Pet Food Math Cheat Sheet

“An educated, informed and well-researched community of pet owners can only put more pressure on the pet food industry to be better! When pet owners know better, they will only do better!”
— Rodney Habib Planet Paws

Are you feeding a properly balanced diet for your dog (and cats)?






Or are you feeding a diet high in fat and carbohydrates?

What is the the calorie breakdown?

Steve Brown pet food formulator states the gold standard for the food calories breakdown would be:

  • Protein 49%

  • Fat 44%

  • Carbohydrate 6%. 

Note that the percentage of calories is not the same as the "guaranteed analysis" %. To determine the percentage of calories we have created the Pet Food Math Cheat Sheet which you can use to analyze and compare any type of pet food.  Dry kibble, canned food, baked kibble, freeze-dried, raw, etc.

Just enter the information from the "Guaranteed Analysis" and the "Calorie Content" on the food label and the cheat sheet will do the math so you can compare any type of food.

Use the cheat sheet to determine:

Percentage of Calories from:

  • Protein %

  • Fat %

  • Carbohydrates %

  • Grams (g) of protein per 1,000 calories

  • Cups per lb of food.

  • Cost per cup

  • Cost per lb

  • Cost per 1,000 calories

With dry food determining the cost to feed per day and how long a bag of dry food will last can be a bit complicated because dry foods have differing densities and weights.  The typical dry food is close to 4 oz per cup and has about 4 cups per pound. But foods can vary widely. One food can have close to 3 oz a cup (5 ¼ cups/lb) and another about 5 ¾ oz a cup (2 ¾ cups/lb). With the Pet Food Math Cheat Sheet you can determine the ounces per cup and cups per pound of food using the calorie content of the food.  

The Pet Food Math Cheat Sheet is a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. You can download and use Microsoft Excel for free.

The spreadsheet can also be opened and used with other spreadsheet programs like Google Sheets.

Understanding How To Choose Dog Food

GA graph.png
food label k.png
Pet Food Math Cheat Sheet
Add To Cart

Column 1        “GA”    Guaranteed Analysis on the food label

Column 2        “DM”   Dry Matter basis after all moisture removed. (water)

Column 3        “kcal g”  Number of calories per gram of protein, fat, and fiber in pet food. (Human food has slightly higher calories.)

Column 4        “kcal g (P,F,C) Number of calories per gram of food for protein, fat, and carbs.

Column 5        “% kcal”  Percentage of calories from protein, fat, and carbs.

Column 6        “g-1000 kcal”  Number of grams of protein, fat, and carbs per 1,000 calories.

Column 7        “kcal – 1000 kcal” Number of calories from protein, fat, and carbs per 1,000 calories.

Column 8        “% kcal” Percentage of calories from protein, fat, and carbs in food.

kcal/kg            Calories per kg. A kg is equal to 2.2 lbs. There are 1000 grams in a kg. (Kilogram)

kcal               kcal is the same as a calorie in human foods.

Protein          Protein can come from animal or plant based foods. Protein is made up of amino acids. Animal based protein is generally of higher quality protein and contains balanced amino acids.

Fat                   Fat provides the most calories and energy.

Fiber               Fiber is classified as a carbohydrate but it is not digestible. (provides no calories/energy)

Moisture         Water

Ash                Ash is what is left over after heating food at a very high temperature; generally the mineral content. 

Carbs            Carbohydrates supply necessary starches to make dry kibble. Dogs and cats have no requirement for carbohydrates. They can derive all the energy they need  from protein and fat.