A Dog’s Daily Calorie Calculator

Veterinarian Plato Calorie Calculator
Veterinarian Plato Calorie Calculator

An interview with the Plato Pet Treats veterinary consultants discusses calorie consumption and expenditure in adult dogs. The Fat Gap: 53% of US Dogs are obese 95% of these dogs’ humans thought they were a normal weight. Is YOUR dog his optimal weight? Try the simple test below!

The Fat Gap refers how many more dogs are unhealthy due to obesity and the awareness ‘gap’ that exists as owners ironically think their dogs are the ‘perfect weight’.

The general way to unofficially test if your dog is over/under/optimal weight, simply run your fingers over the dogs ribs as lightly as you would touch your closed eyelid. Can you count the number of ribs? If the answer is NO then your dog is considered overweight. Can you SEE the dog’s ribs? If the answer is YES, your dog is generally considered under weight. But please consult your veterinarian for an professional opinion of course.

Thanks to the Veterinarians who helped with this article and The Ohio State Veterinary Medical Center, we can shed light on this not so common knowledge topic and deliver a dog’s daily calorie calculator.

Q: Are calories similar in pets as they are in humans? As in are there daily recommended calorie maximums for breed size / weight?

A: Yes, dogs have different calorie requirements based on their weights and activity levels.

Q: If so, could you give the general calorie guidelines for small, medium and large breed dogs based on moderate activity level?

A:  The RER (resting energy requirement) is used to determine the calorie need of dogs and is calculated using the following formula: RER=70(body weight kg) to the 3/4 power.  Active neutered dogs need 1.6 x RER where as obese prone dogs need 1.0 x RER.

Q:  What is the best way to work treats into your dog’s daily routine?

A: You should work treats into a daily routine by using them for training and praise.  Keep in mind a dog’s total calorie limit when giving treats.  If you give more treats on a certain day, you should feed less of the dog’s primary diet.

Q: What should I look for in treat ingredients?

A: look for American ingredients and American production with good quality ingredients.

Q: What should I avoid in treat ingredients?

A:  You should avoid feeding your dog high-fat treats with artificial colors, flavors and preservatives.

For a simple reference chart for your dog’s daily calorie needs, see the chart below if he or she is at the optimal weight. If you want to geek out and get super scientific – check out the papers on the American College of Veterinary Nutrition published by the American Animal Hospital Association. 

Overweight dog calculator
Overweight dog calculator