Dog Food Calculator


The Dog Food Calculator below can help you estimate the proper serving size for your pet. It’s based upon a study published by a respected veterinary institute.1

To use the calculator, you’ll need to know your dog’s ideal weight. This is what you believe your pet should weigh.

You’ll also need to know the number of calories in the specific dog food you’re feeding him.

Dog Food Calculator
Step 1
Your dog's ideal weight

pounds   kilograms

Step 2
Your dog's activity level

Step 3
Your dog food's calories per serving

kcal / cup

The calculator’s formula2 uses a dog’s metabolic weight to suggest an approximate serving size.

Dog Food Calculator

The Dog Food Calculator was designed for adult dogs only… not for puppies. 

And it should never be used for pregnant or lactating females.

Small breeds are considered adults at about 9 to 12 months of age. And medium breeds at about 12 to 14 months.3

However, large and giant breeds shouldn’t be fed as adults until they reach around 1 to 2 years — depending upon the breed.4

Overweight Dogs

If you believe your dog might be overweight, be sure to choose the “Overweight” option for “Your dog’s activity level”.

Otherwise, the recommended serving size will likely be too high.

And for help, be sure to visit our Best Dog Foods for Weight Loss article.

Senior Dogs

Older dogs have significantly lower energy needs than younger ones. So, it’s easy for them to put on extra weight.

In general, small to medium dogs are considered seniors at about seven years of age.  However, larger breeds reach senior status much sooner — some as early as five.5

Converting From Calories
to Serving Size

Once you’ve entered your dog’s ideal weight and activity level, you’ll know the number of calories per day.

However, to convert calories into something you can use, you’ll need to enter the number of calories in your dog’s food.

The number of calories in a given amount of dog food is known as its metabolizable energy (ME, for short). It’s usually reported somewhere on a dog food package like this…

  • Calories per cup (kcal/cup)
  • Calories per kilogram (kcal/kilogram)

By the way, the calculator assumes you’re feeding your dog just once a day.

If you prefer to feed your dog twice a day, be sure to divide your result in half so that both meals add up to the full daily calories suggested.

The Bottom Line

Since every dog is unique, it’s impossible to predict the serving size that’s perfect for each pet.

So, start with the package’s feeding instructions — or the amount suggested by our calculator.

And be sure to weigh your dog every few weeks.

Then, simply adjust that suggested serving size up or down to reach and maintain your pet’s ideal weight.

Sure, it’s a little work. But in the end, it’s the only real life method you can scientifically rely on.

Final Word

This tool is intended for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional veterinary advice.


  1. Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition (1999), Canine Life Stages and Lifestyles, The Waltham Course on Dog and Cat Nutrition, p. 14
  2. ME (kcal/day) = 110 (body weight in kilograms)0.75 to maintain a typical adult dog
  3. Iams, “How to Transition Your Puppy to Adult Food
  4. Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition (1999), Canine Life Stages and Lifestyles, The Waltham Course on Dog and Cat Nutrition, p. 4
  5. Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition (1999), Canine Life Stages and Lifestyles, The Waltham Course on Dog and Cat Nutrition, p. 16

{ 1288 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. haleycookie says:

    I hate to break it to you, but your way is not always right. It’s almost maddening watching you argue back and forth about something you are clearly wrong about. I know you think everything you know is matter of fact true, but it isn’t. There’s no real point in anyone even arguing with you anymore because as soon as you are proven wrong to some degree you remove your comments on here. Just as you’ll do with these. I guess to save yourself the humiliation lateron. Extrememly close mind, self righteous people such as such as yourself are what’s wrong with this society today.

  2. Hi Anon
    Using the information you posted you can see the influence of the density of what you are measuring on the weight of a cup
    1 pound butter = 2 cups
    1 pound flour =4 cup
    1 pound sugar =2 cups
    1 pound caked flour = 4 3/4 cups

  3. Sounds like a scam. What a waste of kibble.

    How is that a fact? Do you have it on tape, the bag being opened and the measuring cup used. Lol
    Not buying it.

  4. Right, so I know for a fact that 25lbs of Merrick holds 100 cups. 44lbs of Canidae ALS holds about 176. I know this because in my store we have each of these foods broken down in to individual cups in baggies to demonstrate how much is in each bag.

  5. Hi Mavis,
    Great question ! There can be significant variation depending on kibble size and density.

    You can calculate this from the information provided by the manufacturer.

    Here are some examples:
    Royal Canin Labrador 3492 kcals/kg, 276 kcal/cup
    3492 kcal/kg = 3.492 kcal/gram dividing through 276kcal/cup 3.492kcals/gram = 79 grams/cup of food. As there are 28 grams in an ounce one cup of RC Labrador is 2.8 ounces.

    Pro Plan Puppy small breed 4126kcals/kg and 461 kcals/cup 461/4.126 = 111.7 grams. = 4 ounces
    Evo small breed avg between two posted values 4121kcals/kg and 516 kcals/cup calculates out to 4.5 ounces
    As you can see the number of ounces /cup varies considerably with the food hope this helps

  6. Not really. Anyone can google away and find a variety of opinions, not facts.

    You provided sites that support your opinion and I provided sites that support mine.

  7. It says on the dog food bag what the weight is, example 15 pounds.
    I don’t have the time or inclination to scoop out cup after cup, weigh, compare to scale weight etc.

    But after years of feeding kibble in measured amounts, you are able to determine how many cups are in the bag
    I don’t think it’s that complicated. 🙂

    Just my opinion.

  8. Measurements and weights are not opinions. They are supported by scientific facts. Clearly something you missed while getting your “degree”

  9. Yup, over 30 years so far.

    What don’t you get about opinion?

    It is neither false or true.

  10. Okay, choose to believe something that is false. That’s great, it’ll get you real far.

  11. Crazy4cats says:

    Btw, the answer is approximately 4 ounces, but would have to weight it yourself for the exact amount. Good luck!

  12. Crazy4cats says:

    Not talking about the difference between two measuring cups. The original poster asked how much one cup WEIGHED. Your answer is incorrect whether it be science or homeopathic based. This is not an opinion, it is a fact. I’m done now, we are not helping the poster whatsoever.

  13. I have a liquid measuring cup and I have stainless steel dry measuring cups, I have compared and have found the difference to be miniscule.
    I have never used a scale to weigh food, seems a little extreme to me.
    I don’t get that intense about these things.
    I stand by my 1 pound of dry kibble equals 2 cups.
    That is what I choose to believe based on my knowledge and experience.

  14. Crazy4cats says:

    Thank you, your link confirms what we are trying to explain. When using a liquid ingredient, use a liquid measuring cup. For a dry ingredient, use a scale.

  15. Crazy4cats says:

    I found this dog food calculator very helpful in determining a starting point on the amount to feed my dogs. They both weigh about the same amount, but I did end up feeding one less as he is a little less active and was getting chubby. I do carefully measure their food every day. If I were just to eyeball it, I’m sure I would over feed them!

  16. Crazy4cats says:

    Check this out! 1 lb equals approximately 4 cups of dog food on average. Again, when I get home, I am going to weigh a cup of kibble to find out for myself! I don’t even have a science degree!

  17. From what I understand the difference is miniscule.

  18. Good luck with that! excerpt below

    “If a recipe calls for four ounces of something, how do you know if they mean four ounces on the food scale, or in the measuring cup? What’s the difference between dry measuring cups and liquid measuring cups, why would you need different cups, wouldn’t they measure the same amount? This may sound stupid, but not to me. Thanks for your time.”
    I asked my friend Chef Jennifer Field, a graduate of Orlando Culinary Academy, who offered this response,
    “This is a very good question; many people don’t stop to consider that there is a difference at all between liquid and dry measures, so good for you! My general rule of thumb is if the recipe calls for 4 ounces of a liquid, use a liquid measuring cup. If the recipe calls for 4 ounces of a dry ingredient, use your scale”

    Now to your other individual questions:
    What’s the difference between dry measuring cups and liquid measuring cups?
    Dry measuring cups are meant to be filled right up to the top and then leveled off with a straight edge of some sort. Liquid measuring cups generally have a pour spout and are made to be filled to the gradations on the side of the cup (1/4 cup, 1/2 cup, 6 oz, etc.) rather than being filled right up to the top.

  19. Crazy4cats says:

    Yes, 1 cup = 8 fluid ounces, but not necessarily 8 kibble ounces. I’m going to have to bust out my kitchen scale and weigh a cup of kibble when I get home!

  20. Oh you do? So do I! which is how I know how to properly measure dog food.

  21. You have picked arguments with me before. So, I have to assume it is for prior things we do not agree upon.
    PS: I have a degree in science, I know all about measuring cups 🙂

  22. Correct measurements are not homeopathic views. They fall under the scientific category. Like I said, get a correct measuring cup and an accurate scale. You can see it for yourself.

