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How Many Calories In Dog Food?

We are all constantly reminded of the saying that goes thus: “you are what you eat.” Just as it applies to humans, the saying also applies to your canine companion. That means adequate attention should be given to what gets into your dog’s stomach. In as much as you will like them to enjoy what you feed them, getting the healthy stuff into them is much more important. Just how many calories are in dog food? Let’s take a look at the number of calories that are required to be present in their meals.

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Calorie Requirements In Dog Food – How Many Calories In Dog Food?

A dog’s daily calorie requirement depends on several things, such as the dog’s age, the dog’s size, the dog’s health status, and the dog’s activity level. A little poodle cannot be expected to need the same daily number of calories as an older Golden Retriever. Also, a hunting dog cannot have the same energy requirement as a couch-potato dog. Let’s look at how these factors contribute to the energy requirement of your furry pets.


Dog’s Age And Energy Requirement – How Many Calories In Dog Food?

Growing puppies need up to two to four times more energy per pound of body weight than a regular adult dog. As they age, dogs have fewer energy requirements. With this in mind, there are two options available when it comes to feeding senior dogs.

On the one hand, senior dogs can be fed with regular dog food. This, however, has to be done in a reduced quantity. The other option will be to feed them specially formulated senior dog diets. These special diets are lower in calories and have a way of making the dogs feel fuller when a little quantity is consumed.

how many calories in dog food
Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay


Dog’s Size And Energy Requirement – How Many Calories In Dog Food?

Just as with dog age, here, the small size means more energy needs. Small breed dogs require more energy per pound of body weight than large breed dogs. We will be looking at dogs’ calorie needs based on three categories of dogs: small breed, medium breed, and large breed.

Small breed dogs have an adult body weight of less than 20 pounds. Dogs under this category require about 50 kilocalories per pound of body weight each day.

Medium breed adult dogs have their body weight between 20 pounds and 50 pounds. Adult medium breed dogs require approximately 30 to 40 kilocalories per pound of body weight each day.

And finally, large breed adult dogs weigh between 50 pounds and 100 pounds. There are of course some giant breeds that weigh more than 100 pounds as adults. Large breed adult dogs need approximately 20 to 30 kilocalories per pound of body weight each day. This quantity can be less depending on the dog’s weight.

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Dog’s Activity Level And Energy Requirement – How Many Calories In Dog Food?

It makes a lot of sense that the more one expends energy, the more one needs to replace that energy. Dogs with a high activity level will require more energy to function optimally. 

Dogs under stress, working dogs, and outdoor dogs exposed to cold weather need higher energy than the regular adult dog. 

On the other hand, inactive dogs, sit-at-home dogs, and outdoor dogs exposed to hot weather require less energy.


Dog’s Health Status And Energy Requirement – How Many Calories In Dog Food?

When one is down with an illness is a really good time to feed well. However, the challenge lies in the fact that it is also in those times that getting an appetite seems like an almost impossible feat. If this affects us as humans, think of what sick dogs go through. A healthy dog will eat much more than a sick one, although the sick one has a higher energy requirement.

So, what can you do to help a dog with a little or no appetite? It has been found out that having a strong-flavored top dressing over dog food usually encourages dogs to eat up to 10 percent more of the food. Also, a more energy-dense ration like a balanced super-premium food will work better for dogs with small appetites and big energy needs. Even if the dog eats less volume, the diets provide more calories. 

(Click here to read our article on how much chicken and rice to feed a dog. Chicken and rice is a great recipe for sick dogs.)

Female dogs that are reproducing usually need up to two to four times more energy per pound of body weight than an adult dog. This is quite understandable as the mother will require more nutrients to transfer to her unborn children.

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Calories Present In Dog Food – How Many Calories In Dog Food?

The calories present in dog varies from one dog food category to the another. The categories of dog food we will be considering here are dry dog food, semi-moist dog food, and wet dog food. Let’s look into them real quick.


Dry Rations – How Many Calories In Dog Food?

Dry dog food has a very low percentage of water; it contains between 10 and 12 percent of water. Due to this shortage of water in them, cups of dry dog food are higher in calories than cups of the other dog rations. Dry rations contain roughly 1400 to 2000 kilocalories for each pound of diet.


Semi-moist Rations – How Many Calories In Dog Food?

Semi-moist rations are a cross between dry dog food and wet dog food. These rations contain between 25 and 35 percent of water. Semi-moist dog food has fewer calories than dry dog food – 1200 to 1350 kilocalories for each pound of diet. This means that a dog will generally need more quantity of the semi-moist than it will need dry food.


Wet Rations – How Many Calories In Dog Food?

Among the categories of dog food, wet dog rations have the highest percentage of water – about 74 to 82 percent – which is not surprising. Due to this large percentage, dogs will need to consume more quantity of wet rations than dry rations to get the same amount of energy. Wet dog food provides about 375 to 950 kilocalories per pound of diet.

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Final Words – How Many Calories In Dog Food?

Knowing just what your dog needs helps you make the right decisions when it concerns feeding her. Feeding your dog right prevents unfortunate situations, such as health complications. You certainly do not leave your health to chance but try to be conscious about what you eat based on what your body needs. In the same way, you need to look out for your canine neighbors and figure out correctly just what they need in a good meal to keep them both healthy and happy.

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