Preventing Winter Weight Gain in Pets

Let's talk about preventing winter weight gain in pets. Winter is the time of year when most people gain weight. Eating holiday feasts, chocolates and cookies. Also, we tend to be less active in winter. Shorter days, lack of sunlight, too cold to do many outdoor activities. However, did you know that your pet could be gaining weight along with you?

Pets that live in seasonal locations may actually gain weight during the winter because of their body's natural process of adjusting to the cold. Some animals hibernate, others eat more, sleep more, and exercise less.

Some dogs like to play in the snow, but for the most part during the winter you're probably just letting your dog out for quick bathroom breaks inside of going on long walk around your neighborhood or the park. Cats that usually go outside sometimes during the warmer weather, stay indoors during the winter. With less playing and exercising, pets aren't working off all the food they ate, instead it creates fat.

What can you do to keep your pet in shape during the winter? One great thing to do is simply play! Bundle up and take your dog outside when you can, just make sure you don't stay out too long or allow your dog to get cold. If it's freezing find ways to play inside. Play tug 'o' war, wrestle, whatever your dog likes to do. On those winter days that aren't snowy, windy, and too cold go outside and enjoy some sun. Play fetch or go for a walk around the neighborhood. Play with your cat indoors like you normally would. Try to make it a daily routine in the winter to help use up your cat's energy and keep them in shape.

You can also cut back on treats and food as well. Give your pet a little less food every day. They shouldn't even be hungry when you cut back a little, because they aren't as active and their metabolism is slower.

The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your veterinarian or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment.