How many calories should your dog or cat eat in a day? It depends on several factors, including his or her age and activity level, as well as individual metabolism, which varies widely. Neutered or spayed animals require fewer calories than “intact” ones; pregnant and nursing pets need more.
There is no one-size-fits-all calculation, and different sources list different formulas—which is why it’s always best to check with your vet, especially if your pet needs to lose weight.
For a ballpark idea, however, you can multiply your pet’s weight in pounds by 14 and add 70. This is roughly the number of calories your pet needs to meet basic metabolic functions.
For your pet’s total daily calorie needs, you then multiply this result by some factor, such as 1.0 (for weight loss), 1.2 (to maintain weight of an inactive or obesity-prone pet), 1.6 (for an average neutered adult pet), or 2.0 (for a very active pet).