There are a multitude of dog foods available with a wide variety of protein and fat levels. It is often difficult to determine which is the best level of fat or energy for a particular dog.
The energy requirements of dogs can vary greatly with their size (breed), age, activity level, body condition and season. The following information should help to explain each energy requirement factor.
Activity Level Differences in Energy Requirements (ME)
If an average dog in maintenance relative energy requirement equals 1, a puppy’s energy requirement would equal 2, a very hard working dog or lactating dog’s energy requirement would equal 3, an active or pregnant dog’s energy requirement would equal 1.5 and an inactive or older dog’s energy requirement would equal 0.75.
Body Condition Differences in Energy Requirements (ME)
Overweight or obese dogs can lose weight if energy intake is reduced to 75 percent of suggested feeding rate. Controlled feeding is an effective method to reduce energy intake. Under-conditioned dogs should be fed a higher energy diet until proper body condition is achieved.
Dogs eat to meet their energy needs. As activity increases, their need for food also will increase. Likewise, an inactive dog will eat less. Another way to change energy consumption is by changing products. An active dog could be changed from a low energy product such as Hubbard Life Maintenance dog food to Hubbard Life High Energy dog food to increase energy and other nutrients.