We investigated the most relevant variables for estimating pasture intake and total dry matter (DM) intake in grazing dairy cows using 27 previously published studies. Variables compared were pasture allowance, days in milk, amount of forage, amount of concentrate and total supplementation, pasture allowance and supplementation interaction, fat-corrected milk, body weight (BW), metabolic BW, daily change in BW, percentage of legumes in pasture, neutral detergent fiber (NDF) contents of pasture, and NDF in pasture selected. The variables were selected using stepwise regression analysis for total DM intake and pasture DM intake. Variables selected in the total DM intake regression equation (R2 = 0.95) were pasture allowance, total supplementation, interaction of pasture allowance and supplementation, fat-corrected milk, BW, daily change in BW, percentage of legumes and pasture NDF content. Pasture DM intake regression equation (R2 = 0.90) was similar to total DM intake equation, but supplementation coefficient was negative, showing substitution effect in supplementing grazing cows. The intake of NDF as a percentage of BW was higher than 1.3% when considering NDF content of the pasture allowance. Low pasture allowance groups had values higher than 1.3%.