Seasonal Feeding


Seems obvious: feed less in the wintertime because your pets don’t exercise as much. Right?

This winter, as the months get colder, some owners are finding their pets are suddenly losing weight; the pets that play or spend a ton of time outdoors are the ones I am referring to.

This stumps owners since their fur pals’ exercise levels haven’t gone up since the summer and their pets seem to be eating the same amount of food. What could be the problem?

“Researchers from the University’s School of Veterinary Science in France, spent four years monitoring how much cats chose to eat, and found that food intake increased in colder months and decreased during the summer. The study found that cats ate approximately 15% less food during summer, and the vets have concluded that the extra effort to keep warm in winter and the temptation to rest during hot summer days contributed to the swing in activity levels during the year.”- ScienceDaily


...dogs that live or play in cold temperatures need 10% to 90% more calories to increase fat and insulation.
And what about our fuzzy pooches?

Studies have found the same thing: dogs that live or play in cold temperatures need 10% to 90% more calories to increase fat and insulation. They also need to compensate for more shivering as it apparently burns a ton of calories! Researchers found if these pets don’t have sufficient calories they will lose weight.

So, after going over these studies, this may be the answer to your weight loss problem.

Pet parents should consider the amount of food their pets need at different times of year, as this can be part of helping them to maintain a healthy weight.

If your furry companion is outdoors a lot this year or shivering all the time, and seems to be losing weight, it may be time for you to up the food levels a tad as they are trying to stay warm.

P.S. – Keep in mind we are talking about the outdoor, healthy, fit pet, as 60% of the pet population in North America is overweight. In some cases, the weight loss might be a good thing!

– Rodney Habib