How much raw dog food to feed per day…

The average adult dog on an “average-calorie”, fresh meat diet will eat 2-2.5% of their body weight per day in raw dog food. Best to start with the latter figure initially, 2.5% and then drop down later if you need to. 

For example, an 8kg adult Westie, might require 200g of fresh dog food per day (1% of 8kg is 80g multiplied by 2.5). 

a table showing people how much food I should feed my dog

Need some help with the maths? Check out our free online calculator…

Different Types of Dogs…

Of course every dog is different so you need to keep an eye. If your dog is a little heavy or in recovery from something or simply a bit lazy then you can either feed him a touch less or choose leaner meal options. Well-exercised? Then feed him a little more, but also increase the calorie content of the meal by including fattier cuts, (dogs burn fat for energy). Working dogs can eat 3-5% of their body weight per day, depending on what you have them doing.

Feeding overweight dogs

Pups differ greatly. The rule of thumb is that an eight-week-old pup will be eating up to 10% of his body weight per day, of a suitable puppy mix (a pup’s food differs slightly to an adult’s in that they need more fat). By the time they reach 50% of their adult body weight, they will be down to eating 5% of their body weight. By the time they reach full body size they will be down to 3% of their body weight per day, dropping to 2.5% and possibly lower as they enter adult hood.

More on raw-feeding pups here…

Feeding a pregnant bitch…

Want to get more accurate?!

These sorts of percentages are general guides that will get you or your clients started and on which the dog won’t go hungry. However, the exact results depend greatly on the type of food you are feeding. Obviously a lean mix offers less calories per kilo than a higher fat mix. For this reason, when assessing what a particular dogs energy needs it is better to talk on a calorie or ME (kcal/kg) basis, where ME stands for Metabolisable Energy. This is more detail than most need but I’m really targeting vets and folk with clients who to get into a bit of detail. The formula for your dog’s Resting Energy Requirement (RER) is 

70 x (your dog’s body weight in kg) ^ 0.75 

That little hat sign you see there is called a power sign. In English, you would say “70 times your dog’s body weight to the power of 0.75”. You might need a scientific calculator. Find below images of what that button will look like.

Once you have worked out your dog’s RER you can use the following multipliers depending on his physiological state (but know that two dogs of the same sex from the same litter with the same lifestyle can still differ in their ME requirements by up to 20%):

  • 1.6 Average neutered adult
  • 1.8 Average intact adult
  • 1.2 Weight loss
  • 2 Light work
  • 3 Moderate work
  • 5-6 Heavy work
  • 3 Growth (<4 months old)
  • 2 Growth (>4 months old) 

Equipped with this figure. you can check out your product of choice and see what sort of kilocalories it offers per 1kg. I assume most of the cheaper raws are much fattier than they state on the label but I guess you have little other option than trusting them. 

Once again, if not bothered with the calculations, we have a free calculator on the site that tells you amount and calories per a few types of dog.

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A photo of Dr. Conor Brady of Dogs First