Should Dogs be Fed More in the Winter?

Should Dogs be Fed More in the Winter?

As a responsible pet owner, you are wondered if your furry friend needs more food during the winter months. After all, the colder weather can make us humans feel hungrier, so it’s natural to assume that our dogs might feel the same way. But is it really necessary to increase your dog’s food intake during the winter? Here’s what you need to know.

In the winter, the cold weather can make pets lose weight. To stop this, it’s essential to change your pet’s diet and limit the time they spend outside, especially if they don’t have proper gear like sweaters and boots. Keep in mind that although dogs need to fed more calories to keep warm, their activity level should stay the same. So, it’s important to be careful about how much calorie-rich food you give your dog in the winter to prevent them from gaining too much weight.

Factors to Consider for Changing Dogs Diet in Winters

When it comes to keeping your dog healthy during the winter, every pup need healthy food. Cold weather can bring its own set of health concerns from illnesses, so it’s crucial to be mindful of what you’re feeding your furry friend and how it impacts their overall well-being.

You must be aware of your dog’s specific demands to keep him happy and healthy during the winter. It is critical to consider these factors in order to keep your dog healthy over the winter:

Activity Level

In the winter, the amount of food your dog needs depends on their activity level. If your dog is spending more time indoors and getting less exercise, they need the same amount of food to maintain their weight.

However, if your dog spends more time outdoors, they need extra food to combat shivering. Both small and large breeds have a higher energy requirement in cold temperatures and need more wet food to maintain their weight.

Studies have found that working dogs in colder regions need 2-3 times their normal amount of calories. Also, dogs’ metabolism changes in cold to absorb more fats than sugars, so adding fat to their diet is necessary to keep them warm and healthy during the winter season.

Quality of Food

Choosing high-quality, nutritionally balanced food will ensure that your dog is getting all the nutrients they need, especially in the winter season. This can help them maintain a healthy weight.

You can focus on increasing your dog’s food intake and providing them with high-quality, nutrient-rich food. This mean switching to a higher meat and fats or adding a supplement to their diet to help them maintain a healthy weight and immune system.

The Importance of Proper Winter Feeding for Dogs: Insights from Research

We discovered two published study papers that discuss how dogs in particular need an adjustment to their eating habits. Below is a reference with insight:

1. Journal of Animal Science

According to a study published in the “Journal of Animal Science,” dogs have a slightly higher energy requirement during the winter due to the increased insulation provided by their fur. However, the increase in energy requirement is not significant enough to warrant a change in feeding behaviour

2. American Veterinary Medical Association

In support there is another study, published in the Journal of the “American Veterinary Medical Association,” found that the amount of food needed by dogs during the winter depends on their activity level. Less active dogs need less food, while those who are more active need more.

Precaution for Feeding Pet Food

It’s important to keep in mind that while dogs likely to eat more during the colder weather, overfeeding them can lead to weight gain and other health issues. Be sure to provide your pets with enough food to meet their nutritional needs, but be cautious not to give them too much, particularly during the winter when they have an increased appetite due to the cold temperatures, shivering and burning calories to maintain body heat.

  1. Gradually increase the amount of food to avoid overfeeding your dog and causing stomach upset.
  2. Make sure to provide high-quality protein sources such as meat or fish to provide your dog with the necessary energy to stay warm in the winter.
  3. Consider adding healthy fats such as fish oil to your dog’s diet as it will help them maintain their body heat and provide essential fatty acids.
  4. Provide wet food as it can be more appealing and provide more moisture in the winter.
  5. Limit the time your dog spends outside, especially if they are not properly equipped with warm clothing and booties to protect them from the cold.
  6. Keep an eye on your dog’s weight and adjust their food intake accordingly to prevent overfeeding or underfeeding.
  7. Puppy food should be high in protein, especially in winter to maintain healthy coats. They also need high calories to support their growth and development.

Do Dogs Need More Protein in the Winter?

It is important to note that the protein requirements for dogs do not vary with the seasons. However, it is important to assess your dog’s individual needs based on their activity level and weight. If your dog is an active working dog that is exposed to cold winter weather, it will be necessary to increase their protein intake to support their weight and energy needs. While indoor breeds need the same essential nutrients with a healthy amount of a balanced diet that includes the appropriate amount of protein, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins.

Alan Martin
Alan Martin is a pet lover and writer with a passion for penning heartfelt pet memoirs. He is the proud owner of a dog named Joy, a cat named Milo, and a raccoon named Furby. Alan has mastered the art of pet nutrition and cares for all kinds of furry friends from his work at Pet Science. As a contributor to BestB, he's sharing his expertise with the world. His years of experience in the field have allowed him to develop a deep understanding of pet care and nutrition, and he is committed to providing reliable guides with good and bad points for each pet food and accessory so that you can make an informed decision when it comes to your furry friend's needs and care.