  23. Join in for a pile on. Classy.

    I gave the poster an answer that I believed to be correct, only to be attacked by one of the homeopathic followers.
    Really, if I didn’t care for animals as much as I do I wouldn’t respond.
    See ya later.

  24. Seriously? Your vet told you that fluid ounces are the same as ounces by weight? They really need to retake basic science classes at that point. As a matter of fact, I’m here in more of a professional capacity than you are. Those of us who work in the pet industry know general rule is 4 cups per pound. It really isn’t that hard to figure out with a scale and fluid measuring cup in hand.

  25. haleycookie says:

    Are you here in a professional capacity? And since when is accurate measurements an opinion? Also when did this become a medical or diet related recommendation? The person was asking about the weight of kibble?

  26. Are you here in a professional capacity?
    I didn’t think so.
    Therefore, your opinion is no more valid than my opinion.
    I listen to the vet that examines my pets for medical advice and diet recommendations.
    Not internet blah, blah, blah.
    So much bad advice and misinformation on these forums,
    Sad, I feel sorry for the folks looking for answers that fall for it.

  27. Since you like to spam people with links:

    Excerpt from above:

    One 50-pound bag cost $23.88 at Wal-Mart (at the time this piece was written). That will give you approximately 200 cups of dry food, since a pound of dog food roughly translates to four cups.

    Or, you can bust out a scale and do the math yourself. Hell, I’ll even create a video showing the measurements and the weight on a scale for you!

  28. FLUID OUNCES ARE NOT BY WEIGHT, THEY ARE BY VOLUME. You are such a “science based information” person yet you don’t know the difference between weight and volume measurements? Seriously, email or call any dog food company. OR GOOGLE IT LIKE I SAID. You are patently wrong in this instance and giving out bad information to someone’s question is bad character

  29. I don’t do Facebook. I know I am right

    Measurement Equivalents

    1 cup = 8 fluid ounces
    1 cup = 16 tablespoons
    2 cups = 1 pint (16 fluid ounces)
    4 cups = 1 quart (32 fluid ounces)
    1/8 cup = 2 tablespoons
    1/4 cup = 4 tablespoons
    1/3 cup = 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon
    3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon
    2 tablespoons(liquid) = 1 fluid ounce
    1 pound = 16 ounces
    1/2 pound = 8 ounces
    1/4 pound = 4 ounces
    Ingredient Equivalents

    1 pound butter or margarine = 2 cups
    1 stick butter or margarine = 1/2 cup
    1 stick butter or margarine = 8 tablespoons
    1 chocolate square = 1 ounce
    1 chocolate square = 3 tbs. cocoa + 1 tbs. of oil
    1 pound all purpose flour = 4 cups
    1 pound cake flour = 4 3/4 cups
    1 pound sugar, granulated = 2 cups
    1 pound brown sugar, packed = 2 1/4 cups
    1 pound sugar, powdered = 3 1/2 cups

  30. Definitely not wrong. As Crazy4Cats mentioned, ounces is weight. But there are also FLUID ounces which is volume, and that’s what a measuring cup is. Do a simple google search and you will find that your “general rule” is wrong. Also, since you love Zignature so much, they’ve answered this question many times on their facebook page for people. 4 cups=1 lb.

  31. The guy below is wrong. Of course there are slight variations. Depending on the density of the kibble.
    But the general rule is 1 pound of dry kibble equals 2 cups of food.
    PS: Why are you so focused on measurements and weights?
    Dogs have different metabolisms just like people.
    Just took my 9 pound dog in for a quick weigh in, she was down to 8.2 pounds a month ago, so I added an extra meal (she’s a senior) now weighs 9.6.
    Guess what? She eats a little more per day than my 21 pound dog!
    Trial and error, see what works for your dog, and go for the annual vet exams, weight checks.

  32. Crazy4cats says:

    Hi Mavis! You would have to actually weight the food in question for an accurate weight because there is some variation in kibble density as ZeekandT mentioned. Cups is a volume measurement while ounces are a weight measurement. Hope this helps!

  33. So 1 cup = about 1/4 pound. There is some variation because some kibble does tend to be slightly more dense than others, depending on brand. But most companies generally use the 4 cups per pound rule

  34. Actually, it’s 4 cups per pound.

  35. If you are talking about dry kibble.
    One pound of dry kibble = 2 cups (8 ounces each)
    That’s what I go by.

    Example 27 pound bag of dry kibble = 54 cups

  36. Mavis Petrie says:

    Can you please tell me how many pounds or ounces are in one cup?

  37. Crazy4cats says:

    My dogs get new bandanas when they go to the groomer for their quarterly clean up. They look so handsome! For about a week anyway. Lol!

  38. Bobby dog says:

    I used to dress my JRT up for Halloween, but when she was three or four she pretty much had enough of that! 🙁 She didn’t mind a bandana though; neither does Bobby.

    I did manage to get a pic of Bobby with the Easter Bunny dressed in a shirt collar and bow tie with cuffs and cufflinks that was pretty cute. But, he made it clear he wanted them off after he posed pretty for the camera.

  39. Cathy Cee says:

    1/4 cup twice a day may still be too much, I’d try cutting it back even more. Are you walking her every day?

  40. iClean Dogwash says:

    I love this article. This is very well written. You have truly enriched me with some excellent knowledge about Dog Food

  41. Ha! Nah I never dress them up. They hate it 😛 Max did get a new collar as a Christmas gift so that will have to do lol

  42. Have you picked out a new “after” outfit for a pic yet? Maybe a nice new bandana?

  43. Glad you like it! Volume measurements are inaccurate which can derail a weight loss program.

    Here is an article that reviewed accuracy of volume measurements

  44. I started doing what you told me and weighing Bentley and Max’s food in grams with a gram scale. I honestly love it and am pissed I didn’t do it before lol. It’s 10x easier to get the exact amount of food needed when weighing out the food that way. Btw we are on week 2 (Fat Burn) of Simply Fit. I weigh Max again next week when he goes back on Metabolic Maintenance. I’ll let yall know if hes lost at all!

  45. Hi Dogs are great,
    I understand your point. Determining energy requirements is somewhat of an inexact science. The equations to determine energy calculation do not meet every dogs needs Actually any one dog may vary by 50% in either direction. It is simply the nature of the beast.

    If the calculator tells you your dog needs 1851 kcals a day what that means is that your dog could need somewhere between 925 and 2775 kcals a day.

    I took this from The Ohio State Veterinary Website

    “Individual pet needs can vary by as much as 50% from calculated values
    however, so these are only starting points for estimating the amount of
    food to be provided daily. The amount is then adjusted up or down as
    needed to maintain a healthy body condition score.”

  46. haleycookie says:

    Senior dogs naturally gave a lower metabolism and need less. And every dog and dog breed is different. This scale doesn’t take that into account. For my dog this scale picked up the perfect amount for his age and activity level. So idk what happened with what you put in. The suggestions on his bag of food however tend to be way off at least by a cup.

  47. Dogs are great says:

    Also I have been feeding her that much since she was 2.

  48. Dogs are great says:

    Nope she is an active Dog. They claim :Your dog requires 1851 kcal / day
    Feed your dog 4.66 cups / day. I was using 350 per cup. I feed her around a 1000 calories a day with treats. Happy and healthy

  49. Crazy4cats says:

    Hmmm? When I put in 80 lbs for a dog with typical activity and 400 calories per cup, it suggests 4 cups. How many calories per cup did you enter?

  50. haleycookie says:

    How much did you put in the fields? When I selected senior dog 80 lbs and 400 kcal a cup which is average(ish) it says 3 cups. So maybe you did it wrong?

  51. Dogs are great says:

    These calculators are all BS. My Dog is 80 pounds and I feed her 3 cups of dry food per day not 6 and she is 9. She would be obese if I fed her what the advice from Dog food companies. They suggest I feed her 8 cans of wet food a day as

  52. InkedMarie says:

    2-3% of the dogs weight is what you feed. What exactly are you feeding?

  53. Hi Trish,
    Labradors do love their food, how many meals a day do you feed & when you say you make up his meat from a recipe do you add grounded vegatables, fruit, sardines, meaty bones to his diet? When my boy was put on a raw diet he too was always hungry, you could look at freeze or air dried raw & feed as a meal & see does it hold him better then the raw, 45kg sounds like a proper weight for a Labrador so he’s not under weight. My boy weights 18kg & I was told to fed him 2 cups of raw a day 1 cup raw for breakfast & 1 cup raw for dinner then just watch his weight if he looks like he’s lost weight then add another 1/2 a cup of raw a day but he kept being hungry after being feed a kibble diet they need time to adjust my Natropath told me, I ended up feeding 3 meals a day 1 cup raw for breakfast & 1 cup raw for dinner & 1/2 cup kibble for lunch to hold him over till dinner time…or I was feeding 1 cup kibble for breakfast & raw for dinner in Australia we feed raw & kibble together well everyone I speak too all feed raw diet & add some dry kibble some feed the supermarket grainfree kibble or some feed premium brands, we have a few Australian made premium kibbles & they tell us to add raw meat or raw meathy bones with their kibble….. I know you probably don’t want to feed a dry kibble but it does stop them being hungry, was he feed a kibble diet before the raw diet & has he been wormed?

