be too high for many dogs. (It's also inadequate for puppy nutrition and excessive for most geriatrics). Here is a site that can expand on this a bit:

Personally, when I formulate a diet for a healthy, active adult dog of medium size, I use the 130 number to start out with, and then monitor progress. Obviously if the dog gains or loses weight the energy level needs to be adjusted. And as mentioned above, puppies, seniors, toy breeds, canine athletes, total couch potatoes, or any dog with health complicaitons will need a more complicated evaluation.

I hope this helps and doesn't just make it seem too complicated. I don't love math either, but this is really easy once you get the hang of it.

Cat :)

April 23rd, 2008, 08:05 AM
This is only a guild line but I think you can use it as a reference.. IMO......

hope it helps