When you hear the word calorie, food automatically comes to mind. Probably because foods contain calories, these calories are needed since they provide energy, which is used to do one’s day-to-day activities.
Puppies have different calorie or energy needs, depending on their age, breed, health, and level of activity. It’s best to do some feeding trials for you to determine the right amount of food that will sustain your dog’s growth and overall health.
Although feeding guidelines are usually included on the pet food label, these are only starting points. The amount given to your puppy should increase or decrease to keep an ideal health condition.
How much energy does your dog need?
The amount of energy needed by reproducing female dogs and growing puppies is two to four times more than that of an adult dog. Hunting or herding dogs, or most commonly referred to as working dogs, has much higher energy need. The same goes for dogs that are exposed to cold weather outdoors as well as those that are under stress.
On the other hand, dogs that are exposed to hot weather outdoors and inactive dogs require much less energy. Therefore, you need to adjust the food intake of your puppy as they mature and as their energy requirement changes.
How many calories are in your dog’s food?
The calorie is the amount of energy that’s provided by the food when eaten. Because a single calorie is a minimal unit of measure, kilocalorie (1000 calories), otherwise known as Calorie, is the much-preferred term to use.
The number of calories is not always disclosed on dog food labels. For those that show the calorie count, it will be listed as “kilocalories per KG of food.” Others use the more convenient term “Calories per cup/unit” of food.
Generally, there’s 1400-2000 metabolizable Calories per pound of diet on dry rations, 1200-1350 for semi-moist, and 375-950 for canned rations. Canned foods usually contain a large percentage of water that’s why dogs need to consume more canned foods compared to dry diets for them to get the same amount of energy.
How many calories should your dog consume?
Not all dogs need the same amount of calories, the amount changes significantly depending on his age, size, energy consumption, and metabolism. Generally, small dog breeds need more food for every pound of body weight compared to large dog breeds.
Dogs that are less than 20 lbs are considered small breed. Their adult’s daily kilocalorie need is 50 per pound of body weight.
For adult medium breeds, those that are 20-50 lbs., 30-40 kilocalories per pound of body weight needed daily.
Large breeds, those that weigh 50-100 lbs., and giant breeds, those that are over 100 lbs., require 20-30 kilocalories per pound of body weight daily.
Consult your veterinarian if your puppy has a low appetite so any health issues would be ruled out. An eight-ounce dry food may be added with a teaspoon vegetable oil to increase your dog’s desire and at the same time improve his coat too. You may also prepare warm chicken broth or add any strong smelling dressing to top his food.
If your dog has a small appetite but has high energy need, use energy-dense ration such as super-premium food. With this, even if your dog eats less, they will have enough calories to consume.