Dog Calorie Needs: Calorie Intakes for Dog Weight Loss

Successful dog weight management relies on accurate meal portioning to provide the correct dieting calorie intake.

Calorie restriction should account for 90% of your dog’s weight loss, with the remainder achieved through exercise. Controlling your dog’s calorie intake should be your number one priority for dog weight management. Once the necessary dietary adjustments have been made, gradual increases to your dog’s exercise levels may begin.

Unlike humans the recommended dog calorie intake for dog weight loss varies widely reflecting the size and activity profile of hundreds of dog breeds.

So a tailored approach providing individual dog calorie intakes is required.

To calculate your dog’s dieting calorie intake you need to know your dog’s target weight. (Your dog’s ideal healthy weight).

Target weights can be calculated by your veterinarian. Alternatively you can calculate your dog’s target weight using our dog weight calculator. Access by clicking the tab below.

Dog Weight Calculator Tool


Understanding dog calorie needs is your first step to managing dog weight loss

Dog Calorie Needs: How Many Daily Calories Does Your Dog Require?

Using the table below, use your dog’s ideal weight (or target weight) to look up their daily dog calorie requirement or calorie intake for weight loss.

For example, if your dog’s healthy target weight is 60 lbs. your dog’s total daily calorie allowance to promote dog weight loss will be 835 calories. If your dog’s healthy target weight is 10 kilograms, their daily dog calorie requirement will be 394 calories.

Dieting Dog Calorie Intakes for Dog Weight Loss


Target Weight (lbs.) Daily Calorie Intake (kcal) Target Weight (kgs) Daily Calorie Intake
10 218 5 234
20 366 10 394
30 497 15 533
40 616 20 662
50 729 25 783
60 835 30 897
70 938 35 1007
80 1036 40 1113
90 1132 45 1216
100 1225 50 1316
110 1316 55 1413


Once you identify your dog’s daily calorie intake, you can calculate the correct portion size to feed.

Portions are set according to the number of dog food calories contained in your dog’s food. Dog food calories (kcal) are typically listed in small print on the back or side of pet food packaging. Dog food calories are provided as number of calories per food weight basis. E.g. 300 kcal per 100 g food.

NB. The table above is intended as a guide only – dog calorie needs for dog weight loss can vary significantly between dogs. Activity level, life stage, sex and breed can influence your dog’s dieting calorie requirement.

Every dog is unique in their response to calorie restriction. When dieting, adjustments to calorie intake are often needed to maintain suitable rates of dog weight loss.

Read more about the importance of calorie restriction for dog weight management by skipping to this article: Fat Dogs: Is Exercise the Cure?

TIP: Before starting your dog on a diet, a veterinary health check is recommended. This will rule out any health issues contributing to weight gain, which may impact on weight loss management.

WAGSTA dog diet plans

Are you looking for a customised calorie and portion plan for your dog? Jump-start your dog’s weight and health transformation with WAGSTA Wellness Veterinary-guided weight plans.

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