ENERGY NEEDS OF GROWING PUPPIES
The growing puppy starts out needing about twice as many calories per pound of body weight as an adult dog of the same breed. Owners should start feeding puppies food at approximately 4 weeks after birth, because mother’s milk is no longer sufficient. Food is best offered to puppies in multiple, well-spaced meals.
ENERGY NEEDS OF OLDER DOGS
Because of decreased physical activity and slowed metabolism, older dogs need 20% fewer total calories than do middle-aged adult dogs. As dogs age, they tend to become overweight. It may take obese dogs longer for their blood glucose concentrations to return to normal. This disrupted carbohydrate metabolism can lead to diabetes.
ENERGY NEEDS OF LACTATING DOGS
New mothers generally suckle their puppies for at least 6 weeks. The mother’s need for
calories increase with the number of puppies and the week of lactation, up to 4 weeks. Giant breeds (like Great Danes) have proportionately smaller digestive tracts and may not be able to eat enough to sustain themselves during lactation. Owners of such dogs may need to start feeding puppies supplemental food at an early age.
AVERAGE DAILY ENERGY NEEDS
|CALORIES PER DAY
(Kilocalories per day*)
|TYPE OF DOG||10 lb||30 lb||50 lb||70 lb||90 lb|
|PUPPIES (10 lb puppy growing
to 33 lb at maturity)
|INACTIVE DOGS—dogs with little stimulus or opportunity to exercise.||296||674||989||1272||1540|
|ADULT ACTIVE DOGS—dogs with strong stimulus and ample opportunity to exercise, such as dogs in households with more than one dog, in the country or with a large yard.||404||922||1353||1740||2100|
|PREGNANT DOGS—from 4 weeks after mating until delivery.||518||1274||1940||2570||3170|
|Young Adult Active Dogs||436||993||1451||1876||2264|
|Older Active Dogs||327||745||1093||1407||1700|
*1 Calorie =1 kilocalorie =1,000 calories. The term Calorie that is used on food nutrition labels is really a “food calorie” sometimes called a “large calorie.” It is equivalent to 1,000 calories (or 1 kilocalorie) as calories are defined scientifically (the amount of energy needed to warm 1 gram of water 1°C). In Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats, energy needs are expressed in terms of kilocalories, which are equivalent to Calories in this document.