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Adjusting Your Pet’s Diet During Winter

January 15, 2021

Wintertime brings with it plenty of cold, damp and dreary weather. You’ll probably help keep your pet comfortable by turning your heat on, offering a fuzzy blanket, and maybe even dressing your companion up in a comfy sweater or jacket. But there’s one other change you might want to consider making this winter: adjusting your pet’s food portion size. Read on as an experienced Hudson Valley vet shares whether or not you should adjust your pet’s diet as the temperatures drop.

Exercise Level

When it’s chilly outside, humans and pets alike are less keen on heading out for a walk around the block or a fun jaunt through the park. As such, 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 throughout the rest of the year, they can end up taking in a lot more calories than are necessary for their activity level, resulting in weight gain. That’s the reason many pets tend to plump up a bit during the winter season.

Consult your Hudson Valley 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 his or her activity level has dropped. It’s not necessary for every pet, but it might help a bit, depending on the particular circumstance.

Daylight Changes

As the days get shorter in winter, our pets’ metabolisms are naturally triggered to slow down. The biological reason for this is to conserve energy and start storing fat in preparation for the upcoming colder months. This is another reason why pets tend to 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 in terms of 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 Hudson Valley veterinarian before making any adjustments to your pet’s diet, portion size, or feeding schedule. It all depends on your companion’s specific situation, including activity levels, lifestyle, and even breed. Play it safe and consult your vet!

Call your Hudson Valley vet’s office in Newburgh, NY today for help with your pet’s dietary needs.