Chesapeake Bay Retriever Feeding Chart

Maybe you are wondering whether you are feeding your Chesapeake Bay Retriever the right amount. You may have been going by cups, but there is no standardization of cup size, and the energy density of food varies enormously. We’ve put together a feeding chart to help you feed your CBR correctly.

Feeding Chesapeakes depends upon assessing their energy needs based on their age, weight, activity level, and other factors. Once you have determined your dog’s specific daily energy requirement in kcal, you can work out what weight of food to supply based on the energy density of the food.

Because CBRs are prone to putting on weight if overfed, you should always give your dog the required amount for their energy expenditure. But knowing the energy expenditure for your Chesapeake at different stages of their life and varying needs can be tricky. We’ll guide you to feed your CBR correctly.

Feeding Chart For Chesapeake Puppies

This feeding chart for Chesapeake puppies gives the Resting Energy Requirement (RER) and Daily Energy Requirement (DER) in kilocalories, which is the most accurate way of estimating their energy needs.

Puppy’s weight in lbPuppy’s weight in kgRER (kcal/day)DER for growth – CBR puppies 8 weeks to 4 months (kcal/day)DER for growth – CBR puppies 4 months and older (kcal/day)
3817,2592 1184
4018,1615 1231
4219,1638 1277
4420,0661 1322
4620,9683 1367
4821,8706 1411
5022,7727 1455
5223,6749 1498
5424,5771 1541
5625,4792 1584
5826,3813 1626
6027,2834 1668

First, find your puppy’s Resting Energy Requirement (RER), which is how much energy they need when at rest in a thermally neutral environment. Then work out their Daily Energy Requirement, which is how much energy they need for their daily activities.

Because CBR puppies are actively growing, their energy needs are high, and their Daily Energy  Requirement is 3 times the RER (up to 4 months old) or 2 times the RER (4 months and older). Weigh your puppy, look up their RER  and DER for their life stage, and you will have the number of kilocalories you should be feeding.

To find the number of grams of food you should give your CBR puppy, take the DER you have calculated (kcal) and divide it by the kcal/kg ratio of the food you are using. Doing so will give you the amount of food you should provide in kilograms.

Take the number of kilograms, and divide it by 0,0283 to get the number of ounces you should be feeding. Yes, this means you should be weighing the amount of food you give your Chesapeake puppy. Weighing is a highly effective way of ensuring you provide the right amount of food.

Once you see how much a particular weight of a specific food is, you can use volume to measure it out to your puppy. Just make sure you go back to weight when anything changes, such as your puppy’s weight, life stage, or the food you give.

You won’t give this food all in one go, of course. Feed 3 small meals a day for puppies under 4 months and 2 meals a day for older puppies and adults.

Feeding Chart For Chesapeake Adults

As with the chart for CBR puppies, this chart gives RER and DER in kcal to ensure that you give your dog the correct amount of energy for their daily needs. How much your particular dog requires will depend on whether they have been sterilized, their exact weight, how active they are, whether they need to lose weight (or possibly gain weight), and whether they are pregnant or lactating.

Dog’s weight in lbDog’s weight in kgRER (kcal/day)DER neutered adultDER intact adultDER inactive adultDER light workDER moderate workDER heavy work

Although this chart shows weights from 50 to 80 pounds, the American Kennel Club states that adult Chesapeake females should be 55 to 70 pounds, and adult Chesapeake males should be 65 to 80 pounds.

As with puppies, take the DER in kcal you have calculated, and divide it by the kcal/kg ratio of the food you are using. Take the number of kilograms of food and divide by 0,0283 for the number of ounces.

If your Chesapeake needs to lose weight, take the RER for their ideal weight and multiply it by 1 to get the DER you should be feeding. If they must gain weight, take the RER for their ideal weight and multiply it by 1.3 to get the DER you should be feeding.

Why Do We Need To Use RER and DER To Feed Chesapeakes?

You may wonder why we are going through all this complicated stuff with RER, DER, kilocalories, and metric measurements. Why not just give the dog’s weight, life stage, and the number of cups of food they need? But there are good reasons for these seemingly unnecessary complications.

To understand how much to feed your Chesapeake, you should forget about cups until you’ve established a baseline of what weight of the food you are using fills the cup you are using.

There’s absolutely no standardization of cup sizes, and whether you use a liquid cup, dry cup, or one of the dog kibble manufacturer’s cups will have an enormous effect on how much food you give your dog.

What’s more, different foods vary greatly in their energy content. Even if cup size were standard, the energy content variation would greatly impact the number of calories you’d give your dog. Consequently, underfeeding or overfeeding, particularly the latter, would still be a potential consequence.

To feed your CBR correctly, use the kilocalorie (kcal) content of the food you are using to calculate how many grams of kibble to feed them. We are using metric weights here because AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) stipulates that the energy content of dog food appears on the packaging in the form of kcal/kg (kilocalories per kilogram).

Once you know how many grams (or kilograms) of food you should give your dog at a particular stage in its life, you can convert the figure to ounces, and once you are familiar with how that translates to cups, you can use cups for convenience. But when in doubt, weigh!


To feed your Chesapeake the right amount of food will take some effort on your part. It is easy to overfeed them, and you should ideally base the amount you give them on their life stage, activity, and other needs. As cups vary in size and foods vary in energy density, it is best to feed based on the energy content of the food to supply your dog’s specific daily energy requirement.

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