Have you ever wondered how many calories your dog really needs? Addressing your dog’s weight issue while maintaining his nutritional balance can be very confusing. When you add in homemade doggie meals, table scraps, and dog treats, feeding your dog a healthy diet can seem impossible. TruDog is dedicated to helping you keep your dog healthy and happy. That’s why we asked Dr. Jan E. Hale, DVM to teach us about the caloric intake your dog really needs. Here’s what he had to say:
Veterinarian Jan E. Hale, DVM Addresses Caloric Intake for Dogs
When dealing with weight control one must remember that there is a difference between caloric requirement and protein requirement.
With natural Ingredients like BiovaPlex, Cetyl Myristoleate®, AstraGin®, and Astaxanthin® for healthy joint support. Free Me supplements are formulated without sugar, wheat, corn, or soy.
Tips for Proper Feeding of Your Dog
Although energy requirements vary greatly, protein needs are fairly constant, with adult dogs generally needing at least 1 gram per pound, and adult cats at least 2 grams per pound. Younger and geriatric pets may need more; young pets for growth, and old pets because they appear to be less able to utilize dietary protein than are younger animals. Within reason, more protein is not generally dangerous, but may be wasteful.
Remember that it is not just the quantity of protein (which is usually measured by nitrogen content in the diet) but rather the quality of protein found in the diet. (Essential amino acids—those that the body cannot produce, and must be supplied by the diet. There are 22 amino acids necessary for protein synthesis.
Essential Amino Acids Dogs Need
Dogs require 10 essential amino acids and cats require 11 (taurine)
The other consideration is the digestibility of the amino acids or bio-availability and specie appropriateness. Soy and corn have a high biologic value for protein but they are not specie appropriate and therefore are not easily assimilated and difficult to digest.
All protein has a biologic value, which is its usable amino acid content. Eggs have the highest biologic value at 100 percent. Fish is a close second at 92 percent. Feathers, as you might guess, have zero biologic value. They are all protein, but they are neither digestible nor assimilable. You can be fooled into thinking you’re feeding a higher-protein food, when the reality is the protein isn’t biologically appropriate for your pet.
What Doesn’t Count as Nutrition for Your Dog
For example beaks, feet, hides, tails and snouts are 100 percent protein, but all 100 percent is indigestible.
They are added to pet foods to up the protein value because they are cheaper but without providing nutrition to the pet. This is how high protein got a bad rap, because this type of protein is so difficult for dogs and cats to digest, kidney and liver function suffered.
That’s why veterinarians started recommending lower protein senior pet foods. Senior formulas came into being because of the terrible quality of dog and cat foods on the market.
In 1992 Dr. Delmar Finco, a veterinary nutritionist, discovered protein requirements actually increase as pets age. Even in animals with kidney failure, restricting protein didn’t improve their health or longevity. Fortunately, Dr. Finco discovered it was the level of phosphorus in foods, not necessarily the amount of protein that exacerbated kidney disease.
Another important consideration is the moisture content in a raw diet. The natural diet of dogs and cats is up to 70 percent water.
I think it is very important that we stress re-hydrating the diet prior to feeding otherwise it requires your pet’s body to provide sufficient moisture to reconstitute the food in their digestive tract. Although some animals may make a noble effort to consume enough water, many animals, and most cats, don’t.
A lifetime of minor dehydration is stressful to multiple organ systems, but most notably the kidneys.
Calories determine whether the pet gains or loses weight and caloric requirements vary depending on the physical state and the amount of exercise they get.
Here is formula for calculating the resting energy requirements for dogs:
(Resting Energy Requirements or RER), which can be calculated by multiplying the animal’s body weight in kilograms raised to the ¾ power by 70, for example, a 10kg (22lb) adult neutered dog of healthy weight needs RER = 70(10kg)3/4 ˜ or 400 Calories/day.
5.62341 X 70 = 393.6 Kcal
I hope you all remember your college algebra!
Here is a slightly easier way Daily calories (canine) = Body Weight (kg) x 30 + 70 which gives a slightly lesser value for RER, and remember to calculate it based on the ideal weight you want your dog to be, not his current weight (unless his current weight is ideal)
Table 1. Known life stages and corresponding factors used to estimate daily energy needs for dogs.
Neutered adult =1.6 x RER
Intact adult =1.8 x RER
Inactive/obese prone =1.2-1.4 x RER
Weight loss =1.0 x RER for ideal weight
Weight gain =1.2-1.8 x RER for ideal weight
Active, working dogs =2.0-5.0 x RER
Puppy 0-4 months =3.0 x RER
Puppy 4 months to adult = 2.0 x RER
Dr. Hale recommends TruDog food, boosters, and treats for your dog’s optimal health. Check out our online store to feed your dog the very best all-natural dog foods.