Every dog’s metabolism is a little different – their age, breed, genetics, and activity level all influence how many calories they need each day. Just like us, dogs need extra fuel when they’re working and playing hard. Veterinarians use formulas that provide guidelines for calorie requirements based on a dog’s weight.
Your dog’s resting energy requirement (RER) is the number of calories they would need to maintain their weight just sitting on the couch all day. (It’s a bit of a tricky equation, but if you like a challenge, multiply your dog’s body weight in kg raised to the ¾ power by 70.)
Your dog’s metabolic energy requirement (MER) is 1.7 x RER. This is the energy your dog uses on a typical day that includes exercise like going for a walk or playing with a friend.
How many Backpack Bars should you pack? We have calculated the difference between high energy days (2 x RER) and normal daily needs to give you a range.
NUMBER OF BACKPACK BARS ON ACTIVE DAYS
Keep in mind, Backpack Bars supplement your dog's regular diet, and should be given in addition to regular meals. Each bar is about 200 calories – so check the guidance on your usual dog food to see how many calories your dog gets each day, and adjust accordingly. If you are going hard and your dog is hungry - break bars into smaller pieces and feed frequently to help maintain level energy.
Dr. Daws is a veterinarian currently practicing in Bozeman, Montana.