How Many Calories Should a Dog Eat?

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Dogs of different sizes require different amounts of food.
Dogs of different sizes require different amounts of food. (Image: dog image by Snezana Skundric from Fotolia.com)

Varies With Activity

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) says the amount of food and calories a dog gets should be based on its activity level, age and weight. The Dog Channel says dogs typically eat what they need, and free-choice feeding, where food is available at all times, is appropriate for most dogs.

Caloric Calcuation

The Dog Channel says a formula determines the appropriate caloric intake for dogs. Determine the dog's weight in kilograms (1 kg is equal to 2.2 pounds), then insert the dog's weight into the formula--daily calories = body weight (kg) x 30 + 70. A dog that weighs 44 pounds needs 670 calories a day (44/2.2 = 20 kg. 20 x 30 + 70 = 670 calories).

Bottom Line

The ASPCA says, "The amount you feed your adult dog should be based on his or her size and energy output. Activity levels vary dramatically between pets, and will play an important role in determining caloric intake." When deciding the calories to feed your dog, take these factors into account.

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