# Calculate Meal Amounts & Calories for Adult Dogs

The amount of calories an adult dog needs will depend on age, metabolism, and activity. A few simple math formulas are needed to calculate an estimate on how much food an adult dog should eat in a day and how many calories they need to sustain optimal health.

## Calculate Daily Energy Requirements

A “calorie” is a unit to measure the energy in food, and is the starting point when formulating a balanced diet directly to nutrient requirements. Once the amount of daily calories is calculated, completing the diet with essential nutrients and whole foods is the next step.

The first step to determine calorie requirements is to calculate the dog’s resting energy requirements (RER). The RER is the amount of calories needed for basic biological functions such as digestion, heart rate, etc. This caloric amount does not factor in the activity level.

A scientific calculator (or equivalent cell phone app) will be helpful to accomplish the following equation. Enter the dog’s bodyweight in kilograms, press the exponent key, then enter 0.75. Then multiply the result by 70.

### Example 1

Adult dog profile in english units:

#### 55 Pounds

Ideal Body Weight

Calculate Resting Energy Requirements (RER) in english units:

#### 55 ÷ 2.2 = 25kg body weight

Body Weight in LBS ÷ 2.2 = Body Weight in KG

#### 70 x (25)^0.75 = 782 RER

70 x (Body Weight in kg) ^ 0.75 = Resting Energy Requirements

### Example 2

Adult dog profile in metric units:

#### 25 Kilograms

Ideal Body Weight

Calculate Resting Energy Requirements (RER) in metric units:

#### 70 x (25)^0.75 = 782 RER

70 x (Body Weight in kg) ^ 0.75 = Resting Energy Requirementsnts

Once the RER is identified, daily energy requirements (DER) can be calculated using the RER. The DER is the total calories needed to sustain basic biological functions plus daily activity. Calculation amounts will vary in relation to the dog’s daily activity and individual metabolism.

### Energy Needs for Adult Dogs

Energy needs variables for adult dogs are average starting guidelines. Energy needs provide a variable to calculate an estimate on how many calories a dog should consume in a day to sustain biological function plus daily activity. These calculations are to be taken as guidelines and not “rules.”

Always adjust to the dog’s individual requirements and metabolism. Low-energy or overweight individuals may require a lower energy need multiplier; whereas high-energy or underweight individuals may require a higher multiplier.

Activity Level Energy Needs
Weight loss 1
Inactive & Obese Prone 1.2
Inactive 1.4
Neutered & Low Activity 1.6
Intact & Low Activity 1.8
Young Adult & Average Activity 2
Above Average Activity (3hrs daily activity) 3

*Energy need multipliers are for dogs 12-18 months and older.

Once the appropriate multiplier is identified, DER can be calculated by multiplying the dog’s RER by the energy needs multiplier.

### Example 1, Continued

Adult dog profile in english units:

#### 55 Pounds

Ideal Body Weight

#### 782 RER

Resting Energy Requirements (RER)

Calculate Daily Energy Requirements (DER) in english units:

#### 782 x 1.5 = 1173kcal

Daily Energy Requirements (DER) – round to 1200kcal for math ease.

### Example 2, Continued

Adult dog profile in metric units:

#### 25 Kilograms

Ideal Body Weight

#### 782 RER

Resting Energy Requirements (RER)

Calculate Daily Energy Requirements (DER) in metric units:

#### 782 x 1.5 = 1173kcal

Daily Energy Requirements (DER) – round to 1200kcal for math ease.

The DER calculations are to be taken as a guideline and should be adjusted according to the dog’s individual requirements. Since metabolism varies among individuals, the energy needs multiplier needs to be higher for high-energy or underweight individuals and lower for low-energy or overweight individuals.

## Calculate Daily Intake Estimates

An estimate on how much raw food an adult dog requires can be calculated by multiplying 19 ounces by the dog’s calorie requirement, divided by 1000 kcal.

### Daily Food Volume for Adult Dogs

On average, 19-20 ounces (538-567 grams) of raw food equates to 1000 calories. This average food volume assumes an average amount of raw fat. Raw diets higher in fat will be lower in volume, while low-fat diets will be higher in volume. Always adjust to the dog’s individual needs in regards to fat content and food volume.

Once the DER is calculated, the dog’s daily intake can be estimated. Divide the dog’s calorie requirement by 1000. Then multiply the result by 19-20 ounces (538-567 grams).

### Example 1, Continued

Adult dog profile in english units:

#### 55 Pounds

Ideal Body Weight

Calculate Estimated Daily Intake in english units:

#### 1200 kcal ÷ 1000 kcal = 1.2

DER ÷ 1000kcal Baseline = Conversion Variable

#### 1.2 x 19 oz = 22.8 oz

Conversion Variable x 19oz Weight Baseline = Daily Food Volume Estimate - round to 23 ounces

### Example 2, Continued

Adult dog profile in metric units:

#### 25 Kilograms

Ideal Body Weight

Calculate Estimated Daily Intake in metric units:

#### 1200 kcal ÷ 1000 kcal = 1.2

DER ÷ 1000 kcal Baseline = Conversion Variable

#### 1.2 x 538g = 592g

Conversion Variable x 538 g Weight Baseline = Daily Food Volume Estimate - round to 590g

## Determine Feeding Frequency

Adult dogs can be fed multiple meals throughout the day or one singular meal. Either feeding option is suitable for most adult dogs. If multiple meals are fed throughout the day, divide the daily feeding intake by the frequency of meals fed throughout the day to calculate individual meal amounts.

There is more than one way to calculate an adult dog’s estimated daily intake. Calculating daily intake via calorie requirements can prove useful when formulating a raw diet for an adult dog. The first step to creating a raw diet is to calculate how much food the dog will need to consume in a day.

#### Calculate Calories

Calculating the daily energy requirements (DER) will give an estimate of how many calories a dog needs to consume per day. The DER is an accurate way to determine how many calories a dog needs to support activity level and biological functions.

#### Calculate Daily Feeding Estimates

Calculate the average daily intake by converting calories to food volume with a few simple formulas.

#### Determine Feeding Frequency

Adult dogs can be fed once or multiple times a day. Feeding frequency should be determined based on the dog’s individual needs.

Once an estimated daily intake is calculated, the amount of muscle meat, raw meaty bones, organs, and plant ingredients can be estimated using raw diet ratio guidelines to complete recommended allowances for essential nutrients.

The recommended allowances for amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals can be determined once daily calories are calculated. Daily calorie requirements also prove useful when calculating the whole foods or supplements necessary to complete a raw diet.