Dog Feeding Calculator: Dog and Puppy Feeding Guide (All Breeds)

How much to feed a dog is one of the most common questions for dog owners. And if you have a puppy, then asking how much to feed them is probably the first question you will ask. Well go no further! We have the best and easiest dog feeding calculator and guide for the job.

How much should I feed my dog? Use Our Calculator:

dog food calculator
1
Choose one that best describes your dog:
2
Select Body Weight (Ibs):
3
Select Body Weight (kgs):
4
Select Your Dog Food's kCals/Cup (Check back of your kibble bag)
Your dog's daily energy requirements:
0 kcal/day
You should feed your dog:
0 cups/day

Feel free to embed this calculator on your own website using this code:

Copy to Clipboard

Our dog feeding calculator uses the RER (Resting Energy Requirement) figures set out by the Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center.

Resting Energy Requirement means the amount of energy a dog requires for basic bodily function, based on their current weight. Meaning no ideal weight is required. The RER is then multiplied depending on which tile you chose. A puppy for example, required 3x the RER for optimal growth.

Here is a list of commonly used dog foods and their kcals per cup. This might save you some time.

Remember, treats also count towards kcals. Meaning if you’re feeding your dog two cups worth of treats per day, you’ve likely given them most of their daily food requirement.

Be sure to check the treat packaging for kcals, as well as their dry food, so you can factor this into your dog’s feeding portions.

We’d love to get your feedback for our calculator, as it’s new and we can always make changes. Please email us at marie@houndgames.com

Dog Feeding Calculator Guide – How it works

Measuring dog food portions can be tricky. It’s not just about your dog’s weight, but their activity level as well.

Our dog feeding calculator makes knowing the correct amount to feed your dog per day easy.

Because unlike other dog feeding calculators available, we don’t require you to know your dog’s ideal weight.

Knowing your dog’s ideal weight isn’t an accurate method of determining how much to feed your dog per day. Why? Because not all dogs of the same breed are the exact same size.

Let’s say you have two Labrador Retrievers. One is small for the breed and the other is large for the breed. So feeding them both the same amount of food is going to lead to one not getting enough, and one getting too much.

And ideal weight dog food calculators in no way help those with mixed breed dogs!

It’s a far simpler and more accurate approach to determine a dog’s calorie intake requirement based on how much energy their mass requires. To do this, all you need is your dog’s current weight. Not their ideal weight.

Of course, then we account for other considerations as well. Are they a puppy that is still growing and needs more food for that growth? Are they a working dog? Or are they a neutered adult dog that lives a quiet dog life?

Doing it this way (based on your dog’s weight and activity level) is more accurate, and simpler for all involved. All you need is a set of scales!

One other thing to note: If the dog feeding calculator you’re using doesn’t ask you to input your specific dog food’s kcals per cup (found on the back of the bag), then the result is inaccurate.

Kcals per cup vary significantly between brands. They also vary depending on if the food is for a puppy or an adult, and there are choices for working dogs as well. Dog kibble for working dogs, for example, will have a lot more calories per cup.

Dog feeding calculator by breed

If you’re looking for a dog food calculator by breed, then you’ve found it. It’s up the top of this post. But I didn’t see my breed, I hear you say. You’re right, we didn’t go breed specific.

Our dog feeding calculator works by giving you a good baseline to work from.

What matters most is their weight and what category your dog falls into. And by category, I don’t mean breed, but other considerations, which play a much larger factor in feeding portions.

Major considerations to consider when knowing how much to feed your dog each day include:

  • How active is your dog?
  • Are they a growing puppy, needing more food to grow?
  • Are they a working dog?
  • Do they need to lose some weight?
  • Do they need to gain weight?
  • Are they neutered or not?
  • Are they pregnant?
  • Are they lactating?

All these factors determine what calorie intake your dog requires for healthy living.

But do different dog breeds need different food?

To an extent, yes. What matters most is that you feed a high-quality dog food with the correct portion for your dog’s energy output.

