Feeding Calculator

Ultimately, you are the best judge of your pet's healthiest weight, and your confidence in your feeding plan will encourage a happy appetite. Here's a handy calculator for use as a general guideline for how much to feed your pet, whether you are feeding Charley Chow, Spike's Chicken Salad, or a species-appropriate home-made diet of your own design.

First, figure out how much your pet should weigh as a healthy adult. Then aim to feed for that weight.
Adult weight of pet: Pounds
Choose a percentage: then click
 - or -

2% of desired adult weight is a good starting point for most dogs. If you're feeding a puppy, just make an educated guess as to the adult weight, or start with 6% of current weight. It might seem like a lot at first, but it'll be clear within a day or two if it's really not enough, or way too much. Feed 1.5% to an overweight dog; 2.5% to put weight on.  Expectant mothers and puppies can put away a lot of food, and they need it, so do feed to meet appetite.

Check for a healthy weight by running your hand over your pet's ribs. If you can't feel his ribs, then reduce the daily food intake, or increase his exercise level. If your fingers can fit down easily between the ribs, offer more food every half hour for 2 hours one day, and make note of how much he eats. Consider offering that much a few times a week until your fingers just slide over his ribs in a ripple.

Although this calculator is written with dogs in mind, it could be used as a starting point for feeding cats as well. Cats have a wide variety of activity levels, and if they are free-fed, will graze all day; so their individual nutritional needs aren't as closely related to their weight. You should be able to see a waist when looking down on your cat from overhead.

(DogTown Lounge does not mean to imply that anyone should look down on cats.)