How Many Calories Should A 60 Lb Dog Eat


How Many Calories Should A 60 lb Dog Eat? — It is important to understand how to take care of your four-legged companion even if you don’t want to do this forever. One thing that pet owners from all over the world are curious about is how many calories your dog needs on a daily basis .

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 Many Calories Should A 60 Lb Dog Eat

How often should you feed your dog

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A cup is a cup, oh yeah, oh yeah, unless my vet talks up that particular cup. What on earth could this possibly mean?

When we are questioned about a cup or ponder about it, our responses will vary greatly depending on the circumstance.

A cup of coffee should, in our opinion, be the size of a soda bottle, especially if the morning hasn’t been well.

However, when we imagine a cup of espresso, we picture a tiny cup. Regardless, all we can think about is a cup.

Why should you care about this? It matters because the many different empty containers people typically use to scoop their pet’s kibble aren’t the “cups” we veterinarians (and the back of the pet food bags) are talking about when it comes to your dog’s weight and general health.

This specifically becomes a problem when a pet owner uses the extra-large coffee cup variety AND feeds their pet the recommended number of cups per pet food bag, as we shall cover later. Let’s examine how much food your dog actually needs, how frequently you should feed them, and how to reduce calorie intake if your pet is obese.

How Much Food Should You Feed Your Dog?

I feel the need to stand up and preach. The suggested feeding amounts are listed on the back of the food bag, which we all inspect. While this may be a fantastic beginning, there are a few things to bear in mind.

First off, mature intact (not neutered) male canines are often used as the basis for the food amount recommendations. Particularly a spayed or neutered dog, intact male canines often have a higher metabolism and might consume more calories than the normal canine.

Second, many food bag recommendations provide a rather wide range for the weights for feeding. For instance, the first range on the package of food for my dog is 3–12 pounds. Never give a 3-pound dog anywhere close to what a 12-pound dog would consume. Notice how the range widens for larger dogs in the next photo example, which shows a range of recommendations from another Preventive Vet team member’s dog’s food:

food bag feeding guidelines example

Based on your pet’s desired body weight, you should adjust your feeding schedule. If your dog should weigh three pounds, for instance, start off by eating at the lowest end of the range. If your pet is overweight, avoid feeding him or her based on real weight. If you see that your pet is gaining weight at that rate, you may need to reduce the amount of food you are giving him or her (and watch out for overindulging in treats; it’s better to reduce those than your pet’s regular diet!).

Third, keep in mind that every dog is an individual with a different body type and metabolism. Dogs that work, for instance, have a greater metabolism (more muscle and activity) and burn more calories than a dog that is just curled up on the couch. To maintain their weight, they require more calories. Because of this, performance diets have been created to fulfill their requirements, and as the owner of an athlete, you will need to supply the calories required for that way of life. As a result, you must feed your dog according to his or her individual needs!

Another example is the recommendation on the food bag for my tiny dog, who should have 1 to 2 cups daily. My tiny pig loves food, hates walks, and is really lethargic. He does receive plenty of goodies for his excellent behavior, but I only give him approximately a quarter cup of food each day. He puts on a lot of weight if he gets more. He could have back and joint problems from carrying too much weight. I can determine how much food is enough for a dog to maintain weight by measuring his or any other dog’s diet. The best course of action is to speak with your vet about the ideal number of calories to feed your pet.

How to Find the Right Amount of Dog Food for Your Dog

You need to account for several factors when determining exactly how much your dog should be eating.

Consider the Important Factors

The correct meal size depends on factors like:

  • Type of food
  • Number of meals
  • Body weight
  • Metabolic rate
  • Amount of exercise

Look at the Feeding Guide on the Bag

Examine the feeding recommendations on the label of your dog food to get the process started. Typically, they are displayed as a table that seems something like this:

These sums offer you the total suggested for your dog throughout a 24-hour period, unless otherwise noted.

You must divide the amount in the table by the number of meals you are providing because most adult dogs should eat two meals a day and puppies frequently need three or more feedings.

Take Your Dog’s Lifestyle Into Account

To determine the initial amount of food to give your dog, use this information with your understanding of their lifestyle.