If you own a Border Collie or Australian Shepherd, or even a German Shorthaired Pointer, then you need to feed more kcals to sustain their energy output.

In which case, you should choose “Work” dog in the calculator above, or if they are doing serious work, then choose “Hard Work”.

It’s also a good idea to feed your active breed an appropriate brand of dog food.

For example, if you feed your active work dog a brand like Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Working Dog Food, then the k/cals per cup are at a whopping 587 kcals!

This means you would input that amount into the calculator above. What you see then is you won’t need to feed as much as if you used a brand like Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain, which has just 410 kcals.

Meaning your food will go a lot further!

Now, if you own an adult miniature poodle who isn’t very active, then you would simply choose either neutered or intact, depending on if they’re spayed or not.

Our dog feeding calculator will not give you an amount anywhere near as high as what is calculated for a working dog.

Of course, there is also something else to consider. Our daily dog food calculation guide is based on the RER model. This is also known as Resting Energy Requirement and we used the model from the Ohio State University, Veterinary Medical Center.

They state on their site that you should use these figures like a “zip code”. As in our calculator will get you to a close vicinity of where you need to be, or perhaps even right on target.

However, you would start feeding your dog the amount that the calculator came up with, and then you would monitor your dog’s weight.

You do this by using a Body Condition Score, checking them weekly. The score ranges from 1 to 9, 1 being the skinniest and 9 being the most overweight.

Use this Body Condition Score PDF found on the Ohio State University, Veterinary Medical Center website, which you can then use to reference your dog’s weight.

If they are less than 5, then begin adding a small amount to their intake of food. If they are over 5, then lessen their feeding portion. Once again, monitor your dog every week.

How do you calculate daily dog food portions?

We’ve done the math for you and so our dog feeding calculator will give you the answer you need to feed your dog or puppy the correct amount of food.

However, here is an explanation of what formula we used and how our dog feeding calculator works.

Our dog feeding calculator uses the figures set out by the Ohio State University, Veterinary Medical Center.

They set out on their website the RER or Resting Energy Requirement of a dog, which accounts for the energy required to sustain basic bodily functions, such as breathing, digestions, heart function, and brain function.

The RER is determined by a mathematical formula: Multiply your dog’s body weight, in KG, raised to the ¾ power by 70. Don’t worry, you don’t need to work out the math, we did it for you!

Once you have the RER of your dog, you then need to multiply it depending upon other factors. If you choose “Puppy” for instance, you will get a 3x multiple. If you choose a “Neutered Adult”, you will get a 1.6x multiple.

You then get a total daily calorie intake number, which you divide by the k/cals per cup on your dog’s food. This gives you the amount per cup you need to feed your dog every day.

Here is a list of the RER multiplies, however we chose the most common ones for our calculator. More complex situations, such as a overweight work dog, should see a vet to better determine their feeding requirements.

  • Weight Loss 1 x RER
  • Neutered Adult 1.6 x RER
  • Intact Adult 1.8 x RER
  • Light Work 2 x RER
  • Moderate Work 3 x RER
  • Heavy Work 4 x RER
  • Super Heavy Work (Prolonged hunting, sledding) 6-8 x RER
  • Pregnancy (Early) 1.8 x RER
  • Pregnancy (Late) 3 x RER
  • Nursing Mother 4-6 x RER, depending on number of pups
  • Puppy (1 to 4 months) 3 x RER
  • Puppy (4 to 12 months) 2 X RER

These RER rates were gathered from this site:

https://www.mpcoftexas.com/public/Caloric_Guide_for_Dogs.cfm

You may also be interested in reading this post: Can You Overfeed Your Puppy? (Yes or No)

How many cups should I feed my dog?

Many owners ask themselves, is 1 cup of dog food enough? Or maybe 2 cups will do it? It can be easy to give up trying to work out all the charts and food-to-weight equations.

This is exactly why we created an easy dog food calculator and this guide to help you.

The reality is you shouldn’t guess your dog’s food requirement. It can be easy to underfeed or overfeed your dog, and both can lead to health problems.