  54. Trish Morton says:

    Hi – can you help me please? I have a Labrador who is 45 kilos. I make up his meat from a recipe I found on line but I can’t work out how much to give him each day. he is always hungry. How much fresh meat should a large reasonably active dog get?

  55. Don’t waste your breath, once folks fall down the homeopathic rabbit hole, they won’t believe you.
    If you are receptive to science based veterinary medicine, go here

  56. Hi samlucy-

    I’m not sure how your comment pertains to what I said to the OP. Perhaps you meant to post to someone else?

  57. Well that makes it all ok then! When your dog dies of salmonella, he was just “naturally selected”.

    An infected dog has a weakened immune system. If the salmonella doesn’t get them right off the bat, at the very least it is helping things along when the dog catches something else or is otherwise debilitated. A dog shedding salmonella is immunocompromised. Period paragraph. Even “raw” enthusiasts whom I personally know won’t feed raw chicken.

  58. Chickens “in your yard” are most likely also infected with salmonella. It is passed on from the hen when the egg is formed in her body.

  59. Dogs “in the wild” don’t live nearly as long as our pets. There’s a reason for that – and disease and illness are the larger part of it.

  60. Yes they will, if it is infected with Salmonella. Why do you think they recall dog food infected with salmonella? Yes dogs CAN eat all sorts of things we can’t – but that doesn’t mean its ok to KNOWINGLY feed them infected food!!!! And chicken in this country is certain to be infected due to the way it is processed.

  61. Unless the dog is TOO THIN she doesn’t need any extra dog food, whether or not she comes looking for it.

  62. Try selecting OVERWEIGHT. That comes up as 2.68 c per day. For my dog, it comes up 1.3c per day. If I fed that to my dog she WOULD starve – at 1.5 c per day she was losing 2 pounds per week, or FOUR TIMES the safe rate.

    Different dogs have different metabolisms. The calculator is NOT going to give anyone the exact amount of food their dog needs. At best its just another potential starting point from which you adjust up or down according to the dog’s actual condition. You might as well start with the suggestion on the back of the bag.

    The calculator is just plain wrong more often than not – doesn’t matter in which direction it is wrong, its wrong.

  63. A 70 lb Border Collie is clearly NOT starving. The dog is not being neglected. You owe the OP an apology – which doubtless you will withhold.

  64. ALL Purina foods are crap. Look for the better versions of Diamond or Costco Kirkland foods (which are made by Diamond).

    Purina recalls:

    2016 low nutrients
    2013 salmonella
    2012 low nutrients
    2011 twice salmonella both times

    Furthermore in 2014 AS A RESULT OF A LAWSUIT THAT THEY LOST, Purina agreed to set up a $6.5 MILLION dollar fund for the owners of pets who were sickened or killed after eating Waggin’ Train treats WHICH WERE MANUFACTURED IN CHINA. They did this without ever issuing a recall (though they did stop production altogether for awhile).

    In addition there have been repeated problems with Beneful and mycotoxins and/or propylene glycol content.

    Purina quality is in the toilet anyway, it’s right down there with Ol’ Roy.

  65. The bowl is slimy therefore the water is as well….You can let your dog drink from it however I will change their water numerous times a day and each time washing the bowl with soap and water and drying it before the new clean distilled water goes in it

  66. Dogs are not obligate carnivores like cats are – but they’re still not vegetarians. Your dog needs animal proteins. Rice has protein, but not all the different types of protein that either people OR dogs need to thrive. Stick with the kibble – just make sure its a good kibble. Mine gets Kirkland Mature (because she’s elderly). Pad it out with low cal veggies as others mention here. Don’t forget to count the calories from veggies into your dog’s total calories per day.

  67. Changing it ONCE per day is plenty – assuming there’s much left to “change”. And the bowl should be cleaned every single time you refill it. The water is fine. Its the BOWL that gets “slimy”.

  68. Crazy4cats says:

    Try using the “contact us” link at the bottom of the page. Maybe a moderator can help you out.

  69. I agree, where did the kcal/kg option go? That was really helpful, because I weigh my dog’s food as well. Can you put that option back on the caclulator?

  70. What are you feeding them?

  71. I think I remember that! Have you checked out Waltham’s website to see if there is a calculator on it that would work for you. I believe that is where this calculator is from.

  72. Tiffin Filion says:

    This calculator used to have an option that would let you enter kcal per kg and then tell you how much per kg to feed your dog. I had to get spreadsheets involved to figure it out, where before, the calculator would just figure it out for me.

  73. Does the feeding guide on the bag tell how much a cup weighs? You’re right, weighing food is much more accurate.

  74. Tiffin Filion says:

    They are small dogs so I get between 1 and 3/4c for one and between 1/2 and 1/3 for the other. Measuring by weight is much easier but the kg serving size is no longer part of the calc.

  75. How many cups per day?

  76. I think so

  77. InkedMarie says:

    Oh sorry I misunderstood.

  78. Tiffin Filion says:

    That’s the dog’s weight, that’s not what I’m talking about. It used to give you kcal/cup AND kcal/kg. It doesn’t give you kcal/kg anymore.

  79. InkedMarie says:

    I see the kilogram option

  80. Tiffin Filion says:

    What happened to the kcal/kg option? My dogs get odd amounts in cups and weighing is so much easier for me.

  81. Crazy4cats says:

    How many calories per cup is the food you are feeding?

  82. haleycookie says:

    The 88 cups is an error most likely. 88 kcal seems right.

  83. Carol Rozett O'Connell says:

    this is what it said Your dog requires 88 kcal / day
    Feed your dog 88.33 cups / day

  84. Crazy4cats says:

    Are you sure it isn’t 88 calories?

  85. Carol Rozett O'Connell says:

    My dog is 3 and a half pounds and over weight and this is telling me to feed my dog 88 pounds of food a day, I DONT THINK SHE COULD EAT THAT MUCH IN A YEAR

  86. Raul Barrios, Ing. says:

    A Kg has 9.6 cups, and a Pound has 4.3. cups (standar measuring cup), according to Kirkland pet food.

  87. To drop to the weight you think your dog should be

  88. Susan Schonfeld Stagliano says:

    I always figured an ounce per pound

  89. Doesn’t work. When I hit “calculate” nothing happens.

  90. Phoebe Unleashed says:

    On the food calculator, does the number it comes up with, the amount to maintain the weight you entered for your dog or is this the number of calories to lose weight?

  91. samlucy says:

    You need to change the water several times a day …Water gets slimy

  92. I adjust my seniors’ foods so that they maintain a good Body Condition Score. I guess you could say it’s trial and error. If they started loosing their “tuck” and “taper”, I would feed them less. If I see to many ribs, I would fed them more and keep some kind of food diary with calories noted. The link below is also in the article above.

  93. Micah Mae Mullins says:

    How would you adjust for a senior dog? Would you just play it by ear or trial error?

  94. Hi Evelyn,
    Make a list of everything he eats in a day and add up all the calories. Anything that crosses his lips need to be accounted for. Use 80 % of that total as your starting place for calorie count. After 2 weeks if hasn’t dropped any weight decrease again.

    Use a diet formulated for weight loss ask your vet for recommendations.

  95. EVELYN K says:

    I have a 9 yr. old yellow English Labrador.
    Weight: 109 Lbs.
    His snack are: 1/2 carrot in the morning; 1/4 of an apple @7:30pm
    Need help finding a diet food or how to calculate the calories. HELP!!

  96. I give my dog fresh water several times a day and wash it out every other day. Never heard of giving dogs fresh water after 4 days?

  97. Hi Rose-

    I have never had an issue with my dogs gaining weight by using the Dog Food Calculator tool. In fact I’ve had the exact opposite effect. It is important to know what your dogs ideal weight and acitivity level is (and be honest). You also must factor in treats and table scraps and decrease their food accordingly.

  98. Rose Batula says:

    Unfortunately you can’t go by the calculator because then your dog will be a roly poly. I started feeding my dog what the calculator recommended and his weight blew up to almost 16 lbs in a month’s time. I decreased it to 4oz then 3oz. Also account for the snacks in-between and adjust his food. He was on track, losing weight, then I started feeding him apples & carrots and I wasn’t figuring it in. Well, he started putting on weight again. Oh, I’m feeding my dog the Nature’s Domain turkey & pea stew and he loves it.

  99. ADD Mom says:

    You are to enter their IDEAL weight, not their actual weight. So if he should be 8 lbs, you enter 8 lbs. Then it will tell you how much he should be getting. However, if it is significantly less than what he is used to getting, you should cut back on the amount gradually so he he doesn’t feel so hungry at first.

