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Adjusting Your Pet’s Diet During Winter

January 1, 2021

Winter means plenty of cold, damp, and dreary weather. Dressing your pet up in warm clothing, keeping the house at a warm temperature, and limiting outdoor time are great ways to make sure your pet stays comfortable. And there’s another change you might consider making this season: adjusting your pet’s portion size. Let’s take a closer look at adjusting your pet’s diet when the temperature drops.

Exercise Level

Your pet probably isn’t too keen on heading out for a long walk when it’s cold outside. As a result, pets who normally get exercise outdoors tend to receive less physical activity when the temperatures dip. If they continue eating meals in their standard portion size, they can ingest a lot more calories than are necessary for their activity level, which can lead to a weight gain. That explains why a lot of pets get a little chubbier during winter.

Ask your vet if it might be a good idea to feed your pet a little less during the colder months, especially if you know your pet’s physical activity level has decreased. It’s not a necessity for every pet, but it could help depending on your companion’s particular circumstance.

Daylight Changes

As the days get shorter, our pets’ metabolisms get triggered into slowing down. The reason for this on a biological level is to conserve energy and begin fat storage in preparation for the upcoming cold months. That’s another reason why pets might gain a few pounds during the winter.

Indoor Cats

Do you have an indoor cat? If so, there’s usually no need to adjust anything when it comes to their diet or portion size. Your pet tends to maintain the same activity level throughout the year, whether or not it’s cold outside. It doesn’t make sense to fix what isn’t broken!

The Bottom Line: Check With Your Vet

Here’s the rule of thumb to follow: check with your veterinarian before making any adjustments to your pet’s diet, portion size, or feeding schedule. Your pet is unique and may not need adjustments to their diet or lifestyle at all. Play it safe and consult your vet!

To learn more about your pet’s dietary needs, call your local Bennington, NE vet’s office.