Now in accordance to the NRC (National Research Council) Dogs have a calorific requirement of 130Kcal per X Kg of BW (Bodyweight). *The 130Kcal is based on a typical adult pet dog to maintain their weight with 1-3 hours exercise, other factors WILL alter this Kcal figure*
So for example an adult dog weighing 10kg would need 1300Kcal a day to maintain their weight.
The NRC however have based their requirements on DM (Dry Matter aka Kibble) and they state that their are no published studies on the dietary requirements of dogs fed fresh foods, but their ME (Metabolized Energy) requirements shouldn’t differ as calories are calories.
So with formulated dry food diets all this math is done for you and there is many studies to back their formulations up, if your dry food packaging doesn’t disclose their calorie contents then use this to give you a rough idea. (Figures to be taken from the Typical/Guaranteed Analysis which shows Protein, Fats/Oil, Ash, Fiber and Carbs if your lucky)
Fat/Oils = 8.5 Kcal Per Gram
Carbohydrates/Protein = 3.5 Kcal Per Gram
If your dry food contains;
7% (Per 100g) of Fats/Oils then that’s 7 (Grams) Multiplied by 8.5 (Kcal) which is 59.5Kcals. (Per 100g)
35% (Per 100g)Carbohydrates then thats 35 (Grams) Multiplied by 3.5(Kcal) which is 122.5Kcals (Per 100g)
5% (Per 100g) Protein then thats 5 (Grams) Multiplied by 3.5(Kcal) which is 17.5Kcals (Per 100g)
Subtotal: 199.5 Kcals per 100g, so if your dogs required daily Kcal requirement is 2000 Kcals you would have to feed 1Kg (100g x10 = 1995 Kcals) of that food per day. (Not including Treats)
Unfortunately when your feeding fresh foods the math is down to you as the chances of the Kcal’s being shown on the labels of “Premade Raw Pet Food” is slim as Kcals being shown aren’t a labeling requirement (DEFRA-UK) .
Now this is frustrating as the NRC clearly gives their macro requirements/ratio balances based on Processed Foods / Synthetic Vits and Mins (Formulated Dry/Semi Moist and Canned Foods) therefore they won’t be as accurate when your feeding a fresh food diets. which they do acknowledge in the publication, but we can use them as a foundation block and hit those figures and more with fresh foods, this is a far better way than just winging it and hoping for the best.
Now should you wish to find out more on these requirements then please purchase a copy of the Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats via Amazon or another retailer (£85 my copy was)
or to make life easier you can head to my “Let’s Learn ” page and purchase one of my Support Packages, here I can show you what your dog or cats macro intake should be as set by the NRC and compare that to what your feeding now and go from there.
Michael K A Bennett
Canine+ Nutrition and Welfare Fanatic