  100. Thanks for the tip. The link has now been fixed. 🙂

  101. Shaye Nelson says:

    Hi, just an FYI that the link for “your dog’s ideal weight” now links to spammy pop up windows. Thought you’d want to know. 🙂

  102. Jeri Payton Thiede says:

    Add veggies to her dry kibble and maybe just a spoon of canned. Ours don’t get treats very often and they love apple pieces for dessert. We feed mainly green beans, a little broccoli and carrot slices. We buy frozen packages when on sale.

  103. Jeri Payton Thiede says:

    Our schnauzers LOVE their veggies and they get pieces of apple for dessert!

  104. Jeri Payton Thiede says:

    We have two schnauzers, spade female and unneutered male (with no bad male dog habits). She is a little overweight, so have cut back on the kibble. You might trying cutting the kibble and filling in with acceptable vegetables, like green beans. Our vets (and others) often suggest filling in with green beans while cutting the dry. Carrots are higher in calories, so should be limited. Careful with rice since they have found arsenic in some of it. Potatoes may not be best, either, except maybe smaller quantities. Ours love their veggies – green beans, broccoli, cauliflower and minimal carrots. We buy the cheapest frozen bags as canned can be higher and you have to watch for salt. We just put their portion of veggies in the fridge overnight so they get mostly thawed. Zap in the microwave until they are no longer cold. They also love pieces of apple for dessert. Hope that might help you! Also, they rarely get treats. Try to make them healthy if they do.

  105. Casizzle says:

    Rice, potatoes and carrots don’t have enough nutrition to sustain a dog. If you cook food for them at home be sure to do more research on how much protein and vitamins and minerals you need for them to be healthy.

  106. InkedMarie says:

    Put in your dogs weight, activity level and the calories per cup in the food you are feeding then click “calculate”

  107. Patricia Andresen says:

    I figured it was a good source of plant protein. Since I’m feeding her grain free kibble I wanted to stick with that, not because she has allergies, but she doesn’t always eat all her food so I want every meal to be nutrition packed.

  108. Lynn Childers says:

    I tried that and it didn’t work for mine either. Just yesterday my vet told me to try ‘Purina’ (yes, its one of the few dog foods never made in china…so it’s called Purina Smartblend Healthy Weight. I am currently using blue buffalo (which costs a lot) and he told me don’t waste $ on the fancy names. Said this is as good or better and if it has 8 or less gms of Crude Fat, it’s good for overweight. (blue buffalo is 8.5 gms of crude fat, but it’s $23 a bag and the company has NO coupons. So next bag will be this. I’ll try anything. He’s only 6 (in July coming up) and he is already too fat. He’s very lazy too. Maybe a little weightloss will light a fire under his furry white butt!

  109. Lynn Childers says:

    I did that for so long with my last two dogs. Didn’t try it with lentils. Sounds like something mine might like. I have to find something I can feed him that will help him lose weight. He’s just over 13lbs and he’s a maltipoo…and that is TOO fat. Lately he’s really struggling to jump on the couch 🙁

  110. Lynn Childers says:

    I cant figure out how to use that ‘dog food calculator’ I entered in my dog’s weight, 13.3 lbs (he is overweight, he is a maltese/poodle mix) and I was told to get a dog food that has less than 8gms of crude fat. I mix about 1/4 kibble with about a tablespoon of lean chicken breast and one large floret of broccoli. I don’t know if that’s enough, but I DO know that the calculator told me to feed my dog 2.5 CUPS OF IT A DAY! my dog would be HUGE in no time. He is very lazy and has low activity. His blood work is all good. Anyone out there know a trick to get him to lose weight by changing food?

  111. Pitlove says:

    Thank you! He came out looking nothing like his mom or dad lol. Was kinda weird.

  112. Patricia Andresen says:

    Adding homemade food to my dog’s diet.

    I like to add wet food to my dogs Victor dry kibble. She really likes the homemade mix ins that I make. According to the food packing she requires 3 cups of food a day. She’s about 50 pounds. I’ve been feeding her twice a day, so 1½ cups per meal. I’ve been adding​ 1 cup of dry kibble to ½ cup of my soft food plus a couple spoonfuls of coconut oil. Meaning she gets 2 cups dry kibble and 1 cup cooked wet food per day.

    My mix-in recipe is
    1 cup cooked lentils
    2 eggs scrambled in hot lentils
    2 cans of salmon
    1 10oz bag frozen peas & carrots

    This lasts about a week.
    It’s so much less expensive than store bought wet food (Fresh Pet Select) and she likes it.

    Even though my mix in recipe is full of healthy food, I’m just wondering if she’s missing out on any nutrients by getting less dry kibble each day.
    Any thoughts? Thanks

  113. Patricia Andresen says:

    Your pittie is beautiful! Looks like my pup’s mommy.

  114. Hello, I have transitioned my three dogs to a cooked homemade diet. I have a senior malte-poo (15), a yorkie (3) and a Papillion (2). I am feeding supplements, Dogzymes Organic Ultimate, photoflex and probiotic. They are drinking half the water they used to, I usually filled their two water bowls every other days now they are not empty after 4 days. I am reluctant to change their food again because they love their new diet, they are way more active (especially the senior) and seem more content and happy.

  115. home cooked diets for

  116. Pitlove says:

    What you can also do is offer something like green beans as a treat. It’s no calories and acts as a filler. Makes them feel full longer. Can add to her food to and decrease the food slightly.

    Yes increasing excersize always is beneficial. She needs to be burning off more calories than she is taking in.

  117. Natalie says:

    Ohhhh. She’s been going through some training and they reward her with treats. I didn’t think they added up so quickly. I think it’ll cut out the treats completely for now and then when she goes back to training make sure they keep it to a minimum. Also, you think increasing walk times and taking her out to play more often would help? Thank you.

  118. Hi I have a 7 year old Dalmatian and a 7 year old mini schnauzer both medium activity levels and both good weights 22kg and 9kg respectively. I am just changing their diets from a good quality, dry food (served with water) as I feel they need something more gentle, to a cooked rice, potatoes, carrots, etc. and want to know how many cups of this cooked rice would be suitable for each of them each day (they get fed twice a day). Many thanks

  119. Pitlove says:

    Hi Natalie-

    In order to help my Lab lose weight I had to completely cut out treats along with increasing excersize and putting him on a weight control diet.

    Is your dog getting a lot of treats everyday? Calories in treats add up quickly for small dogs.

  120. Natalie says:

    I have a Chiweenie (mix) who is 24.5 pounds. The vet said that her ideal weight should be around 18 pounds so she’s overweight. I have her on Beneful healthy weight but so far her weight has stayed about the same. She goes on walks at least twice a day (10-15 minutes each). She used to spend a lot of time outside running around but has recently gotten lazy, is there any other way to get her back to her healthy weight?

  121. InkedMarie says:

    Are you saying she weighs 30 pounds and is overweight or she is 30 pounds overweight?

    That is not a very good food. I recommend either Annamaet Lean or Wellness Core reduced fat. If you tell us how much she weighs, we can give you an approximate amount of food to feed.

    Whatever food you choose, practice “Tough Love”: put the food down for 15 min. Whatever she doesnt eat is picked up & she gets nothing else until the next meal.

    What veggies do you give her? Some are high carbs and wont help with losing weight.

  122. Yes, I can understand your hesitation not to do another surgery so close to the knee. It is kind of a catch 22 at this point, because in order for her to lose the weight she needs to be able to exercize, but if she exercizes too much the CCL will continue to tear.

    So you have had a surgical consult already then?

  123. disqus_SBl7sCuYS7 says:
  124. Notfromthisplanet says:

    Hello Pitlove, that is what I was thinking as well. According to a surgeon, 80% of the pitbulls will end up with this condition. I have seen it in so many other breeds as well. I am just so hesitating since she went through another surgery before (patela) and she suffered so much, as she needed to be confined and she was in a cast and in pain.

  125. Hi Notfromthisplant-

    Once there is damage done to the CCL (ACL is the human term) it does not reverse itself. It only continues to tear. It would be wise to consult a surgical specialist as she may need to have a TTA or similar procedure done to correct the damage.

  126. disqus_SBl7sCuYS7 says:

    Good luck, I hope she improves, If not, I would consider the surgery.

  127. Notfromthisplanet says:

    Thank you so much for all your advice and help. I really appreciate it. My sister is not a dog person, so she is very fanatic about dogs around, but I will see what I can do.

  128. disqus_SBl7sCuYS7 says:

    Get the steps, the heavy duty ones, for climbing on furniture.
    Take advantage of that pool, it doesn’t have to be heated, put a harness and one of those flex extension leashes on him.
    I am telling you 5-10 minutes 3 times a week will help her burn calories and the exercise will release endorphins, decrease pain and aid in weight loss.
    Check with your vet if you don’t believe me, give him a call and ask him to call you back when he has a minute.
    You are lucky. I have to sneak my dog over to the lake during good weather only. I throw a waterproof kong toy ( and he dives in to get it! His limp disappeared after a week or two.

