Energy Factor Calculator + Nutrient Calculator for Adult Dogs
NRC Nutrient Amounts per Body Weight (BW) 0.75
The math formulas used for this calculator are the NRC (2006) Daily Metabolizable Energy Requirements for Adult Dogs at Maintenance. *You can learn about the method in the caloric feeding guide here.
You will need to know your dog’s weight in kilograms to use this calorie calculator, so you can use the lbs. to kg converter below to find your dog’s weight in kilograms.
Once you have determined your adult dog’s daily kcal needs / MER you can find out your adult dog’s maintenance nutrient needs, by visiting the nutrient calculator.
Below Average Requirements
Below average requirement dogs are described by the NRC as dogs kept in a domestic environment with little stimulus and opportunity to exercise.
Sometimes dogs with below average energy requirements benefit from their nutrient requirements being calculated per BW. For adult dogs with unusually low energy intake (below the suggested requirement), the nutrient concentration calculated per ME may not be adequate.
Examples of Unusually Low Energy Intake:
Dogs kept in a domestic environment with little stimulus and opportunity to exercise and where the kcal factor is 95 or less.
Senior dogs and giant breeds where the kcal factor is 105 or less.
Below Average Energy Requirements Descriptions & Energy Factor Examples:
Older Kennel Dogs or Older Active Pet Dogs or Newfoundlands: 105
Inactive Pet Dog or Senior Dog: 95 and 90
*As described above, inactive pet dogs are defined by the NRC as dogs kept in a domestic environment with little stimulus and opportunity to exercise.
Obese or Geriatric Dog: 85
*There is a note stating that the requirements of older or overweight dogs may be overestimated when using BW. In those instances, calculating via ME is more appropriate.
Average & Above Average Energy Requirements Descriptions & Energy Factors
As this calculator is not a fit for average & above average energy requirements except in therapeutic cases, the information about these energy factors are found on the NRC Nutrient Amounts per 1,000 kcal of ME • Energy Factor Recommendations + Nutrient Calculator page here.
Calculating Nutrient Needs for Average and Above Average Dogs is Done via Metabolizable Energy (ME) per kcals.
“In Between” Energy Requirements Descriptions & Energy Factors
While the NRC provides a chart for the common energy factors used to describe dogs. There are also what is known as the “in between” energy factors. They are used in studies and are commonly applied to dogs who don’t perfectly fit their breed’s typical requirements because of their particular size, lifestyle, or metabolism.
As this calculator is not a fit for in between energy requirements except in therapeutic cases, the information about these energy factors are found on the NRC Nutrient Amounts per 1,000 kcal of ME • Energy Factor Recommendations + Nutrient Calculator page here.
NRC Nutrient Amounts per Body Weight (BW) 0.75
The NRC guidelines calculate nutrient needs for dogs per 1,000 kcal of ME as the general rule and nutrient needs calculated via BW as the exception.
Therapeutic Nutrition Note: Calculating with BW is also sometimes used in part with some therapeutic diets that primarily utilize supplements and/or medications; generally in conjunction with ME, with BW directly applied to very specific nutrients that call for it.
A Note About Commercial Formulations: All commercial dog food formulations should be done via ME per 1,000 kcals. NRC, FEDIAF, and AAFCO standards are all formulated per ME on a 1,000 kcal basis.
Please note that some nutrients have information next to them regarding safe upper limits (SUL).
Please note, it is recommended to feed above the RA for vitamin E as the dietary requirement is dependent on the rate of free radical production, PUFA composition of membranes in the diet, and the presence of other protective nutrients (e.g., Selenium).
It is generally recommended to feed typical adult dogs 1 IU – 2 IU per one lbs. of body weight.
If the NRC has recommendations beyond the RA in regards to a nutrient then that information is noted. Examples: Arginine and Tyrosine.
This calculator requires you enter your dog’s weight in kilograms. If you already know your dog’s weight in kg then you don’t need to use the converter below and can directly enter your dog’s weight in kg into the nutrient calculator.
If you need help converting the measurements (IU, mg, mcg) for the fat-soluble vitamins, you can find that math here:
It is important to note that this calculator is not appropriate for average or above average or in between energy requirements, for use in pregnant or lactating females, or for puppies.
The Calculator Normally Found Below is Down for Annual Maintenance