How many calories does my puppy need?

Original Question: Hi my Rottweiler is 60 days old now, how much should I feed him (quantity)? - Mahesh

How many calories does my puppy need? Sep 1, 2017

Hi Mahesh,

Thanks for your question.

When you want to know about the quantity of food, we have to look at the daily amount of calories your dog needs. The fact that he is 2 months old and a medium to large breed puppy complicates it a bit and also places a higher concern to get it right.

Your dog is a puppy and actively growing, so you need to be feeding enough calories to support that growth. However, there have been recent studies performed that show that overfeeding a medium to large breed puppy can contribute to hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is largely genetic, but it can be impacted by overfeeding a dog and making them too heavy, too fast and putting more strain on their bones and joints during their development. It is also a topic that is still debated to a degree. You’ll find that some veterinarians and breeders will recommend feeding a medium to large breed puppy an adult diet in order to restrict caloric intake and prevent rapid weight-gain from contributing to hip dysplasia and other musculoskeletal abnormalities.

Here’s what I suggest. Speak to your veterinarian and get a nutritional consultation. Sometimes the registered veterinary technicians will offer free weight management consultations. The medical food companies and some independent advice-providing companies offer a software program for determining the ideal caloric intake for our pets. They are based on a Dog Body Condition Score. You do not base caloric intake decisions on age or simply weight. Your veterinarian, or possibly the registered veterinary technicians will tell you your puppy’s body condition score simply through a physical exam. Then they enter that information, along with weight and age, into the program and it will calculate the ideal daily caloric intake amount that is necessary to achieve healthy growth and result in the ideal body condition score. By inputting the caloric density of the food you have, or one that is recommended, it will determine how much should you feed a puppy. You’ll want to measure, or better yet, weigh the food out to be certain that you are offering the right amount. You can visit your veterinarian for a weigh-in on a regular basis and make sure that you are on track.

If you don’t want to visit your veterinarian to go through this, you could call one of the medical food companies and they will likely guide you through this. The challenge would be determining an accurate body condition score without them seeing your dog, but they do offer very good resources to determine this yourself.

I hope this helps and good luck!

Dr. Clayton Greenway

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How many calories does my puppy need?
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How many calories does my puppy need?
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Speak to your veterinarian and get a nutritional consultation. Sometimes veterinary technicians will offer free weight management consultations. The medical food companies and some independent advice-providing companies offer a software program for determining the ideal caloric intake for our pets.
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Healthcare for Pets
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