For instance, if I had a 35-pound Corgi who tended to put on weight and was relatively inactive, I might start with a little less food than what the table suggests. On the other hand, I would feed a little bit more if my dog was a 35-pound Border Collie who never stays still.

Consider Using a Calorie Calculator

Another option is to try using a calorie calculator for dogs, but keep in mind that while these often spit out a precise number, your dog’s actual needs may be as much as 25% more or less.

Determine Your Dog’s Body Condition Score

Whichever method you pick, you’ll have to use a scale or body condition scoring system to fine-tune the amount of food you offer.

Your veterinarian can help you decipher your dog’s body condition score (BCS) and determine an appropriate calorie amount.

In general, dogs who are at a healthy weight:

  • Have an “hourglass” figure when you look down on them from above. The abdomen should be narrower than the chest and hips.
  • Are “tucked up” when you look at them from the side. This means that their chest is closer to the ground than their belly when standing.
  • Have ribs that are not readily visible but are easily felt with only light pressure.

Keep a Record of Your Dog’s Weight Change

Check your dog’s weight every 2-4 weeks and keep a diary of your results. If your dog is inappropriately gaining or losing weight, adjust your portion sizes appropriately. Make sure to discuss these changes with your veterinarian so they can ensure that there are no underlying conditions.

What Happens if I Feed My Dog Too Much?

To put it simply: Your dog puts on weight. There may be more of him for you to love, you may think. And while that may be the case, the excess weight is bad for his health. The health problems associated with obesity, such as osteoarthritis, congestive heart failure, labored breathing, Cushing’s disease, skin conditions, some cancers, a shortened life expectancy, and a lower quality of life, may affect your dog if he consumes too many calories each day.

Remarkably, the Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University estimates that more than 50% of dogs in the U.S. are overweight. Therefore, if you want to keep your dog as healthy and active as possible for as long as possible, relying on the feeding instructions on the dog food bag or letting your puppy eat as much as he wants are probably not good ways.

What Happens if My Dog is Underfed?

The veterinarian at BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Southfield, Michigan, Jessica Romine, DVM, DACVIN, predicts that he will experience nutritional deficits, lose weight, and grow a dull coat. Additionally, notes Romine, a board-certified veterinarian in internal medicine, “without enough calories, he’ll be hungry all the time and may go searching for food in the trash.” Even worse, if he is severely underfed for an extended period of time, he may develop heart disease.

How Do Age, Lifestyle, and Health Factor Into the Mix?

Starting with age. Adult dogs require less food than growing dogs do. Romine notes that although toy breeds may be finished growing by six to nine months, it takes canines roughly two years to be considered fully grown.

On the other hand, due to metabolic changes, older dogs may need 20% fewer calories to maintain their desired weight. Therefore, individuals might profit from consuming a dish that contains fewer calories and fat. However, some dogs lose weight as they age and eventually become very old. That happens frequently because people lose appetite, perhaps as a result of a weakened sense of taste or smell or having trouble chewing or swallowing. Such dogs may benefit from a higher-fat, more calorie-dense food that is more appealing.

A dog’s lifestyle, or how active they are on a regular basis, can vary substantially. A border collie who likes to be active has more energy than a dog who prefers to be lazy at the same age and weight. Compared to his inactive mate, the border collie unquestionably needs more calories. According to Romine, some dogs, such as hunting dogs, don’t lead the same lifestyle year-round. “A dog who spends the entire day hunting in the fields with his owner will expend 25 to 35 percent more calories than he would throughout the rest of the year as a regular family pet. Determine the appropriate food quantity for him.

Dogs with dietary requirements or medical conditions may need particular feeding regimens or food limitations in terms of their health. Additionally, Romine notes that “spaying or neutering your dog changes his hormone balance and decreases his metabolic requirements by 25% on average.”

Wouldn’t It Be Easier to Let my Dog Free Feed?

It would be easier, but it wouldn’t be accurate. Your dog may end up overweight from overeating. “Some breeds, like Labrador retrievers, will eat anything,” Romine says. “Their hunger does not turn off, even if they’ve had more than enough calories for the day.” Households with multiple dogs run into trouble with free-feeding because it’s hard to track each dog’s intake.

