How many calories does your dog need?

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When we know the importance of watching out for calories intake for our own health, the same applies to our beloved dogs. To start with, we think some guidelines for recommended daily calorie intake would be helpful, and therefore turn to trusted sources for guidance.

Global Nutrition Committee of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association’s (WSAVA), whose membership is made up of 101 veterinary organisations all over the world representing almost 200,000 veterinarians, offers a recommendation on calorie needs for an average healthy adult dog in ideal body condition* as below.

*Dogs are individuals, and may require higher or lowers calories intake to maintain an ideal trim body condition. If your dog is overweight, these estimate may be too high for your dog.

Weight (kg) Weight (Ib) Kilocalories / day
2 4.4 140
3 6.6 190
4 8.8 240
5 11 280
6 13.2 320
7 15.5 360
8 17.6 400
9 19.8 440
10 22 470
11 24.2 510
12 26.4 540
13 28.6 580
14 30.8 610
15 33 640
16 35.2 670
17 37.4 700
18 39.6 730
19 41.8 760
20 44 790
21 46.2 820
22 48.4 850
23 50.6 880
24 52.8 910
25 55 940
26 57.2 970
27 59.4 1000
28 61.6 1020
29 63.8 1050
30 66 1080
31 68.2 1100
32 70.4 1130
33 72.6 1160
34 74.8 1180
35 77 1210
36 79.2 1240
37 81.4 1260
38 83.6 1290
39 85.8 1310
40 88 1340
41 90.2 1360
42 92.4 1390
43 94.6 1410
44 96.8 1440
45 99 1460

These caloric values are served as a general ballpark because a table or any other “calculator” cannot take into account with what might make an animal’s situation unique. Just to name a few variables here: for example, if activity level of the dog is high and/ or the dog is in growth stage (less than 1 year old), the caloric requirement should be higher. “Variations in metabolic rates can alter this figure by as much as 20% either way*, says Dr Jennifer Coates. If your dog has any health problems or special dietary needs, please discuss your vet to determine the specific caloric and nutritional needs.

In other words, the above table suggests a neutered 4kg small sized dog in healthy shape, for example, requires 240 calories a day, his needs might actually be anywhere between 192 calories and 288 calories a day*.

An actionable rule of thumb? Feed that number of calories, monitor the dog’s weight, body condition, and overall wellbeing, and adjust accordingly.

Related reading: 5 simple ways to help your dog lose weight Related quiz: How well do you know dog food?

calorie for dogs

Source: The World Small Animal Veterinary Association’s (WSAVA) PetMD*

Hellodog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See more details here.

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1 Comment

  • Alex Chan

    I think there is a translation error. 卡路里 = calories. The above is referring to Kcal. So, your Chinese version should be 千卡路里。

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