How our Calorie Algorithm Works

August 31, 2020
Health & Fitness



These statements are all too familiar to pet parents everywhere, which is probably why over 55% of dogs in the U.S. are overweight. While dog food packaging provides cursory guidance, it’s hardly ever precisely measured for your dog. 


Say your dog was 65lbs. Or 84. Or 110. Using the bag’s guidance, at best you’d be estimating what’s right for your pet’s weight. Plus, the recommendation doesn't take your dog’s activity into account. Every dog is different. This one key insight drives Whistle’s mission to provide the most precise recommendation for every individual dog, including our suggested food portions. 


Recently, the Waltham Petcare Science Institute and the University of Aberdeen joined our data scientists at Pet Insight Project for an in-depth study on the calories dogs burn. Pairing those findings with Whistle Lab data on tens of thousands of dogs, we were able to develop a gold standard model for accurately measuring any dog’s energy expenditure. 


To measure the calorie burns of canines with such precision, the researchers used a technique known as the doubly labelled water method. 



Learning how many calories a dog burns in a day also shows us how many they need to consume for optimum health and happiness. We’ve updated all Whistle devices with the new, improved algorithms based on this recent study, including the measurement of your dog’s daily calorie burn and an enhanced food portion suggestion. 


We hope you love these new features as much as we do (we love everything that contributes to our pets living their healthiest lives!), and we plan to continue developing more innovative tools that empower you to be the best pet parent possible. 


Try our Food Portion Calculator for yourself via the Whistle app, or on our website for free.

Learn more about our Food Portion Calculator here.