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How Many Calories In Dog Food

What Else Affects Calorie Intake

Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Dog Food

If you’ve met with your vet, developed a food plan based on your pet’s individual needs and started to read pet food labels religiously, outside factors can still influence the amount of calories your pet ingests on a daily basis. Let’s be honest: we all share treats with our pets, and even the healthiest treats are adding calories to your pet’s diet. Ideally, calories from treats should not account for more than 10 percent of your pet’s daily caloric intake.

Be honest with your vet when you’re making a dietary plan. Let them know how many treats you usually give your pet throughout the day. In addition, share what type of treats you’re giving your dog or cat. Packaged tidbits will have the serving size and calorie amount listed on the side, but table scraps will take a little more research to figure out how many calories you’re sharing. Your vet may recommend reducing the number of treats, including table scraps, in order to keep your dog or cat at a healthy weight.

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  • Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. Accessed July 2, 2020.
  • Hargrove JL. History of the Calorie in Nutrition. J Nutr. 2006 136:2957-2961. doi:10.1093/jn/136.12.2957
  • Castrillo C, Hervera M, Baucells MD. Methods for predicting the energy value of pet foods. Rev Bras Zootec. 2009 38:1-14. doi:10.1590/S1516-35982009001300001
  • Asaro NJ, Guevara MA, Berendt K, Zijlstra R, Shoveller AK. Digestibility Is Similar between Commercial Diets That Provide Ingredients with Different Perceived Glycemic Responses and the Inaccuracy of Using the Modified Atwater Calculation to Calculate Metabolizable Energy. Vet Sci. 2017 4. doi:10.3390/vetsci4040054
  • Laflamme DP. Pet Food Safety: Dietary Protein. Top Companion Anim Med. 2008 23:154-157. doi:10.1053/j.tcam.2008.04.009
  • How Much Protein Does My Dog Need

    The minimum dietary protein requirement for a growing dog is 18% dry matter, or DM, and 8% DM for an adult dog. This is based on feeding a high-quality protein and again, is a minimum amount.

    AAFCO recommends that the daily requirements for dog diets should contain at least 22% DM for growth and 18% DM for maintenance.

    Current research states that there is no added benefit to excess protein in the diet. The maximum amount for any life stage should not exceed 30% DM.

    Excess protein is otherwise excreted from the body, and in some conditions, can be harmful.

    Low-Protein Diets

    Feeding a high-protein or low-protein diet for prevention and management of certain diseases is a debated topic in veterinary nutrition.

    Low-protein diets may be recommended for certain conditions to decrease the amount of ammonia that is present in the body. Ammonia is toxic to tissue and cells and is created as a byproduct of protein breakdown. Ammonia occurs in many locations in the body, but 90% of it is in the kidneys and liver.

    Reducing total protein intake and nonessential amino acids can help minimize the workload on these organs. It is best to consult with your veterinarian or a board-certified veterinary nutritionist if you are considering a protein-specific diet due to your dogs condition.

    Recommended Reading: How Many Carbs Per Day

    Quick Lets Learn Calorie Terminology

    But few people use them in the correct sense.Small calories are a tiny unit of energy. The term is commonly found in scientific literature, not discussions on nutrition. Most of the time, the word calorie, , refers to kcals in food or exercise.But dont get hung up on the terminology. Im only sharing to avoid confusion.Lets move on.

    Capital C indicates large calories.Lowercase c indicates small calories.

    If youre being factual:

    Will The Caloric Approach Be Sustainable

    Best Low Calorie Dog Food Review : Top 5 Brands

    If you feed a mix of premade raw and homemade raw, the caloric approach might prove problematic for you too.Finding calorie counts should be easy. That is, if its a brand that offers complete-and-balanced raw dog food. But if youre feeding a grind or supplemental prepackaged raw dog food product, it could go either way.The manufacturer might not have run a nutritional analysis on the product.You can always reach out to ask. If you can get that information great! But depending on the other ingredients you add at home, you may have trouble filling in the gaps in the rest of the diet.

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    How Much To Feed A Large Breed Puppy

    Closely monitor calorie intake. The effects of too much calcium and too many calories are most pronounced in large breed dogs, so its critical to feed large breed puppies appropriate food.

    Do not feed according to any chart exclusively. Even within a breed, metabolism and energy needs may vary by up to 30 percent, and youll likely need to adjust feeding portions accordingly, says Shmalberg.

    When Feeding Your Dog Commercial Foods:

    Pet food labels give you some, but not all, of the information you need in order to really know the nutritional composition of your dogs diet.

    -The percentages of protein, fat, and fiber shown on dog food labels are guaranteed minimums and maximums, NOT actual amounts. The real amount of fat in particular may be much higher than what is shown on the label of some canned and raw diets. If your dog needs a low-fat diet, look for products that are lower in calories than similar foods.

