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Dog Daily Energy Requirement (DER)

Posted by Dr Sam, On 21 Nov, 2021 | Updated On 21 Nov, 2021 No Comments »

Your Dog Daily Energy Requirement (DER) is the base important factor you must know to healthily feed your dog homemade food.

The amount of food your dog should consume per day depends on her Daily Energy (calorie) Requirement – DER. And dog’s daily calorie need is determined by her life style, life stage (age), breed by size, body weight, hairiness, living weather/climate temperature and physiological state.

Daily calories need determines the amount of every essential nutrient your dog requires per day. According to Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), a growing puppy or pregnant dog or lactating bitch needs 56.3 gram of protein, 21.3 gram of fat, 3 gram of calcium, 2.5 gram of phosphorus, etc. per every 1000 kilocalorie while adult dog needs 45.0 gram of protein, 13.8 gram of fat, 1.5 gram of calcium, 1.0 gram of phosphorus, etc. per every 1000 kilocalorie.

Factors that Determine Daily Energy Requirement

The following are the factors that determine the amount of daily calories your dog needs:

1. Body Weight

Body Weight is the number one factor. It is used to calculate metabolize energy requirement (MER). MER is the energy required when a body required when inactive and at rest. MER is also called Resting Energy Requirement (RER).

2. Life Stage (Age) and Breed Size (Toy, Small, Medium, Large and Giant)

These two factors go together to calculate DER. They help us determine the life stage dogs fall. A small-size breed dog of less than 12 months old is a growing puppy while from 12 months and above is an adult. A medium-size breed dog becomes an adult at 15 months. A large breed dog of less than 18 months old is a growing puppy while from 18 months and above is an adult.

For instance, during puppyhood, DER of dogs varies from period to period. Within the first 2 months of birth, any puppy irrespective of breed, requires double of MER as her DER.

Between 3 and 6 months old, small breed dog requires 1.6 times MER as her DER. While between 3 and 9 months old, large breed dog requires 1.6 times MER as her DER.

So DER of puppies varies from period to period of puppyhood and from breed to breed. The DER remain the same for all breeds once adulthood is reached.

3. Life Style

Life Style: Dogs lifestyle is categorized into four as follow:

  • Inactive – old, neutered, quiet or sedentary dog.
  • Normal – dog living in kennel or in group, young dog.
  • Active – young & active dog, dog running around the house.
  • Very Active – working dog, nervous & hyperactive dog like Great Dane living outdoor, Terrier.

The higher the activeness of your dog the more calories required for her to live a healthy life.Hairiness and Living Environmental Temperature (Climate/Weather): The two factor combined together to determine daily energy requirement of your dog.

4. Hairiness and Living Environmental Temperature (Climate/Weather)

These two factors combined together to form a parameter as part of determinants of daily energy requirement of your dog.

Hairiness is classified into:

  • Normal (Short-Haired)
  • Hairless
  • Long Hair

Living climate/weather temperature is classified into:

  • Hot – Temperature Above 25°C (77°F)
  • Warm – Temperature Between 20°C and 25°C (68° F and 77°F)
  • Cold – Temperature Between 10°C and 20°C (50°F and 68°F)
  • Chilling – Temperature Below 10°C (50°F)

For instance; a normal (short-haired) dog living in warm weather/climate is consider to be in thermo-neutral environment and this has no effect on her DER. A hairless dog in warm weather/climate needs 30% more of her normal DER. A long-haired dog in warm weather/climate need 50% more of her normal DER.

The combination continues like that.

5. Physiological State

This has to do with female adult dogs. There are two categories: Pregnant Dog and Lactating (Nursing) Dog.

Daily calorie need of a pregnant dog is more than normal and it varies from period to period (in weeks) of the pregnancy.

For lactating (nursing) dog, DER is more than normal and depends on the number of litters and number of weeks of lactation.

Check out our Dog DER calculator today and get your dog’s best fitted DER.

How The Dog DER Calculator is Formulated

The algorithm formation of DER calculator:

M x [ A x (Body Weight in kg)0.67 ]

(Body Weight in kg)0.67  is the Resting Energy Requirement (RER)

RER is a function of metabolic body size and represents the energy requirement of the your dog while at rest. It is also called Metabolize Energy Requirement (MER).

A is the multiplier for lifestyle based on activeness of your dog.

  • For inactive lifestyle dog, A = 99
  • For normal lifestyle dog, A = 125
  • For active lifestyle dog, A = 132
  • For Very Active, Working dog, A = 160

M is the multiplier for various other factors like:

  • Energy requirement for growth in puppy
  • Energy requirement for body maintenance in adult dog
  • Hairiness
  • Reproductive status for female dog
  • Environmental temperature (Climate/Weather)

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