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Old 01-26-2011, 10:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Calculating Feeding Amount

Hello, I am kinda new here but have lived with German Shepherds my whole life. I recently took some Veterinary college courses when I was exploring the career. One of my favorite classes was Nutrition, and the first thing we learned the formula Vets use to calculate feeding amounts. Even though I decided it was not the right career for me, I still feel I learned a lot worth knowing.

I currently have a GSD with severe food allergies. I have been trying all kinds of special diets for years, and each time I find myself referring back to the formula I have learned. Many times I've found the "suggested" feeding amount to be too much or too little for my specific dog.

Using this formula, my dog has maintained an ideal weight through many different diets. You could say I really love this formula.
So I would love to share this formula, especially with the very nice, in-depth owners here. I do not think it is too hard, especially if you have a calculator handy - lol.
Its a breeze once you get the hang of it.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

1. Find out how many KILOcalories (KCAL) your dog's diet has Per CUP.
* Most top-of-the-line Dog foods will have this on their label near the Analysis.
OR you could look it up on the company's website, OR find the company's phone number and ask a representative.*


2. Find your dog's Daily Energy Requirement (DER) Factor number. *For weight-gain, use appropriate DER but change the weight to their target weight*

Daily Energy Requirements:
Weight Loss = 1.0
Neutered /Spayed Adult normal activity = 1.6
Intact Adult normal activity = 1.8
Light Worker = 2.0
Moderate Worker = 3.0
Heavy Worker = 4.0 - 8.0
Pregnant Dog (first 42 days) = 1.8
Pregnant Dog (last 21 days) = 3.0
Lactating Female = 4.0 - 8.0
Puppy - Weaning to 4 Months = 3.0
Puppy - 4 Months to Adult Size = 2.0


3. Find out your dog's Weight in Kilograms. (Divide # of pounds by 2.2)

4. The Formula:

( 30 x Kilograms + 70 ) = RER #

(DER Factor x RER #) = How many KCALs your dog NEEDS per day.

KCALs your dog NEEDS per day (divided by)
KCALs per cup in their FOOD = How Many Cups to Feed per Day!

------------------------------------------

Its that simple, I can even give an Example.

Ruger, M/N GSD, 80lbs.

1. Diet: California Natural Grain-Free Chicken = 454 kcal /cup.

2. Neutered Adult with Normal Activity Lvl = 1.6 DER

3. (80lbs / 2.2) = 36.36 Kilograms

4. Formula:

(30 x 36.36 Kg + 70) = 1160.8 kcals RER

(1.6 DER x 1160.8 RER) = 1857.28 kcals per day.

(1857 kcals per day / 454 kcals per cup) = 4.0 Cups to feed Ruger per day!

[The diet's Suggested amount for an 80lb. dog is 3 1/2 cups per day.]


~ I hope this is helpful, or at least fun! ~
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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That is very cool! Thanks!
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for sharing I'll see how this works for us.
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Old 01-27-2011, 10:01 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Interesting! According to this I am overfeeding Ellie by 1/2 a cup per day. Not much, but she is older and could probably stand to lose 5lbs. Thanks!
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Old 01-27-2011, 01:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Or you can check out some of the food calculators online--I like this one:

Metabolic Energy Requirements For Dogs
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Old 01-27-2011, 05:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackthornGSD View Post
Or you can check out some of the food calculators online--I like this one:

Metabolic Energy Requirements For Dogs

That one is interesting. I don't know where they get the "MER" factors from, but I don't understand why it tells me 1,955 Kcal per day for my 80lb. moderately active dog.

But when I calculate it with DER for 80lb. Neutered, Normal activity dog it comes out to 1,857 Kcal per day.

Seems like a difference in opinion between MER? and DER. I mean, "Moderately Active" is closest to Normal that I can find. It's the second-lowest Kcal per day besides a "less active" dog which is way less (1,564 Kcal). They might be trying to lump in Neutered and Non-neutered dogs together? But in all honesty the 98 Kcal difference is maybe about an average of 1/4 Cup.

The DER factors come from a highly used veterinary reference book:


I am sure there are many good online calculators, I just don't understand that particular MER one. Just be careful with it is all.
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Remington Bear (Bichon Frise) [2003] 6/08 -
Raven Beretta (GSD) [2009] 3/20/11-

~Rainbow Bridge~
Baron Ruger (GSD) 6/1999 - 7/2011
Sargent Major (GSD) 1997 - 2011
Lady Haviland (GSD) 1998 - 2008
Dutchess (GSD X) 1984 - 1997
Shadow (GSD) 1983 - 1996

Last edited by Mink; 01-27-2011 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 01-27-2011, 06:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Very interesting!! I'm feeding my male the exact right amount based on the fact that he has quite a bit of filling out to do (I'm guessing about 15 lbs), and my female is getting 1/2 a cup too much and I was just thinking she needs to cut back by about that much.
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Wow I just did the numbers for a 8 mo puppy using Wellness LB he should be getting 5.85 cups a day! Seems like a lot of food.
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Old 01-27-2011, 10:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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It could be that his food is low on Kilocalories? But I'm pretty sure puppies do need a lot as a general rule - they are doing most things an adult dog does plus growing, that's why they're higher up in Daily Energy Requirement.
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~Rainbow Bridge~
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Sargent Major (GSD) 1997 - 2011
Lady Haviland (GSD) 1998 - 2008
Dutchess (GSD X) 1984 - 1997
Shadow (GSD) 1983 - 1996
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Old 02-05-2011, 11:43 AM   #10 (permalink)
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At what point do you change from the DER factor of Puppy - 4 months to adult size to adult intact?
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