  129. Notfromthisplanet says:

    My sister has a pool, but not sure if its heated. I don’t know how to swim. The vet recommended surgery, but is trying out two meds which are for pain and inflammation. She was doing better earlier this week, but once she jumped down from my bed, it went really down hill. She now can’t put weight on that leg at all.

  130. disqus_SBl7sCuYS7 says:

    Do you know anyone that has a heated pool? One minute of swimming is equivalent to 4 minutes of running. Aqua therapy, if you have pet health insurance and your vet prescribes it for weight loss or other medical conditions, it may be covered.
    If you did this 3 times a week for 10 minutes at a time, you would see improvement in her mood, plus gradual weight loss.
    In the meantime work with your vet regarding the acl rupture. Is he recommending surgery? Or, wait and see?

  131. Notfromthisplanet says:

    My dog is 30lbs overweight and now has developed acl rupture. She is a picky eater and doesn’t eat much. She is not active at all and sleeps all day. Since the leg problem, she is even less active. I don’t know how to help her lose weight. She is eating about 2 cups of food a day, on weight management formula by nutri source and mixed with vegetables that I cook for her. I am so desperate. If anyone has solutions, please email me at [email protected]. She is an adopted pitbull mix.

  132. RueJoeKing says:

    English Mastiff, close to 7 years old, acting as active as young puppy! According to my math she is being fed about 1,000 kcal/cup, 1 cup of dry Solid Gold WolfKing with hot water, 2 glucosamin and 2 fishoil in the morning and ½ cup of Solid Gold WolfKing with 1 can GreenCow Beef Tripe in the evening. She barely maintains her weight of 160pounds. The moment winter hits and activity levels drop ever so slightly, she will put on weight. The calculator suggests to feed her almost 3x as much as she is. Do I starve my dog?

  133. sharron says:

    i feed my 8 yr old yorkie/chihuahua, 11 lbs, 1/4 cup of dry 2 x/day with a 1/2 tbsp of wet in each meal – sometimes in the mornings she eats less

  134. disqus_SBl7sCuYS7 says:

    My 9 pound dog eats 1/4 cup kibble with a tablespoon of topper, and a splash of plain homemade chicken broth or water added twice a day. Maybe a 1/4 carrot once or twice a day for a snack.
    She has maintained this weight for .8 years.
    She recently had a senior workup, all labs within normal limits. Teeth look good (brushed daily)
    Sure she acts like she is hungry, but they learn to wait for meal time. If they can work you, they will.
    See if she likes carrots? Don’t be alarmed if you see carrot chunks in their feces, it’s undigested fiber. It doesn’t hurt them. However, too much may cause loose stools.

  135. Doris Zebrowski Grau says:

    I have a rescued chihuahua. She is 13 lbs. was 11 when I got her 2 years ago. She’s 8 years old maybe older. She’s a couch potatoe but I walk her every day weather permitting. She loves the walks. Doesn’t play with dog toys, not interested. The Vet said she should be 8 lbs. if I cut back to a 1/4 cup of food twice a day she cries for more food. I feed her Pro Plan Purina dry food and canned also. How much should I feed her any suggestions appreciated.

  136. Camilo Gamero Patarroyo says:

    Can you help me to find the Formular and the explanation of the relation between Fats and Protein, I forgot it, and i dont remember how to read or understand de result, wich is the best, the normal and the worst ratio.


  137. InkedMarie says:

    I cannot find the food via google search; please post the info

  138. Amber L Lambert says:

    Hi my husband and I have 3 pitbull mixes one adult female and two 7 month old pups and 1 full pitbull male. We feed them 2 to 3 cups of sport trail brand at night. They are all active dogs. Are they getting what they need?

  139. Your dog must be starving.
    Your dog is high energy.
    What your feeding her is neglectful.

  140. There is a lot of variability in total GI transit times. Things like meal size and composition, age and regarding dogs, breed all play a role. Gastric retention time is slower in dogs vs people and small intestine time is faster. There is a lot of variation in large intestinal track retention times.

    When healthy dogs were fed a meal containing Salmonella some shed it in the stool for many days afterward indicating colonization of the tract.

    Gi transit time didn’t prevent them from “getting” Salmonella they just didn’t become clinically ill.

  141. Food products move through dogs much faster than humans. Think about it this way, a human, who eats much more than dogs, has a bowel movement about once a day. A dog who eats much less, may have 3-4 bowel movements a day.

  142. Not the person you’re replying to but I’m guessing that he or she ended up at 1 1/2 cups/day through trial and error over time. I would trust their personal experience with their own dog more than an online calculator based on population averages. When I first got my dog I fed her based on the package recommendations and simply weighed her weekly to see if she was gaining, losing or maintaining.

  143. Thank you!

  144. Kcals and calories are the same thing. Kcal is more technically correct, but we are used to calories, so we end up using both.

  145. Ada Gonzalez says:

    What is the difference between calories for humans and kcal for dog food? I need to count calories to keep my shepherd/Carolina dog mix weight down. I sometimes feed her chicken with her dry food and need to make sure she’s sticking to her suggested calories of 1100 a day.

  146. The relative tract length is a bit shorter in dogs than humans but I see digestion between the two species as similar. Dogs are susceptible to food borne illness just as people are and so if the chicken is carrying pathogens they may get ill.

  147. Diane Buffington Fyke says:

    Dogs digestive tracts are shorter than humans and also have different ways of digesting. They will not get sick with raw chicken =)

  148. Hi Guest-

    How did you conclude she should only eat 1 1/2 cups/day? Even when I select “senior, neutered, or inactive” for a 70lb dog on a food with 350 kcals/cup, the calculator tells me she should be eating a little under 4 cups/day.

    Don’t forget, with lower calorie foods you will have to feed more to achieve the amount of calories needed per day by your dog.

  149. I feed my 10 y.o., 70-lb, spayed female, Border Collie/Cattle Dog cross dog a total of 1 1/2 c. of food a day. The food is Natural Balance Duck and Potato at 350 kcal/cup. According to your calculator, she should be getting over 4 c. per day. If I did that, she’d be very, very obese. There’s something wrong here.

  150. Crazy4cats says:

    Yes, it is a constant “experiment”, just like with humans! Right now it’s tough to exercise our dogs (and ourselves) due to darkness and nasty weather so I try to feed them a little less and buy foods that are lower in calories. Good luck with your experiment!

  151. Yeah OK, maybe I’ll start at around 800 + her teeth brushing reward biscuit etc then and see how she goes. This is going to be a long long long experiment!! Thanks 🙂

  152. Crazy4cats says:

    That is a good question. If you put in overweight activity level, you get 651 calories. Typical gets her 1,023 calories. I guess you should just keep an eye on her weight and adjust accordingly somewhere between the two amounts until she stabilizes at the weight she should be at. Sounds simple, right? LOL! Remember to compensate for any treats or snacks as well. Everything counts, darn it. Best wishes to you!

  153. Yeah that’s what I thought too. Just wanted to check I wasn’t putting her on a crash diet! Thanks

  154. You would input 43 lbs and choose overweight I believe.

  155. I’m a bit confused by the dog food calculator and I need help please someone!!! I’ve adopted a dog that is 50 lbs, and the vet says she should weigh about 43 lbs. So if I put 43 lbs in the ideal weight, then do I still select her as being overweight? Or am I supposed to put 50 lbs in and select she’s overweight….? The first option seems like it’s saying she’s overweight at 43 lbs, but the second option is not her ideal weight 😐

  156. Lukas Thompson says:

    I don’t do canned food except on occasions as something special. I’ve heard that it often doesn’t have the same vitamins as the bagged food. My male husky eats whatever he wants, I leave his food on the ground and keep it filled. He eats when he’s hungry and then occasionally gets snacks, etc. He maintains his own weight pretty well. If you were doing dry food, depending on the brand and calories etc, I would say at least 3 cups of food a day for a husky.

  157. Michelle Rae Miller says:

    It’s called natural selection.

  158. Michelle Rae Miller says:

    Thanks for that!

  159. Michelle Rae Miller says:

    Ahh, that’s the problem right there, you’re getting your chicken from a package. Raise a few in your yard and feed them to your dogs. They LOVE IT!!

  160. Eddie Dj-Polar Rose says:

    Yeah it’s pretty incredible how different the baseline recommendation and how much your specific pup will need! My Collie/Husky on Orijen is recommended on the bag to eat a little over 2 cups; on this site it recommends 2 2/3 cups, which I’ve tried only to have a super thin dog and had to slowly bring him up to comfortable level. Now my guy eats a whopping 3 1/3 a cups which for his Collie size is intense but his metabolism burns it off fast!

