How Many Calories Should A 40 Pound Dog Eat


How Many Calories Should A 40 Pound Dog Eat? Your dog needs a certain amount of calories per day to maintain his ideal weight. When he eats more calories than his body needs, he will gain weight. If he does not eat enough calories, he will lose weight.

Estimating how many calories your dog needs on a daily basis isn’t easy. In order to maintain his ideal weight, you’ll have to multiply that number by seven and add a few hundred calories for good measure since the pound of body weight will always use more calories than a scaled down version.

How Much Dog Food Should a 40-Pound Dog Be Eating?

To keep your dog happy and healthy, feed him a high-quality dog food at least twice a day. To feed him properly, it’s important to know how much food a dog of his size and activity level needs. This is the amount that will provide the calories he needs to get through the day’s activities without creating weight issues.

Activity Level

Like people, different dogs have different activity levels, which means they have different daily calorie requirements. says the daily calories required for a 40-pound dog are as follows: A typical dog needs 969 calories; an active dog, 1101 calories; an overweight dog, 616 calories; a highly active dog, 1541 calories; a senior, neutered, inactive dog, 792; a light-duty working dog, 1145 to 1321 calories; a moderate duty working dog, 1321 to 1541 calories; and a heavy-duty working dog, 1541 to 2201 calories.

Serving Size

Once you know the caloric requirement for your 40-pound dog, you need to figure out how much food to give. Different dog food types and brands have different calorie contents, so there’s no across-the-board formula for the amount of food your dog should get. Many dog food brands list “calories per cup” on the dog food packaging near the nutrition facts. Using your dog’s estimated caloric needs, you can calculate the quantity of your favored dog food food your dog needs each day. For example, if your dog food label says it provides “355 kcal per cup,” and you have an active 40-pound dog, your dog needs just over 3 cups of food per day.

How Much Should I Feed My Dog?

lab holding food dish in mouth

Determining how much food a dog should eat can be tricky for a pet owner. From a veterinary standpoint, the amount of food a dog eats per day should be based on his ideal weight and the amount of calories an average dog of that weight needs per day.

A Healthy Weight for Dogs

Normally, your veterinarian will perform an exam and assess your dog for his ideal, or healthy, weight. If you want a general idea of whether your pet’s weight is normal, you can use the following tricks:

A pet at a healthy weight should have ribs that are easy to feel but not too prominent. For comparison’s sake, if you make a fist and lightly run your finger over the top of your own knuckle bones (the ones that connect your fingers to your hand), and that is what your dog’s ribs feel like, he may be too thin. If you flatten your palm and run your finger over the tops of your knuckles, this is more what a dog’s ribs feel like at a healthy weight. If you turn your palm over and run your fingers over the knuckle area (you should barely be able to feel them), and this is what your dog’s ribs feel like, he may be overweight.

Another way to measure general weight is to look at the top of the dog and ensure he has a waist, meaning his body tapers inwards after the ribs but before the hips. You can also look at him from the side and see that the belly region tapers upwards (isn’t as wide) compared to the chest. Dogs that have little to no tapering or shape change from the ribs to the hips are likely overweight.

Every breed is going to be a little different, so it is important to use these measurements as a general idea. If your pet doesn’t seem to be at a healthy weight, have your vet give them a check up to be sure.

How Many Calories Does a Dog Need Per Day?

Assuming your dog is at a healthy weight and activity level, you can use a formula to get an estimate of the amount of calories (also called kilocalories or kcal) your dog needs per day:

Calorie (kcal) needs = 1.6 [70 x (weight in pounds ÷ 2.2)0.75]

Basically, a healthy, 10-pound dog with an average activity level will need roughly 350 calories a day to maintain his weight. This amount is only an estimate and should be based on the dog’s needs – if he is overweight, he will need less calories. If he is a very active dog, he will need more. If this is a pregnant or nursing dog, she will need much, much more. Sick pets, such as those with cancer or kidney disease, will likely need more calories as well. Feeding puppies gets a little complicated because of their fast growth rates. Talk to your veterinarian for more information, because you don’t want to accidentally over- or under-feed your pet.

Calories in Dog Food

Once you figure out your dog’s ideal weight and the appropriate numbers of calories per day, you have to figure out how many calories are in the dog food you plan to feed. This number is often on the side of the bag,usually below the ingredients and percentages of protein, fat, etc. It may look like this:

Calorie Content: 3557 kcal ME/kg; 353 kcal ME/ cup

This means that one kilogram of this dog food contains 3,557 calories (kilocalories of metabolizable [usable] energy) and one standard measuring cup of it has 353 calories. This works the same way for canned food as well. So, if our 10-pound dog from the example above needs roughly 350 calories a day, one cup of this food should satisfy him for the entire day. If you can’t find this information, you may need to check the dog food company’s website or give them a call.

How Many Times a Day Should a Dog Eat?

How many times you feed your dog per day is not as important as making sure he gets the right amount of calories a day. The number calculated above is for a 24-hour period. You can split this up into 2 feedings and some snacks (remember, dog treats have calories too), or just feed him all at once. Some dogs benefit from splitting up feedings – maybe they eat too fast or they are prone to getting hungry later in the day. Others may want to graze all day from one bowl of food. With your veterinarian’s guidance, you should be able to feed whatever dog feeding schedule works best for you and your pet.