    For more accurate information, contact the company that makes the food youre interested in and ask them for a nutritional analysis showing the actual amount of protein, fat, fiber, ash, and moisture, as well as the number of calories in the food. Editors note: Some pet food makers may not have a complete nutritional analysis of their products. In our opinion, this reflects a lack of adequate research and investment in the product. When feeding a special needs dog, wed look to a company who has this current information on hand.

    -The percentage of carbohydrates is not included on most labels or nutritional analyses. To calculate the percentage of carbohydrates in a commercial diet, subtract the percentages of protein, fat, moisture, crude fiber , and ash from 100. This percentage may be shown as nitgrogen-free extract on a nutritional analysis.

    Recommended Reading: How Many Carbs In Salsa

    How To Determine Your Dogs Calorie Needs

    Dont freak out, but youll need to do math to determine your dogs Daily Energy Requirements. Heres the deceptively simple formula: =70* ^0.75. This formula might look a bit scary, but its actually easy to understand. So, bust out your math skills , and lets break this down into digestible information.


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    First, youll need to know your dogs body weight. In this example, lets say your dog weighs 45 lbs. To convert this weight to a kilogram measurement, we need to divide 45 by 2.2, which results in 20.45 kg. That wasnt too difficult, right?

    Next, well need to determine the exponent of your dogs weight. Basically, its just a fancy way of saying how many times a number is multiplied against itself. The fractions here make it a bit more complicated, so just use a calculator. In this case, were taking your dogs weight in kilograms to the power of .75: 20.45^0.75. The result in this example: 9.616. That was the most challenging part of the formula, I swear. Multiply that number by 70, and youve got whats called the Resting Energy Requirement . In this example, thats 673 kcal.

    • Moderate Active, Spay/Neutered Dog
    • Moderate Active, Intact Dog
    • Senior or Inactive Dogs
    • Puppies, under 4 months
    • Puppies, 50% to 80% of adult weight
    • Puppies, 80% to 100% of adult weight

    Recommended Serving Size For Homemade Dog Food:

    Homemade Weight Loss Dog Food Recipe (Filling, Low Calorie)

    The amount of homemade dog food that your dog will require is dependent upon how much your dog weighs and how active he or she is. This amount varies from dog to dog. I suggest talking to your vet and getting their advice on a good starting point.

    You can also monitor your dog to make sure they are maintaining their weight and staying happy and active.

    This recipe makes about six cups of food, which is three days worth of food for Charlie who is about forty-five pounds. You can easily adjust this amount based on the weight of your dog. Also, feel free to scale this recipe up and double or even triple it, if you wanted to cook less often.

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    What About Serving Size

    Nom Nom diets are specifically portioned to meet your dog’s calorie needs, determined from several factors.

    If your dogs food isnt pre-portioned, the serving size is going to vary by food. The package should list the calories per serving . With a little math you can figure out the serving size Daily Calorie Needs Calories per serving = Serving size .

    Just remember thats the serving size your dog needs for the whole day, so if they eat multiple meals youll have to divide it!

    Senior Dogs Picky Dogs

    One tip I can share is you can use riced frozen vegetables. I have used packages of riced cauliflower, sweet potato, and broccoli. All work great, save time and are convenient, but they are a little more expensive. These will work great for dogs that can’t chew well, are picky, don’t each much food, or won’t eat larger pieces of dog food.

    Also Check: High Protein Diet Low Carb

    How To Calculate Calories In Dog Food 5 Simple Steps

    As a concerned owner, you want to ensure your dog is getting the right calories to meet all its needs. You can contact your dog food manufacturer for the calorie count per 100 grams some packs of food have this information on them. However, if you want to know how to work out this information yourself, weve got you covered!

    Read our helpful step-by-step guide for calculating the calories in your dogs food.

    How Many Calories Should Your Dog Or Cat Eat Daily

    Purina Pro Plan High Calorie, High Protein Small Breed Dry Dog Food ...

    HomeBlogHow Many Calories Should Your Dog Or Cat Eat Daily?

    As you may already know, your pets nutrition is very important. You want to make sure that you are feeding your dog or cat the right amount of food each day to ensure that they remain healthy. Just like you when you are not eating right, your pet can feel sluggish and gain weight if his nutrition isnt properly maintained. So how do you know how much food your dog or cat should be eating everyday?

    An dog that weighs 35 pounds and is fairly active needs about 1000 calories per day to keep his nutrition. And a 20 pound dog that is active needs about 650 calories per day. Do you know how many calories are in your dogs food? The average 1-cup serving of dry dog food has anywhere between 325 and 600 calories. Also, keep in mind all of the treats that you feed your dog. A simple dog bone has about 35-40 calories.

