Dog Calorie Calculator

How many calories in dog food?

Just when everyone sits down for dinner, you hear the pounding of four furry paws as your Chocolate Lab dashes towards the dining room. She skids to a stop next to your chair, and drool begins to pool on the floor under her open mouth as she stares longingly at the delicious meal atop the table. While she patiently waits for a morsel of food to drop you think to yourself: is she still hungry? Am I not feeding her enough? How much food should I be feeding her?

Although dogs communicate in other ways, they cannot tell us what they’re thinking. It can be difficult to understand what kind of food they need or how much they really should be eating.

In order to better understand dogs’ daily food requirements, the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine created the MER, or the “maintenance energy requirement.” Your pup’s MER represents the amount of calories she needs to consume in order to do her everyday activities. Weight and exercise habits are contributing factors in your dog’s MER.

We created a handy calculator to eliminate all the guesswork in determining your dog’s MER. Just plug in your pup’s information and voila! It will tell you how many calories your dog should consume every day. We want all pet parents to #GoTogether confidently with their pups, and this calorie counter is one way for dog owners to educate themselves on their dog’s proper nutrition.

Dog Caloric Requirement Calculator


Now that you know your dog’s MER, you can determine how much food she needs by checking out our food brand chart. The chart shows the average calories per cup from many popular food brands,* so you can see how many cups of food your dog needs every day to stay healthy and fit. If you’re planning a hiking trip, you can also get an idea of how much extra food you’ll need to bring so that your pup can safely replenish the calories she burns.

Just remember that this calorie counter is not meant to take the place of your veterinarian's recommendations. It should give you a general idea of what your adult dog should be eating. Every breed is different, every dog is different, and the same dog will need more or less as they age.

*Notice: The calorie counts below are for general guidance only, please consult your vet for a specific caloric recommendation. The guidelines below assume caloric needs for an average lightly active adult spayed or neutered dog; are between one and seven years old, plus getting less than 30 minutes aerobic activity per day.

Suggested Calorie Intake for Dogs by Weight

10 lbs. 200 to 275 calories

20 lbs. 325 to 400 calories

50 lbs. 700 to 900 calories

70 lbs. 900 to 1050 calories

90 lbs. 1100 to 1350 calories