An Easier Way

Calculations, measurements, and detective work are not for everyone. Luckily, most dog food brands have made life easier for everyone by listing suggested feeding guidelines on the side of the dog food bags and cans, as well as on their websites. This means that once you and your vet figure out your pet’s ideal weight, you can look at the handy chart on the food, find his weight and age, and a range based on number of measuring cups (or amount per can if using wet, canned food) needed per day will be provided. As with calculating calories, dogs with high-calorie needs (e.g. sick, underweight, pregnant/nursing, or very active dogs) or overweight dogs will likely need an adjustment to these charts.

How Breed, Weight and Size Affect How Much to Feed 

When you’re figuring out how much you should feed your dog, their weight and body size should be taken into account. As we mentioned earlier, a chihuahua won’t require the same amount of foodas a husky – even if they’re around the same age. 

Toy Breeds 

Even tinier than small breeds are the toy breeds! You probably recognize a toy dog when you see one because they’re itty bitty. Typically, a toy breed weighs around ten pounds. Some popular toy breeds include Pomeranians and Yorkshire Terriers. If you have a toy breed, you should plan on feeding them ⅓ cup a day (if they weigh three pounds) or ½ cup a day (if they weigh six pounds). 

 Small Breeds

Up next are small breeds. This includes dogs such as Boston Terriers and Dachshunds. It can be difficult to decipher between small and toy dogs sometimes, but generally, a small dog will be larger – weighing around 20 pounds. If you have a small dog, you should be looking to feed them ¾ cup if they’re ten pounds, one full cup if they weigh 15 pounds, and finally, 1 ⅔ cup if they’re 20 pounds. 

 Medium Breeds 

Medium dog breeds refer to breeds such as Australian Shepherds and Beagles. While the term ‘medium breed’ itself is vague, you can generally tell if your dog is by considering their weight. If they weigh 30 pounds, look to feed 1 ¾ cups a day. If they’re 40, move that up to 2 ¼ cups. Finally, if your dog is 50 pounds, you should be giving them 2 ⅔ cups a day. 

Large Breeds

If you have a Golden Retriever or Bernese Mountain Dog, or a similar-sized dog, you have a large breed. These dogs require more food than small or medium breeds. If your dog weighs 60 pounds, you should feed them three cups per day. This increases with your dog’s weight. If your dog is 70 pounds, 3 ½ cups is appropriate. If your dog’s weight is 80 pounds, 3 ¾ cups is necessary. This increases if your dog’s weight is 90 pounds – 4 ¼ cups a day. Finally, if your dog weighs 100 pounds, you can increase their amount of food to 4 ½ cups!

X-Large Breeds 

If your dog is more than 100 pounds, then you should add an additional ⅓ cup for every ten pounds. This ensures that your X-Large dog is getting the nutrients that they need to support their larger body. 

How Age and Weight Go Hand in Hand 

As you might have guessed, age and weight actually go hand in hand when determining how much to feed your dog. Dogs of different sizes require different amounts of food, but they also could require different kinds of food. 

For example, your large dog breeds will generally require puppy food for a longer period of time than smaller breeds. To ensure that your dog is growing at the proper rate, tailoring what kind of food you should give them might be necessary. This can ultimately help contribute long-term to healthier joints, which are crucial for a large dog. 

Working Dogs and Activity Level 

Still, there’s more to take into account. How active is your furry friend? If your pet is a  working dog or has an extremely high activity level, they might require more food still. In addition to this, working dogs require high-protein diets to help bolster their growth. The best food for a working dog is one that has real meat in it – not “meal meat” or something vague. 

When your pet is a working dog or has exceptionally high activity levels, it’s of paramount importance that they build healthy muscles. Protein allows them to achieve that. 

Importance of Quality Ingredients Over Quantity of Food 

Of course, what really matters when it comes to your dog’s food is the quality of the ingredients it contains. If you’re giving your dog the right amount of food, but it isn’t high quality, they’re still not getting the nutrients they require. 

Bioavailability and Usability of Ingredients 

When we talk about bioavailability, we’re referring to the proportion of a particular nutrient that can be absorbed, digested, and metabolized. It’s essential that the food that you choose for your dog is able to be digested easily. 

If you use low-quality food, you’ll find that your dog has a difficult time digesting the food. This could cause or aggravate stomach issues. It’s a better idea to provide your dog with grub that won’t hurt their belly. 

Sundays as a Prime Example

At Sundays for Dogs, we’re proud to offer food that is equal parts digestible and tasty. That’s why we’ve formulated food that’s appealing to even the pickiest eaters, is safe for sensitive stomachs, packed with antioxidants, and helps support joint health. Our formula also supports a shiny coat and features a high fiber content for easy digestion. 

You’ll never find any questionable “meal meat” or antinutrients in our food. Sundays is committed to avoiding common allergens and avoiding artificial/synthetic ingredients at all costs. If you’re looking for a supportive food brand to feed your pet, we have the answer you’re looking for.

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