How to Manage Your Dog’s Weight This Winter
Changing temperatures and seasonal treats can cause winter weight gain for dogs and owners alike. But preventing dog weight gain in winter is much easier than struggling to shed excess pounds come springtime.
With these helpful tips, you'll be able to help keep your furry friend fit and healthy throughout the winter season.
- Get a pre-winter health report from your vet. The best way to start monitoring your dog’s weight is to know their current condition. At the checkup, ask about any underlying conditions your dog may have that may predispose them to extra weight gain. Your vet can help you determine your dog’s ideal weight, set health goals, and even recommend some winter exercises to help meet those goals. You can also quickly check your dog's body condition at home.
- Cut down on treats early in the season. It’s tough, but start restricting your dog’s regular treats early in the holiday season and avoid sharing table scraps. Just like humans, dogs can easily gain weight in winter due to the availability of delicious food at every turn. Not only will this early restriction of indulgence discourage your dog from begging at the table, but you'll also limit surplus calories that add up quickly and lead to weight gain.
- Modify your dog's exercise routine. If you live in a cold winter climate, long walks in frigid temperatures can be difficult for you and your dog alike. On very cold days, aim for shorter, more frequent walks to keep your dog from getting too cold for too long. Backyard activities such as building snowmen and sledding can be fun for the whole family, and it’s a great way to get your dog outside and moving.
- Get creative with indoor play. When going outside isn't an option, race your dog around the house (carefully!) to stay active, and try puzzles and brain teasers to keep your dog engaged. Just Right Behaviorist Anne Valuska also recommends ways to extend mealtime: “Food puzzles or ‘slow bowl’ feeders can be used to extend your dog’s mealtimes, which may help them feel fuller longer and reduce their likelihood of begging.”
- Adjust your dog’s food for seasonal needs. Winter can present challenges and changes for your dog. Unless your dog typically increases their activity in the winter months, they may not need as many calories as in other seasons. When you create a personalized dog food blend with Just Right, our experts keep track of your dog’s most current details to make sure your dog is consuming the appropriate number of daily calories year-round. Our experts will also ensure that their personalized feeding instructions are appropriate for your dog’s current activity level, and their blend is balanced to support any seasonal skin dryness.
Share your dog’s details with our experts to start a blend that’s unique to your dog’s needs any time of year.