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Adjusting Your Pet’s Diet During Winter

January 1, 2021
Wintertime brings with it plenty of cold, damp, dreary weather. You’ll probably help your pet feel more comfortable by keeping the house warm, offering a fuzzy blanket, and maybe even dressing your companion up in a comfy sweater or jacket, especially when heading outdoors. But there’s one other change you might consider making this winter: adjusting your pet’s portion size. Read on to find out whether or not you should adjust your pet’s diet as the temperatures drop. 

Exercise Level

When it’s cold outside, humans and pets alike are less keen on heading out for a walk around the block or a fun jaunt through the park. So, pets who normally get exercise outdoors tend to receive less physical activity during the winter months. If they continue eating the same amount of food that they do the rest of the year, they can end up taking in a lot more calories than are necessary for their activity level, resulting in a weight gain. That’s the reason that many pets tend to pudge up a bit during the winter season.  Consult your vet to find out if it might be a good idea to feed your pet a little less during the winter months, especially if you think your pet’s activity level has dropped. It’s not necessary for every pet, but it might help some depending on the particular circumstance.

Daylight Changes

As the days get shorter in winter, our pets’ metabolisms are triggered into slowing down. The biological reason for this is to conserve energy and start storing fat in preparation for the upcoming cold months. This is another reason why pets might gain a few pounds during cold weather.

Indoor Cats

Do you have an indoor cat? If so, there’s probably no need to adjust anything at all when it comes to the diet or portion size. Your pet maintains the same level of activity all year round, whether or not it’s cold outside. There’s no sense in fixing what isn’t broken. 

The Bottom Line: Check With Your Vet

At the end of the day, it’s important to check with your veterinarian before making any adjustments to your pet’s diet, portion size, or feeding schedule. It all depends on your pet’s particular circumstance, including activity levels, lifestyle, and even breed. Play it safe and consult your vet!  Call your local vet’s office for help with your pet’s dietary needs.