Many pet parents are unaware of the importance of switching up their dog’s dietary routine this time of the year. When winter rolls around dogs, like their owners, may change exercise and eating habits because of the weather. It takes more calories to keep dogs warm in frigid temperatures. And while some dogs enjoy wearing sweaters and eating bigger meals, others hate dress up. Small breed dogs often have trouble munching enough nutrition to stay healthy.
INCREASE THE CALORIES
For dogs that spend a lot of time outside, increase the amount of food they eat. You can do this by switching from one meal a day to two or even three small servings. Adding a drizzle of warm, no-salt chicken broth to dry food often increases food intake by about 10%, or feeding a puppy ration to adult dogs can increase the calories.
REDUCE THE AMOUNT
When your dog has a weight problem during the winter, reducing the amount of food can keep their waist trim. This may be as simple as cutting the treats, or switching to healthier low-calorie treats instead
CHANGE DIETS GRADUALLY
It’s great to adjust your dogs’ diet during the winter to help them get the best nutrition possible. But switching the diet too sharply can lead to diarrhea or vomiting, or simply prompt your pooch to snub the bowl. Instead, offer new foods slowly. Mix the new with the old food 50/50 for the first several days, and then gradually increase the new and decrease the old. Do this over a period of a week to ten days to reduce the chance of problems.