It’s important that your pets remain at a healthy weight during the winter. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that a little extra weight during the winter will keep them warm. There are health risks associated with an overweight animal that don’t warrant their putting on that extra weight. This is, of course, assuming that you have an indoor pet. Those outdoor pets do require more calories in order to generate more body heat to keep them warm. If you have nutritional questions regarding your pet, make sure to discuss with your veterinarian.
Your indoor pet may be getting less exercise than he normally would during the winter months thereby expending less calories. Therefore, you may need to adjust their intake and give them less food so that they don’t have the unhealthy winter weight gain.
Conversely, if you have an outside working animal, they will need more calories to compensate for the amount of lost calories as it takes more energy in the winter to keep their body temperature regulated.
Also, as the daylight hours are decreasing in the winter months, it results in a change of your pet’s metabolism. It signals a dog’s brain that winter is coming which sets off hormonal changes and slows the metabolism to conserve calorie expenditure. This also promotes deposit of fat.
This genetic adaptation is useful for outside working animals but for our indoor pets, the decrease in metabolism may result in weight gain.
Your pet can get dehydrated in the winter just as in the summer so make sure to provide plenty of fresh water. Note that snow is not an adequate substitute for fresh water. In fact, ingestion of snow can be dangerous if there is a vehicle close by because of the threat of antifreeze which is extremely toxic. Also be aware of antifreeze or other chemicals on your garage floors or in your driveway. If you suspect your pet has ingested any toxins, contact your veterinarian immediately.
BPaWedPals.com has an assortment of natural foods to choose from. All foods offered on our site are Made in the USA and are of a high quality.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational only. It does not replace a consultation with a veterinarian and may not be used to diagnose or treat any conditions in your dog or cat.