Energy Requirements for Dogs

By Lambert Vet Supply | 1/1/2017 | Posted to Dog Health
 energy requirements for dogs

Just as people vary our canine companions have individualized nutritional requirements. Estimated energy requirements are based on the weight of each animal as well as the average amount of energy various tasks require. The chart below illustrates the recommended caloric intake each day for dogs of different weights with a basic Resting Energy Requirement (RER). RER represents the energy requirement for a normal animal at rest in a thermo neutral environment at a specific body weight. However the suggested amount of calories consumed daily will vary dependent on the age of the dog physical stature and work load.

Weight in Pounds: Weight in Kilograms: Resting Energy Requirements/day:
5 2.5 130
10 4.5 218
15 6.8 295
20 9.1 366
25 11.4 493
30 13.6 497
35 15.9 558
40 18.2 616
45 20.5 673
50 22.7 729
55 25.0 783
60 27.9 835
65 29.5 887
70 31.8 938
75 34.1 988
80 86.4 1037
85 88.8 1065
90 40.9 1132
95 43.2 1179
100 45.5 1225
105 47.7 1271
110 50.0 1318
115 52.3 1361
120 54.5 1405
125 56.8 1449
130 59.1 1492
135 61.4 1535
140 63.6 1577
145 65.9 1619
150 68.2 1661
155 70.5 1702
160 72.7 1743
165 75.0 1784
170 77.3 1824
175 79.5 1864
180 81.8 1904
185 84.1 1944
190 86.4 1983
195 88.6 2022
200 90.9 2061

For young pups under the age of 4 months multiply the Resting Energy Requirement (RER) x 3.
For pups 4 months and older multiply the RER x 2

Related Article: Dog Food and Protein >>

For maintenance of adult dogs alter the RER as follows:

  • Normal neutered adult: multiply RER x 1.6
  • Intact adult: multiply RER x 1.8
  • Obese-prone: multiply RER x 1.4
  • Weight loss: RER remains as listed

For working dogs the RER should be adjusted to fit the amount of physical activity used:

  • Light work: multiply RER x 2
  • Moderate work: multiply RER x 3
  • Heavy work: multiply RER x 4

For example if your dog was a 85 lb. 3 year old intact female who consistently had a heavy work load you would compute the daily energy requirement as follows:

1065 (base RER) x 1.8 (intact adult) = 1917 x 4 (heavy work) = 7688 calories needed/day.

One more example: a 15 pound 6 year old neutered male couch potato dog. The daily energy requirement would be:

295 (base RER) x1.6 (normal neutered adult) = 472 x 2 (light work) = 944 calories needed/day

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The information contained in The Well Pet Post articles is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a veterinarian and is not intended as medical advice. If you have a health con­cern about your pets, please consult with an appropriately-licensed veterinarian. Never dis­re­gard pro­fes­sional veterinary advice or delay in seek­ing it for your pets because of some­thing you have read on this blog or in any linked materials.
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