How many cups should I feed my puppy?

A puppy is a food-eating machine! They have bundles of energy and are growing at a rapid rate. Which means they need a lot of sleep and a lot of food.

Our puppy feeding calculator will tell you how many cups of food you should give your puppy, but here is how we’ve worked it out.

A puppy requires triple the resting energy requirement. The RER is the figure that a dog requires at complete rest, not accounting for growth, health, and exercise.

But because of a puppies’ activity level and growth rate, they require a three-times multiple of the RER.

This stays in effect until they are past the 4-month age. From 4-months to adulthood, they drop to a two-times multiple.

Adulthood will vary depending on your breed, or more accurately, their size. The larger the breed, the longer it takes before they reach adulthood.

To determine if your puppy is an adult, you can use this list:

  • Extra Small Breeds: 8 to 10 months
  • Small Breeds: 10 to 12 months
  • Medium Breeds: 12 to 15 months
  • Large Breeds: 15 to 18 months
  • Extra Large Breeds: 18 to 24 months

How much should I feed my pregnant dog?

Although we didn’t specifically include pregnant dogs in the feeding calculator, we can give you the kcal requirements here.

An early-stage pregnant dog requires 1.8x the RER, which is actually the same as choosing Intact Adult on our calculator. So just use our dog feeding calculator guide and select “Intact Adult”.

For a later stage pregnant dog, they require 3x the RER, which is the same as selecting Puppy 0-4 Months in our calculator.

How much should I feed my dog to lose weight?

Select Weight Loss on our dog feeding calculator to determine the cup portions required for your dog to lose weight.

To determine how much this amount is, we have the calculator set to 1 X the resting energy requirement.

It’s also important that during your dog’s weight loss period, that you follow the Body Condition Score PDF and monitor your dog regularly.

How much should I feed my dog to gain weight?

Select Weight Gain in the dog feeding calculator. It’s set at 1.7 X the RER. This one is a little tricky because it also depends upon other factors.

Our chosen calculator weight gain option is suited to a Neutered Adult.

If your dog needs to gain weight and they are a working dog, then you should select “Work” dog or “Heavy Work” dog. Both these factors are higher than the 1.7 X than the weight gain.

If your dog is underweight, it’s a good idea to visit your vet, as they may require a nutrient-rich diet and special veterinarian instructions until they are up to their ideal weight.

How do I know if I’m feeding my dog enough?

The best way to know if you’re feeding your dog enough food is to use the Body Condition Score chart. You should be able to feel your dog’s ribs with a little fat covering them.

A good way to determine this is to clench a fist and with light pressure, rub your finger over the back of the fist, below the knuckles. This is how your dog’s ribs should feel at an ideal weight.

dog rib test for ideal weight

What is the best time to feed a dog?2021-11-25T23:02:52+10:30

Routine is more important than a “best” time to feed your dog. We recommend that you feed your dog breakfast in the morning, and then another meal in the late afternoon or early evening.

How many cups is in a dog scoop?2021-11-25T23:01:53+10:30

Scoops can be different from brand to brand, and we recommend you always use a cup measurement to portion your dog’s food. If the scoop doesn’t say how much it measures, then it’s best not to use it.

Should I let my dog eat as much as he wants?2021-11-25T23:01:11+10:30

No, you should give your dog an amount of food that gives them their daily energy requirement. Too much and they will gain weight, which can cause health concerns.

Is it cruel to feed a dog once a day?2021-11-25T23:00:29+10:30

It could be considered cruel to feed your dog once a day. Feeding your dog twice a day will ensure they are less likely to get hunger pangs. As a person, it can feel quite miserable being hungry, especially if it were to happen every day and a dog is no different.

By |2021-12-26T12:41:00+10:30November 26th, 2021|Adult Dogs, Puppy Talk|

About the Author:

Marie started HoundGames with her husband, Geoff. She is a life long dog lover and always wanted to start a business around dogs, and she's finally living out her dream. They hope to launch more products in the future!
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