Calculating Calorie Intake for Your Dog

There are two critical steps you must take before you can determine your dog’s calorie requirements. One is to weigh your dog accurately and recently. You won’t get an accurate measurement if you use an old weight or one that you estimate. To determine your dog’s optimal or target weight, you should also speak with your pet’s doctor. You will use the optimal weight in the equation if your dog is a healthy weight.

You are figuring out your dog’s RER (resting energy need) using this equation. This is the amount of energy your dog expends in a typical day without any other activities. This measurement includes actions like as walking to and from food and water, short trips to the restroom, and other everyday activities in addition to the baseline metabolism. Just yet, don’t worry about including other activities, like walks or sports.

RER in kcal/day = (ideal or target weight in kg ^ 0.75) x 70 OR 30 x (body weight in kg) +70

To determine your dog’s weight in kilograms, divide its weight in pounds by 2.2. So, a 10-pound dog weighs 4.5kg and a 50-pound dog weighs 22.7kg.

dog eating scattered food

Additional Factors That May Alter Your Calculation

Spayed/Neutered Adult Dog:

Once a dog is spayed or neutered, hormone levels drop significantly, taking metabolism with them. It is also more difficult for a dog that is fixed to build muscle, and muscle is a driving factor in metabolism.

  • To determine the calorie needs of a fixed dog, use this equation: RER x 1.6

Intact Adult Dog:

Dogs that have not been spayed or neutered retain the hormones and muscle-building ability that fixed dogs have lost, which means they have a higher metabolism, thus needing more food.

  • To determine their calorie needs, use this equation: RER x1.8

Sedentary/Obesity Prone:

Dogs with a low activity lifestyle or those that are predisposed to obesity due to health or genetics require fewer calories than most other adult dogs.

  • Use one of these equations: RER x 1.2, RER x 1.3, RER x 1.4. You can choose the equation based on your dog’s level of sedentariness.

Weight Loss:

If your veterinarian has determined your dog is overweight, you will use the RER you already determined as their calorie needs. Run this number by your veterinarian to verify they are in agreement.

Weight Gain:

Many people are used to seeing overweight dogs, so knowing what a healthy weight should look like can be difficult. Have your vet determine if your dog is underweight and have them sign off on a weight gain plan before you start this.

  • To determine weight gain calorie needs, use this equation: RER x 1.2 up to RER x 1.8. This is dependent on your dog’s activity level and how underweight they are.

Active/Working Dogs:

If you’ve got a dog that participates in sports like flyball and weight pull, or a working dog like a police or cadaver dog, your dog needs more calories than the average pet.

  • Use this equation: RER x 2 up to RER x 5. This is dependent on the level of activity your dog is participating in and may vary from day to day.

7 Tips to Ensure Your Dog Is Getting the Right Amount of Calories From Their Food

To help make sure your pooch is getting the amount of calories from their food, here are some recommendations from Kostiuk and other veterinary resources to consider:

  1. Determine your pet’s goal healthy weight by consulting a reputable veterinarian about their optimal body composition.
  2. When you may need to make adjustments to your dog’s dietary needs, keep an eye on your dog’s behavior, exercise routines, and general health.
  3. Watch how their body changes throughout time. Consult your veterinarian if there are any unsettling changes.
  4. Use the full and balanced dog food feeding chart as a general reference and make adjustments based on your pet’s needs.
  5. Make sure that meals that are high in protein, fat, and carbohydrates make up the majority of your dog’s calories rather than rewards. Giving them too many snacks or too many extra oils or fats increases their daily caloric intake, and eating too many treats can cause obesity.
  6. Choose a diet with fewer than 20% of the calories from starchy carbohydrates. For greater energy density, dogs require a greater emphasis on lean protein and healthy fats. Energy-wise, fat is twice as potent as protein and carbohydrates.
  7. Feed your dog according to their specific requirements. A 5-pound Chihuahua needs significantly fewer calories per day than a 120-pound Great Dane, yet a puppy needs more calories than an older dog does. You shouldn’t overfeed a dog for their lifestyle if they don’t spend a lot of time exercising because they will gain weight. On the other hand, if your dog is your jogging partner every day, be sure to feed them enough to maintain their energy level for an active lifestyle.

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