Does winter weather mean a change in my pets' diet?

As we move into the winter months one thing is certain. We are going to experience plenty of bone chilling days and plenty of wet weather. As you sit in a nice warm environment you may wonder if you need to change your pet’s diet.

If you are living in the United Kingdom it is unlikely that you will need to change their diet during the winter months. There are always things to consider as the days become darker and colder.

If your dog or cat lives indoors, it is unlikely that you will need to change your pet’s diet if their activity level stays constant. If your dog lives primarily outdoors and partakes in increased activities, you may need to make minor adjustments.

As temperatures drop, some of us — including our canine companions — become increasingly reluctant to leave the comfortable warmth of our homes to go for walks. Since less exercise means fewer calories used, you may need to feed less food to help your dog maintain a healthy weight. Another option is to maintain the same activity level no matter what the weather.

If you and your dog spend a lot of time outside enjoying the cold weather and sports such as canicross or sledding you may need to increase their food or change it for a higher fat content food.

It is worth pointing out that an outdoor dog’s metabolism changes during cold weather, and their body will use greater amounts of for energy. This means your cold-weather outdoor dog may benefit from a dog food such as FourFriends Power.

Like us, dogs and cats shiver to keep a consistent body temperature. But shivering uses a lot of energy or calories. So, your dog may need an increase in calories during cold weather. The increase in calories leads to more fat accumulation and helps compensate for the calories lost to shivering.

Finally, several factors, ranging from your dog’s size, his or her coat type and length, and their outdoor shelter, will affect the amount of food he or she needs.

Cold temperatures are not the only environmental factor that affects our pets’ nutritional needs during late autumn and winter. A decrease in daylight triggers changes in our dogs’ metabolism, slowing it down to conserve energy and promoting fat accumulation to help protect dogs from the upcoming cold.

Fewer daylight hours can also mean less exercise. Just like the gradual decrease in temperature, less daylight may mean you are more reluctant to walk as far as in summer. So, if your indoor dog is not getting as much exercise as they were during spring and summer, you may need to decrease the amount of food fed.

Indoor cats who get a consistent amount of activity from one season to the next do not need more food during the winter. And like dogs, cats that spend a lot of time outside during cold weather could need more food to maintain a consistent body temperature without losing weight.

Every pet is an individual, and the best feeding programme is one tailored to your pet’s unique needs. Be sure to talk with your veterinarian about your dog’s or cat’s nutritional needs during the winter months.

FourFriends have dog and cat foods to suit all breeds of cats and dogs and we aim to deliver your orders on the next working day no matter what the weather. If we have you thinking what the best food for my dog or cat is then please get in touch. We are always happy to help.

Article by Just For Friends,