The tools on this page will enable you to do three things: estimate your cat or dog's calorie requirements based on their activity level and weight, calculate the calorie content of a given food, and - using these two pieces of information - establish an ideal portion size. Every animal is different and advice from your vet is essential in maintaining good health, but this page is a good place to start!
If your dog is very overweight with a body condition score of 7 or above, speak to your vet about an appropriate weight loss program.
Your vet will be able to advise on maintaining a healthy weight. You should always consult your vet if you're concerned about your dog's weight or diet.
A good way to start at home is to weigh your dog (stand on the scales holding them, and subtract your own weight) and then determine whether they are under or overweight using the Body Condition Score (BCS) guidelines:
Tip: Most owners overestimate their dog's activity level, leading to weight gain. For most dogs, the lowest option is most appropriate.
Tip: Look for the 'Guaranteed Analysis' or 'Analytical Constituents' on the packaging.
Your percentages should not add up to more than 100! Please check your nutritional info again.
Tip: Be honest! All supplemental food counts - dental sticks, treats, scraps off the table. It's important that at least 90% of your dog's calories come from their nutritionally complete main food.
Feeding your pet the right amount is just as important as feeding them the right food. Studies have shown that feeding dogs to an ideal body condition can add years to their life, not to mention do wonders for their general wellbeing and resilience to illness.
Firstly, remember that the figures provided above are only a starting point, and you should always consult your vet if you have concerns about your pet's health.
Our calculator uses the Predictive Equations of NRC 2006 (also known as the 4-step method) to estimate the Metabolisable Energy of foods for cats and dogs, and formulas from FEDIAF (the European Pet Food Industry Federation) for estimating the Daily Energy Requirements (DER) of adult cats and dogs. These guidelines are available in the October 2021 edition of the FEDIAF Nutritional Guidelines. Note that these recommendations are intended for adults (not kittens or puppies) that are not pregnant or lactating.
The FEDIAF guidelines are - in our experience - the best way to predict the calorie content of a given food, and to estimate the energy requirements of adult cats and dogs. However, it's important to remember that any information which is provided by the manufacturer will be the most accurate, and that guidance from your vet should always be sought if you're in doubt about your pet's health.
If you're looking for a more detailed nutritional breakdown of your pet's food, or want to make like-for-like comparisons between wet and dry foods, be sure to check out our dry matter basis calculator.