How to know if your pet is eating enough

A common question asked by many pet owners is, “How do I know if my pet is eating enough?”. This isn’t always the easiest question to answer as there really is no standard answer for your pet’s specific feeding requirements. As every pet is different and unique they all require tailored diets specific to their needs.

When figuring out how much we should be feeding our pets, it is important to consider factors such as:

  • Size
  • Age
  • Activity level
  • Breed
  • Overall general health

Just like humans, animals require a certain amount of calorie consumption per day. This is usually calculated by your veterinarian with this formula: RER (Kcal/day) = 70 x wtKg 0.75

This calculation measures the animal’s resting energy requirements for a normal animal at rest in a thermoneutral environment, based on their body weight. Then depending on the species and their stage of life, your veterinarian is able to determine the animal’s daily energy requirements (DER) which represents the average daily energy expenditure of an animal, depending on life stage and activity.

According to the Hills Nutrition Reference Manual this is a general guide to calculating your dog’s and cat’s DER:

If you are following all of the recommended guidelines for your pet’s diet but are still concerned they aren’t receiving enough calories, your veterinarian remains the best source of nutritional guidance for your furry friend. They can answer important questions like what type of food to feed, how much food to feed and how frequently you should be feeding. If you ever have any questions, we at Fairview Animal Hospital are always happy and eager to help.

Written by Abby Boudreau