    Now, lets talk about cats. You might always just make sure that there is food in your cats bowl. Cats do like to have dry and canned food, but if you do dry food only, always make sure her water bowl is filled. On average, 1-cup of cat food is equal to 300 calories and a 6 ounces of canned cat food is about 250 calories. If your cat weighs 8 pounds, he should be taking in about 240 calories per day to keep his nutrition. So, feeding a full 1-cup serving of dry does set him over the caloric intake for the day. Keep in mind serving sizes when filling up your cats bowl so as to not overfeed him.

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    Calorie Needs For Weight Loss

    Not every dog is at their ideal weight. In fact, a survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention in 2018 revealed that in the US about 37% of dogs were overweight and 19% were obese.

    An overweight or obese dog is going to need to consume less calories than their maintenance energy requirement, the current recommendation is approximately 70 x 0.75.

    A dogs ideal body weight can be determined by their body condition score , which can help identify how overweight your dog is, and thus the percentage of weight they need to lose to be considered ideal. On a 9-point scale a BSC of 4-5 is considered ideal, and every point above 5 is equivalent to about an additional 10% overweight.

    The Beef: Calories Vs The 2

    The basics of nutrition lie in energy requirements.So, youd assume this were taken into consideration in determining how much food to feed your dog?Not exactly.The 2-3% guideline is a generalization that does not take energy into the equation. For this reason, some experts argue the 2-3% recommendation is inaccurate.Lets look at the shortcomings of the 2-3% guideline:1.Food quantity

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    The Caloric Approach Provide A More Accurate Gauge Of Food Quantity

    the 2-3% rule of feeding, which is overly simplistic and does not take into account the fact that small dogs eat more for their weight than large dogs do. 2-3% might be acceptable for a 50-pound dog, but would likely be too little for a small dog and too much for a large dog. A lot also depends on the composition of the diet you feed less of high-fat diets because the fat adds so many calories, so a 50-pound dog might eat 1.5% of its weight of a high-fat diet yet the same dog would need more than 3% if fed a low-fat diet.

    Help From Homemade Dog Food Experts:

    How Much To Feed Your Dog?

    Starting with Dr. Richard Pitcairns classic Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats. His was one of the first guides to home cooking, and the ingredient charts are extremely helpful, especially detailing the amount of water to use per dry ingredient and the cooked yields.

    Monica Segal offers nutritional consultations and menu planning that can also include supplementing a kibble-based diet. She is the author of 9Kitchen and Your Dogs Diet.

    Rebecca Remillard, DVM, Veterinary Nutritional Consultations. She has been providing consultations for 20 years. She offers customized recipes for healthy pets and nutritional consultations for pets with medical conditions. She works directly with pet guardians and with their vets.

    Sean Delaney, DVMs Balance It is also a veterinarian nutritional consulting service. His site offers many interesting recipes and diet plans. You can build your own recipes and understand their nutrient composition.

    Mary Straus, author of The Healthy Dog Cookbook, is a good resource for sample diets and supplements for home-prepared meals and general health-related topics.

    Recommended Reading: How Many Calories Is 3 Eggs

    Dry Dog Food Versus Wet Dog Food

    Dry dog food, also known as kibble, is a type of dog food that contains only about 10 percent moisture. These are the usual pellets we give our dog. Wet dog food, on the other hand, contains over 70 percent water. Wet food variety is also usually found in canned pet food. Both wet and dry cat food options are also available for our feline friends.

    If you prefer giving your pets kibble or dry food, it is also crucial to provide them with a ready supply of clean water. In contrast, because wet or canned already has a higher moisture content, you wont have to worry much about keeping your pet hydrated. If your dog doesnt like drinking much water, you can feed it high quality canned food.

    In terms of nutritional value, both wet and dry foods contain just about the same nutrients. They may differ in weight and serving size, but both contain all the vitamins and nutrients that your dogs need daily. One important thing to look out for, though, is the quality of the ingredients used. No matter how many servings you give your dog, low-quality dog foods will not be able to deliver the right amount of calories and nutrients needed by your dog.

    Do Your Portion Research

    You will need to do some research on how many calories your dog needs per day based on your dogs activity level and your dog’s weight. There are so many factors to consider that will vary due to the breed, size, age, and activity of your pet. My dog needs about 400 calories a day, and is a small dog weighing just 11 pounds.

    Recommended Reading: Slow Cooker Low Carb Recipes

    Trying New Dog Recipes

    Best advice is to slowly introduce new foods to our dogs. We want to keep our pets healthy and food changes can cause issues to their digestive tract. All dogs are unique, what works for one won’t work for another. Fresh dog food recipes have ingredients your dog might be trying for the first time so go slow, with small portions. Sassy could not handle chicken stock cooked into the rice, and wouldn’t eat it due to her allergies, so I used beef stock or Better Than Buillon when I make the rice and she loves it.

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