Determining Your Pet’s Energy Range

Energy Ranges and Nutrient Requirements

RFN Recipes are based on adjusted NRC requirements to ensure that pets of every activity and energy level get adequate nutrition. Each recipe comes in several different energy models that’s tailored specifically for pets of that energy range. You can use information and calculators below to determine which recipe model you need to purchase. They come in the following ranges, from low and inactive energy to high energy:

Dogs: 80-95, 95-110, 110-130, 130+
Cats: 55-70, 70-100

* If your pet needs to lose weight, use the energy range of the weight loss (lowered) caloric goal, not the pet’s current caloric intake. If your pet is obese or requires significant weight loss, please contact a professional.

Nerdy Details

Raw Fed & Nerdy uses metabolic weight and considers where the dog falls within the energy range spectrum. If the dog eats a low energy multiplier, then the recipe needs to be more dense with nutrients so that all nutrients are present in each meal. Dogs who fall within a higher energy range will need lower nutrient density (in most categories).

Recipes are therefore formulated to fit within energy ranges uisng the metabolic weight method.

MW x Energy number = daily calorie requirement.

MW= metabolic weight. This is your dog’s weight in kilograms raised to the power of 0.75.

The energy ranges we have found to work best are:

For example, a low energy 65 lb dog may fall within the 80-95 energy range:

12.6 (MW) x 90 (Energy number)= 1,140 calories.

This dog would need the recipe meant for the 80-95 range. 

Information on Energy Ranges for Dogs

Many factors play a role in where a dog falls on the energy range. If you need help determining energy needs, please email or

Once your purchase your recipe, you will be provided a calculator to determine your dogs daily predicted calorie requirements which will automatically adjust the recipe for you.

Under 80- Sedentary

These dogs are typically sedentary or very low activity – senior pets often fall into this category. Some active dogs with lower metabolism may also fall into this category, though they are not inactive.

None of the available recipes would be appropriate for this energy level, but you can reach out to the formulator for a custom version of the recipe for your pet.

80-95- Low to Average Energy:

This range may be right for your dog if they are not active above normal house pet activity. Examples that would fall into this category include middle aged to older dogs. Dogs who do not participate in sports. Dogs who are more active, younger, not altered often land above this range. “Easy keepers” fall within this range as well.

If you currently feed by ratios and feed by percentage of body weight, you may find that you have to watch fat or feed a lower body percentage to keep weight at a stable level.

95-110- Moderate Energy:

These dogs may be younger, unaltered, and/or owners have an active lifestyle. For example, a 2 year old GSD who gets plenty of hiking, walks, etc. Dogs who participate in some sports may fall within this section as well. Dogs with open access to farm land can also often fall within this range.

110-130- High Energy

Dogs who have just left puppyhood very often fall within this range- especially when they are not altered.

Working dogs can also fall within this range.

130 is not very common broadly speaking, but it certainly can be for making hard working dogs or sports dog. This is often true for dogs working hard in colder weather.

The more distance a dog physically covered (km/miles), the more energy they will require. 

130+- Very High Energy

These dogs live a very active lifestyle and likely cover a lot of ground, Ex: Sled dogs.


To determine how many calories your dog is eating, see section below.

Information on Energy Ranges for Cats

Many factors play a role in where a cat falls on the energy range. If you need help determining energy needs, please email

Once your purchase your recipe, you will be provided a calculator to determine your cat’s daily predicted calorie requirements which will automatically adjust the recipe for you.

55-70 – Low Energy

This range is appropriate for indoor pet cats who are fairly sedentary, with short to moderate bursts of energy. This range would be appropriate for most indoor pet cats. (Inactive cats with weight loss goals may fall below this category and may not be able to use these recipes.)

70-100- Moderate to High Energy:

These cats with higher energy needs are typically young adult cats (1-2 years), exotic breeds, or highly active cats (indoor/outdoor, barn cats).


Determining your pet’s current caloric intake


Commercial Foods with Known Caloric Information

If your pet is eating a commercial food, then it can often be very easy to find the calorie information. Complete raws, commercial cooked (like Ollie’s), kibble, canned, freeze dried etc. all (should) have the calorie information available.

If feeding kibble, most people feed by cups. If your dog eats 2 cups of food and there are 150 kcal per cup, then multiply 150 x 2.

Fresh food often provides this information by weight. So if you are feeding by volume, you may need to weigh their food next time you serve it. Kcal per 1 kilogram or kcal per oz is often provided.

For most foods, the calorie information is found on the packaging near the GA label. Many also provide this information on their website, but the bag or packaging is often the most accurate because variable formulas may have different calories per batch or they may not have gotten a chance to update their website.


DIY Raw Food

If you are currently feeding a ratio (80/10/10) or BARF style homemade recipe, these are the typical caloric densities, depending on the fat content of the ingredients.

Lean (5% fat or less)

The recipe consists of red meats trimmed of all fat, including game meat or kangaroo, or skinless poultry breasts. Raw meaty bones are poultry based without skin.

Average: 135kcal/100g or 38.5kcal/oz

Moderate Fat (10% fat)

The recipe consists of red meats with some marbling (excluding very fatty cuts such as pork butt) or skinless poultry thighs. raw meaty bones can include poultry RMBs with skin or fattier red meat bones such as pork ribs.

Average: 175kcal/100g or 50kcal/oz

High Fat (15%+ fat)

The recipe consists of fat heavy cuts, such as 15/85, 20/80, 30/70 ground beef, red meats with heavy marbling such as pork butt, and poultry with skin on.

Average: 250kcal/100g or 71kcal/oz