  161. I recently found Castor & Pollux Natural Ultramix Grain free Red Meat recipe w/raw bites. My beyond picky Schnoodle (Dani) absolutely Loves this dog food. I’ve tried so many different kinds of wet and dry foods trying to get her to eat her food everyday you have no idea. This is the only grain free recipe she has ever actually took a bite of much less ate. She has been eating it for a week or so and she still goes at it like she loves it. She does however eat the raw bites first every time. She does clean her plate eventually. it’s amazing. It has 38.00% crude protein. I’m impressed.

  162. Duane Reilly says:

    very interesting read that was, thanks.

  163. disqus_SBl7sCuYS7 says:

    Also: “Raw diets are another popular option on the market today. Studies have shown that 20-35% of raw poultry and 80% of raw food dog diets tested contained Salmonella. This poses a health risk for your pet, but also for humans. This is especially true for children or immunocompromised adults, whether exposed to the raw food directly, or the feces of the pet eating the raw food. Additionally, there is increased risk of other bacterial infections and parasitic diseases when feeding raw diets. And the bottom line is there is no reason to believe raw food is healthier than cooked food”.
    Excerpt from:

  164. disqus_SBl7sCuYS7 says:

    “On one level, this argument is an example of the Appeal to Nature Fallacy, which says that anything arbitrarily defined as “natural” must be benign or beneficial. In the case of diets for carnivores, this ignores the obvious facts that: carnivores in the wild don’t eat an optimal diet, they eat whatever they can catch or scavenge; malnutrition, parasites, broken teeth, and other harmful consequences of a “natural” diet are ubiquitous in wild carnivores; captive carnivores, protected from these and other hazards often live longer, healthier lives than their wild counterparts”.
    Excerpt from:

    I choose to believe science based veterinary medicine.

  165. Duane Reilly says:

    where is your source on this?

  166. disqus_SBl7sCuYS7 says:

    Dogs in the wild don’t live very long and often suffer from illness and disease.

  167. Duane Reilly says:

    what about salmonela? do you think dogs in the wild start a fire and cook their food?

  168. Great stuff about dog food for sure!

  169. Rosalie Jalbert says:

    I have a 5 year old Husky/Australian Shepherd mix who weighs 51 lbs. I feed her a can of Merrick Grain Free at 6 a.m. and another can at 6 p.m. plus 1/2 cup of Fromm’s grainfree after her dinner in her kibble ball. That is her treat for the day. I think I am not feeding her enough and don’t know what to do. She gets a few Merrick grainfree treats during the day which I cut in half because her vet says her weight is perfect. I think I am starving her as she comes looking for food about 1 p.m. She is not very active until evening as I work and she is in the house. Occasionally she spends the day at my mom’s who has a big yard and she runs around. Help?

  170. I certainly can’t argue that that is a possibility, but luck that good is bordering on miraculous, and while I do believe God loves me, I’m not sure that extends to protecting my dogs from the things I allow them to do. You see, I live on a farm. My dogs eat chicken poop daily. They eat raw chicken regularly. They eat and roll in, then groom themselves goat, sheep, cow, and horse poop. They find frogs and toads, alive or dead, and eat them. They eat raw turkey, raw quail, raw pheasant, green tripe, and a whole host of things that could be contaminated. They chew on the same raw bones that have been laying around for months. Maybe I have been lucky and by some chance my chickens are completely salmonella, and all the other bacteria that chickens are know to have, free. Maybe none of the frogs and toads around here have it either. Maybe the old bones laying around have never come in contact with any bacteria. Maybe that lamb shank I gave Micah that he hid instead of eating and decided to eat 24 hours later never got any bacteria on it. I do believe miracles happen, I just never thought God would waste them on something like that.

  171. You should probably research raw feeding for dogs. Knowing your source is a key component. I’ll stick to feeding raw thanks.

  172. Lizzy Brust says:

    That’s because you have been lucky

  173. Lizzy Brust says:

    Raw chicken should never be fed to anyone…..note the ‘water’ that’s listed on the package. This ‘water’ is full of feces and other microbes that can make your dog sick, very sick.

  174. Wow goes to show differences of breed type. I have 2 Siberian Huskies, they’re fed 2 cups of kibble per day along with a couple dog biscuits for treats. The above calculator says they need 3 1/2 cups per day. If I did that they would weigh in at a lot more then their 51 & 54 pounds. (plus they are active dogs not couch potatoes)

  175. I agree it is only an opinion, but it is based on some interesting parallels.

    In exposed areas a significant portion of the human population is culture positive for Salmonella, yet they are not ill. Same situation as we see in dogs.

    In people it is the young, the old and the immunosuppressed that are at highest risk. Same as we see in dogs.

    When human outbreaks are identified the number of cases can be relatively small and identified over many months. The number of people exposed must be significantly higher.

    So although the infection rate appears small in both species I still have a healthy respect for Salmonella

  176. InkedMarie says:

    Your opinion. I personally don’t worry about salmonella nor much of anything else.

  177. My dogs have never had a problem with salmonella, or any other food borne bacteria.

  178. Kcals are calories when you are talking about the energy we get from food, so still 60.

  179. After doing a lot of research I’m not so sure that dog handle Salmonella any differently than people do.

  180. InkedMarie says:

    LOL, Joseph, perhaps you should do some research on feeding a raw diet. Healthy dog guts can handle salmonella. Also, there have been many recalls involving salmonella in dry dog food.

  181. Forget about the calories, bologna is loaded with nitrates, salt, fat, all kinds of chemical garbage.
    Not good for any living thing to ingest.

  182. Joseph Bryan says:

    Ok so let’s say i want to feed my dog a piece of Bologna that has 60 calories in it, how many Kcal does that work out to??

  183. Joseph Bryan says:

    RAW CHICKEN?? Seriously? What about Salmonela??

  184. Why are you boiling it? Why not feed Raw? Raw food is better for dogs with a portion of bones for their teeth. You need to feed less. Give baby carrots for treats.

  185. bojangles says:

    Hi Drew,

    I’m so glad that you feed your dog a home made diet!

    When done properly there is no commercial food that can compare! Just make sure that it is balanced properly. A good book to read is:

    Dr. Becker’s Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats: Simple Homemade Food. 3rd edition.

    And a good place to put together some recipes that are guaranteed balanced, as long as you balance it with their supplements is:

    Good luck and keep up the good work 🙂

  186. Drew Eno says:

    Thank you so much!

  187. theBCnut says:

    Pick a good quality canned food and give him a portion of it for 10 minutes, then put it away until next time to feed. rinse, repeat. Boiled chicken is a horrible diet for a dog. It is completely unbalanced and can cause quite a number of health problems. If you are going to make homemade food for your dog, which I would normally recommend, please do a LOT of research into what a dog needs for a balanced diet.

  188. Marilyn Petrik says:

    My dog eats boiled chicken, what should I do, he is 3 lbs overweight, he is a chihuhua. I need help putting him on a diet, please help

  189. Crazy4cats says:

    Sure it would work, if you know how many calories per cup is in the homemade food. This has been a good tool for me, but I feed mostly commercially prepared food. Good luck to you!

  190. Drew Eno says:

    Does this work for homemade dog food? I need to portion it out for my dog!

  191. Kogaion Kogg says:

    the dog food calculator is very nice !!!….

    …however…you do not specify what exactly means typical/active/working123….what exactly does it mean ???….

    active/highly active…how is a retriever for example…compared with spinone…or irish setter…or spaniel…some are medium energy…some high…a kangal is low energy…but how does it guard sheeps…how much energy does it uses for that ?

    working….it means police dogs ?….with high training every day ???…or drogs detection…it means herding too ?…or just guarding dogs to sheeps….and how exactly is that guarding or herding sheep/cattle consumes energy…..

    I see active is below w1….and highly active is between w2-w3….

    this is the issue….dunno exactly what it means…

    …one dog must be exercised…so that means all dogs are active…only low energy or not exercised dogs (or in specific day lets say) can be typical ?…and if they are high energy…that means what…like they must be highly exercised ?…like malinois…


  192. The dog food calculator was designed for adult dogs only, not puppies.
    Check the label on the food you’re using. It should give recommendations for age/breed/weight.

  193. Winnie Mah says:

    Which options should I use for puppy? Do you have the formula?

  194. 4dogsandalittlelady says:

    Just checked them all, they seem to be working as intended. Can you explain what you mean?

  195. tinkerbell123 says:

    If it would work, right now it is not

  196. 4dogsandalittlelady says:

    This is the exact reason we put in the work to make the ideal weight calculator. It is a very close approximation to BF% and ideal weight at 20% BF

  197. 4dogsandalittlelady says:

    We just broke down Hill’s BFI to give a dog’s ideal weight, feel free to use it!

