How to Calculate Your Dog’s Daily Calorie Intake

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NOTE: The "calorie" we refer to in food is actually kilocalorie.


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An RER fulfills the dog's basic needs but does not account for things like activity levels or other factors. To do so, the RER number is multiplied by factors to estimate the pet's total daily energy needs. Some pets need less than the RER and some need nearly double the RER.

Daily energy needs for dogs  
 Neutered adult dog = 1.6 x RER
 Intact adult dog = 1.8 x RER
 Inactive/obese prone dog = 1.2-1.4 x RER
 Weight loss for dog = 1.0 x RER for ideal weight
 Weight gain for dog = 1.2- 1.8 RER for ideal weight
 Active, working dogs = 2.0 to 5.0 x RER

Light work: 2 x RER

Moderate work: 3 x RER

Heavy work: 4-5 x RER

 Puppy 0 to 4 months = 3.0 x RER
 Puppy 4 months to adult = 2.0 x RER

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*From the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine (vet.osu.edu). http://vet.osu.edu/vmc/companion/our-services/nutrition-support-service/basic-calorie-calculator

I hope this helps you calculate the calorie needs of your dog. Remember to consult your vet with any questions or concerns regarding your dog's dietary needs.


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