The Well Dog Place

Dr. Ken Tudor Holistic Veterinarian

Dog Food Bowl, Calories on dog food labels aren't easily translated into servings. See our instructions.

Dog Nutrition 03 | Counting Calories to Improve Your Dog’s Health

Calories matter for your dog’s maximum health. Trim dogs live almost 2 years longer than less fit dogs. But dog food companies have taught us to feed cups or cans of dog food. But there are no standard calorie counts for cups or cans of dog food. Cups and cans can vary as much as 200 calories per cup or can between and among dog food brands. That big difference can promote excess body weight and poor health. And the feeding instructions on the labels are always more generous than your dog needs, so ignore those instructions. Every time you change dog food, you need to change the amount you feed!

How to Count Calories

If you already know your dog’s ideal weight and daily calorie needs it is easy. All dog food bags or can labels must state the calories the food contains. It will be hard to find but it has to be there. It will be expressed as: kilocalories (Kcal)/kilogram (kg); kilocalories (Kcal)/cup or can. Kilocalories are the same as calories so don’t be confused by the metric system.

The equation for finding how many calories to feed is:

Daily calories divided by the calories/cup or can = #cups or #cans to feed daily.

We like owners to feed two meals daily, so: #cups or #cans daily divided by 2 = #cups or #cans for each meal.

Count calories and add those 2 extra years to your dog’s life!

Ken Tudor DVM
Dr. Ken Tudor, Holistic Veterinarian

Dr. Ken Tudor is a recognized expert and leader in the field of pet nutrition and fitness. He has developed a pet weight management program and served on the American Animal Hospital Association task force to develop their Weight Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats. He is also a frequent guest on the Pet World Insider radio show and a popular guest on the televised Pet Ex Talks-Pet Experts Empowering Pet Parents show.

Dog Nutrition 03 | Counting Calories to Improve Your Dog’s Health

Dog Nutrition

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