  198. Niccolo' Machiavelli says:

    Best diet for puppies is raw lean whole chicken including bones which contain bone marrow rich in folates, Vit B12 and iron. You can get backs, necks from butcher, make sure all is well chopped and minced using a cleaver. As a filler add organic brown rice (boiled and drained that you can prepare and fridge to last 3-4 days). Cooked bones have no nutritional value and can puncture the gut resulting in death. Also plain pasta is a good filler. For a dog that size and age feed it 200-300g of raw whole chicken, 50g (an abundant hand full of brown rice/pasta), morning and night, at younger ages feed the same 3 times a day. Gradually add your kibble of choice, I use Fromm Gold. You will notice smaller stool amount and hence less urine output. Also find a good multivitamin to throw in the bowl once a day. For training treats I use dry-frozen beef liver bites, and as nightly dessert (yes they love to wind down with a long lasting chewing dessert, a small bully stick with a blob of organic unsalted peanut butter, but use it to train for some new trick). Avoiding biscuits or starchy foods is the best choice as well as fats and grease which trigger pancreatitis.

  199. disqus_XBSLKiLqK1 says:

    Really the only way to know if you are feeding the right amount is your dog’s weight. Try doing an image search for “healthy dog weight”. You’ll see images demonstrating what healthy, underweight, and overweight dogs look like. You can also ask your vet how to check if your dog’s weight is healthy. If your dog is overweight, cut back a little or try a raw, home prepared, or canned food. I work at an independent pet supply store and we see a lot of overweight dogs that slim down on a diet lower in carbohydrates than dry food. If your dog is underweight, increase her food and try adding a high calorie food like a freeze-dried meat topper. Any high-end, independent pet supply store in your area will have them. Puppies have high protein needs, and your dog can easily convert any excess protein into energy.

  200. My senior GSD who has arthritis and other medical issues that make walking difficult lost about 15# and I only did two things:
    1) Substitute an equal amount of his regular food (not weight control) with pumpkin puree – so instead of him getting 2c of food 2x a day, he gets 1 2/3c food and 1/3c pumpkin 2x a day. Not only did it help him get (and keep) his weight down, it also prevents bowel issues which can happen when they aren’t able to walk around as much anymore – and he loves it!
    2) Change over to “micro” or “mini” size treats (training treats work well, too) – that way, I can still give him little rewards (or, at times, little bribes), but they’re only about 10kcal each. Although it was an adjustment for us people – it seemed strange to only give him this one little treat instead of one “regular” size treat – our pup didn’t mind the change at all!
    Check with your vet to see if either/both suggestions might work for your pup, too. Hope it works out. 🙂

  201. jennifer says:

    I have just recently adopted a 7 month old (just under 50 lbs) boxer/Great Dane puppy. She loves to eat but I don’t want to over feed or under feed her. It seems all the info online shows different amounts for her size and age. Right now I feed her about 3 times a day with an occasional treat. I give her about 1.5 cups of food at each feeding but sometimes she cries like she wants more. She has to have a special bowl that keeps her from eating too fast as her tummy gets upset when she gobbles it down! Any helpful advice is welcome 🙂

  202. Babslynne says:
  203. Babslynne says:

    It could be the dog chow itself that is making her fat because its full of corn and wheat and carbs. They give corn to pigs to fatten them up for slaughter. If you look at the rating for dog chow on this forum you will notice that its 52% carbs and 26% fat. Would you consider switching her to a better quality affordable dog food such as Pure Balance from Walmart, or 4Health at Tractor Supply, Nutrisource, or Victor? When you feed a better quality dog food then you don’t have to feed them as much which will also save you money. If you also add the green beans and carrots your dog will be so much healthier, full and satisfied.

  204. Leda Lyons says:

    I have a yellow lab and she weighs 118 pounds and needs to loose weight .I was feeding her 2 cups of Dog Chow Complete for breakfast and supper. My vet said she should get a cup in the morning and a cup for supper. Along with carrots and green beans. Is this enough food for a lab?

  205. Sandy's Mom says:

    My dog is an older Shitzu, she is not over weight but to me has always been a little lazy she can go outside anytime and I take her and walk her for hours but sometime she will not go potty so we end up in the vets office because of anal gland problems. Please give me an idea of what kind of high fiber dog food to feed her so she would go regularly. I’ve done the pumpkin, oatmeal, applesauce, you name it I’ve tried it. I make her dog food because she is so picky but ready to switch to a can dog food with lots of fiber and how much do I feed her. I want her last years to be comfortable and she is playful at times and times she doesn’t want to be messed with.

  206. Crazy4cats says:

    I second Sandy’s suggestion of having a blood panel done, specifically checking thyroid levels.
    Also, is it possible that someone else in the household is feeding some treats that you are not aware of?
    If you are just feeding one measurement type cup per day, I wouldn’t think your dog could get that overweight.
    I hope you figure it out. It sounds like he isn’t feeling very well. Good luck!

  207. Has he had thyroid labs done?

  208. InkedMarie says:

    Hi Michelle!
    If you’d like a weight loss food, look at Wellness Core reduced fat or Annamaet Lean. You may need to feed the amount of food for what he should weigh.

    Good luck!

  209. I have a husky who is 20 # overweight and we only feed him 1 cup of Iams healthy wt twice a day. He does not seem to be losing weight at all. He is even having trouble and getting sore just going for walks now. As he is getting older, we really need to get some wt off. Any suggestions?

  210. Thanks for your reply!

  211. The suggested amount is just that, a suggestion. All dogs are different with different metabolisms, so the suggested amount will be too much for some and too little for others. You have to evaluate your individual dog and decide if it is receiving too much, too little, or the right amount. For dogs that are overweight, the owner definitely needs to consider every source of calories, but for a trim healthy active dog, that might not be necessary. You are the best judge.

  212. Thank you for this calculator! I have a 11 month lab mix. She is small for a lab, only about 37 pounds. I feed her 2.25 cups, which is exactly what’s recommended on the calculator. However, we are still working on training, so she gets training treats throughout the day. I wondering if I should be feeding her just 2 cups due to the calories she gets in her treats.

  213. I honestly didn’t even think of it in that way. Wow. Thanks!

  214. If he is slowly gaining weight, I would leave it where it is. Gaining slowly gives his body time to make muscle instead of just storing the extra calories as fat.

  215. Thanks Samantha! I’m glad the link helped. My fosters are often about a 3 when I get them. I usually take the adults since they have less chance, but I always find them a family that loves them. 😉

    Just an FYI, cut back gradually on his portion or your boy will think you’re trying to starve him! LOL!

  216. That link was perfect, thank you so much! I’d say he was a 3 when I took him in and right now he’s about a 4. Once he gets to a 5 I think I’ll decrease his intake to 3 1/2 cups. It’s truly wonderful what you’re doing, fostering kill shelter dogs, not too many individuals are willing to take on that kind of responsibility. You’re awesome. 🙂

  217. Hi Samantha,

    I don’t know what your dogs current weight or the kcals/cup of food you’re feeding are, but if you can feel, not see his ribs, that’s generally a good guide that he is the correct weight, so you wouldn’t increase the food. I foster kill shelter dogs that usually come in way underweight and I have to feed them more than recommended for awhile until they slowly get to the correct healthy weight they should be at. When they get there, I usually decrease their portion to what they should be eating for their weight. I also take into consideration their activity level as well.

    You can plug in your dogs ideal weight along with the kcals/cup that would be listed on your food bag to get an idea of how much you should be feeding. I’m also including a link that shows the body condition score:

    I hope this helps! 🙂

  218. Samantha Ruiz says:

    I have a one year old Pit/Labrador that I rescued a few months ago. He was extremely thin, I’m not sure how much he was fed but since I’ve had him I’ve been feeding him 6 cups/day and he’s been filling out quite well. I’m not sure if I should up his food intake, he is quite active and is constantly jumping around the house like an oversized rabbit. Should I increase the amount of food that he’s currently eating?

  219. Yes, we had read that also in the many hours we spent researching. We had been feeding Fromms GOld LBP for several months – which has a lower calcium but higher protein than Precise… He is not over-exercised – a 1 mile walk every day and occasionally an off leash romp on a nearby ranch. I was feeding 9 cups of Fromms, and he was filling out but still could see ribs, always on the thin side as advised by regular vet…. he had neck pain after playing at the ranch one day last month. Therefore all the hysteria over the food – ER vet feared Wobblers but neurologist sees no symptoms (nor do we). No recurrence of pain or other symptoms. We cannot find a vet anywhere that can advise on the proper protein, calcium and Phos. It is horribly frustrating. Now we can see ribs and spine…. feeding 6 cups Precise as recommended, scared to feed more!

  220. Hi Susan-

    Precise is a great food however, your vet is wrong about the protein. Its been known for some time now in the field of canine nutrition that protein has no affect on the growth of large and giant breeds. Watching calorie intake and keeping them lean on top of feeding a food with restricted calcium is how you can help reduce the risk of DOD’s like the ones you mentioned.

    Make sure you are using the Purina Body Condition Score to determine that he is at an ideal body condition. As long as you can not see ribs or spine and can feel the ribs with a thin layer of fat covering them, he is fine. The increased calories with feeding 9 cups a day is the problem, not getting too much protein. You also shouldn’t be over-excersizing him so you need to factor that in as well when deciding how much to feed.

    Here is a great overview of large breed puppy nutrition written by a veterinary nutritionist:

    Here is a link to the Purina Body Condition Score:

    Hope this helps!

  221. I have an 9 month old Great Dane. Vet has recommended a 23-24% protein as evidently Danes can be adversely affected by too much protein (Wobblers or bone disorders). So I am feeding Precise Holistic Complete Large Giant Breed puppy food. Bag recommends 6 cups for his weight. But he is thin and vet says to feed more….. If I feed him 9 cups per day, is he getting too much protein? or is dog food calculated that way? I am soooo confused.

  222. I have a 4 year old 50 lb. Husky mix, high energy. I feed her 1 cup of Earthborn Coastal in the a.m. in her treat ball and 1 can of Merrick Grainfree at night. She hardly touches the kibble in the daytime . At night she scoffs down the Merrick and then eats her kibble. On the days that she goes to my mom’s, she acts hungry. Am I not feeding her enough?

  223. Babslynne says:

    I’m sorry my response was a little rough, I deleted it. I was just thinking about that poor dog being stuck in one of those little crate kennels most of the day and needing to go potty but getting shocked by that bark collar every time he tried to tell them he had to go potty! Dogs need to bark!

  224. Crazy4dogs says:

    Jennifer Stanfill,

    I’m not sure how old this lab is or how long you’ve had him, but your disqus history shows you’ve had problems between him and an older chi for about a year. Please consider rehoming him. There are many Lab rescue groups that could help you with this, whether they are in your area or not. I foster adult dogs from rural areas. This is not a happy life for you or the dogs. Please consider this alternative.

  225. Babslynne says:

    That is just cruel torture! Your family doesn’t deserve a dog if you have to treat it like that! That is the lazy way to try to teach a dog anything. It takes time, love and patience to train a dog properly. Please find the dog a new home.

  226. Crazy4dogs says:

    Maybe you should contact a foster based lab rescue in your area. 🙁

  227. Jennifer Stanfill says:

    I feel so bad for our lab, dad put no bark collar on him , locked up in kennel most of the day , the neighbors have like 6 dogs that bark all night . Wish could find him home in country

  228. Crazy4cats says:

    If I understand you correctly, you are saying that it would be nice if the company would state how many ounces are in a cup of food? Like BC was stating in an earlier post. Ounces is a liquid measurement not volume. A cup of kibble probably weighs closer to 4 ounces than 8. But, yes, it would be nice if they gave a little more information to help make more informed choices.

  229. lynne negri says:

    well hills sciene is not a good dog food check on something better and go from there my 85 lb Catahoula lab mix only eats 2 1/2 cups a day and he gets it divied in half twice a day and will refuse any more than that.. sorry it is a she and easts Taste of the Wild or whole earths farms all really good food. Whole eath farms is made by Merrick buy not nearly as pricey.

  230. lynne negri says:

    they want you to buy more food because tey are selling it. When she gets over the ut get her off that food it Is awful all full of corn and fillers

  231. lynne negri says:

    thank you, I know what you mean but where do some aswers in here come u saying 4 oz is a cu that is a half of cup. If due to the size of the kibble it would be nice if the companies put 4 oz equals a cup. They all want you to overfeed the dogs. My 85 Catahoula eats the same amount as the 40 lb beagle. I always off her more but he does not want it but the beagle would never turn down food.

  232. A cup is an 8 oz. liquid measure. Since kibble is dry and has so much air in and around it, a cup of kibble weighs closer to 4 oz. Ever kibble weighs differently though due to density, fat content, etc.

  233. Crazy4dogs says:

    Hi lynne,

    I’m not sure if you’re feeding Wellness Core, but if you are it’s roughly between 388-421 kcal/cup, so you would be feeding more. I don’t feed Whole Earth Farms, so I’m not sure what the kibble size comparison is. That’s the interesting thing about many of the lesser priced foods, they often are less kcals/cup, so, in reality, sometimes you are spending the same amount of money.

    The best thing you can do is get a graduated measuring cup. Then you know exactly how much you are feeding them. Good luck!

  234. lynne negri says:

    I don’t feed the high kcal/cups I tend stay around 345 kcals/cup. I thought a 8 oz cup is an 8 oz cup. My vet told me how much to feed them but this food just seems to disappear I thought the size of might be the problem. Maybe they are actually getting way more than a cup. If the kibble in my Wellness food lasts longer. I may have to start weighing the food. I want them to have enough but these are grin and filler free so I would not be a food that you have to feed them three times as much with all crap it it.

  235. Crazy4cats says:

    It is amazing how much difference there can be between brands and even formulas within the same brand. Regretfully, I never knew or even thought about that before I came to this website.

  236. Crazy4dogs says:

    Hi lynne negri,

    Yes, a couple of the foods I use do vary even within the brand, due to kibble size. You might also compare the kcal/cup as almost every dog food is different, often even within the same brand. The Whole Earth does vary, but only by a few calories. I rotate foods and some of the formulas vary from 348 kcals/cup to 509 kcals/cup. That’s quite a difference in how much I feed and it needs to be factored in as well.

  237. Crazy4cats says:

    Yes, I think that sounds correct. I’ve noticed a few pet food websites that I have visited will actually list how many cups of food in the bag in addition to the weight of the bag.

  238. lynne negri says:

    I changed dog food about a year ago to whole earth farms which is made by Merrick I use the meat pork recipe no chicken and they love it but I measure it out and it is a 25lb bag. My problem is that it seems to go much faster than the other brand I use. It it possible that different brands even when measured by the cup are using more per cup due to the size of the kibble. I use about 6 cups a day I have a few dogs and the bag lasts 14 days and am asking does that sound correct.

  239. I gave her 1/3 cup for the last few days and then measure what was left in her bowl the next morning I have to leave her food down all the time or she will have a sensure if she does not nibble here and there. Anyway she does is actually eating about a 1/4 cup and sometimes still has a tiny bit of kibble in her bowl the next morning. I do give her 1/8 of a teaspoon of cream of wheat each morning and evening to get her allergy med down her. This is the only way she will take it. I did weigh her this morning and she has lost .2 of a pound so we are going in the right direction. Thank you for your help it has been wonderful

  240. That’s rather irrelevant–no it’s not perfectly exact, but the kcal per cup figure given on a bag of kibble is specific to that food, and as close as you’re going to get when it comes to finding a gauge to measure it out. As we both noted after all, .3 is just under a third cup, not rocket science.

  241. Recheck your figures and make sure you don’t mean 0.3 cups, which makes a lot more sense. You can round that up to 1/3 cup and use a measuring cup to measure it. If it turns out that that is just a little bit too much then measure out your 1/3 cup and remove a few more pieces of kibble.

  242. Actually, with dog food, a cup isn’t a weight measure, since kibble has a LOT of air space in a cup. Each different kibble has a different weight per cup.

  243. I believe you meant 0.3 cups, that’s about what an average calorie food at 5 pounds and overweight would be. So a cup is 8 oz, thus 8 x 0.3 = 2.4 ounces. A quarter cup is 2 ounces, and a third cup is 2.67 ounces, so you could either measure with a heaping quarter cup, or just under a third cup per day (not per meal).

  244. I have a special needs dog that is almost 6 yrs old, she is very inactive as she does not go outside and run around she does play some in the house but not much, her back legs areally not real great (her hip joints are not fully developed) she is 6 1/2 lbs and should be 4 1/2 to 5 lbs. It says I should feed .03 cups per day for weight loss, but I do not understand how to measure that out hoping someone can help me. Thank you in advance

  245. Jason Wulff says:

    i think where you have gone wrong is that the package is giving you kcal per oz as in weighted ounce and not liquid ounce. Weighted ounce as in 12 oz per pound and liquid oz as in 8 ounce per cup. The calculator here is by measure not weight.

  246. She definitely sounds like she is active enough for working dog status as far as calories go.

  247. DinaKouveliotes says:

    Thank you! Yes, I heard that too. Thank you.

  248. Metabolism also affects how much food a dog needs and some GSDs have very fast metabolisms.

  249. If she is losing weight, then adjust her amount of (increase by 1/4 cup) food. Watch her weight for gain. If she is still losing increase again by 1/4 cup. Always keep your vet in consult with what you are doing. Continued weight loss after increasing food several times could be a sign of a different medical problem.

    Highly active would be a “working dog” police dog, military working dog, search and rescue, highly active and working most of the day.

  250. MyLabradorErro says:

    Is Orijen a good dog food ??