Cold Weather Nutrition for Dogs
Wintertime brings a fresh opportunity to unleash adventure with your dog and take the path less traveled — especially when its covered in fresh snow.
But how does the winter season alter your dog’s nutritional needs?
Activity level is the primary determinant. But there are other factors to consider as well, especially if you want to help your dog seize the day.
With the dog days of summer in the rear view, many of those who live in areas that have four seasons like to watch winter go by through frosted windows. Even for those living in areas with mild winters, less daylight means shorter walks and trips to the dog park.
If winter brings less activity, your dog may require slightly lower levels of protein, fat, and energy until spring thaws. That being said, a small amount of extra fat can help your dog stay warm outside during winter.
No matter where you are, winters have a way of curtailing outdoor adventures. Our furry friends aren’t immune to seasonal changes either. Increasing cold and decreasing daylight triggers some biological changes in your dog. However, making small, natural dietary changes can help to ensure your dog is ready for the winter.
First, shedding increases as they grow dense winter coats. To help, look for a high-quality protein diet with an optimal ratio of Omega 6 & 3 fatty acids to give them good insulation from the cold.
In addition, dogs have a slower metabolism during winter. This evolutionary trait stems from an instinct to survive long, cold winters when food is scarce. Their body will conserve energy as much as possible and burn fat rather than glucose for energy. This means your cold-weather outdoor dog may benefit from a dog food that’s higher in fat during the winter months.
Conversely, dogs who spend a lot of time outside in colder weather will burn a lot more calories shivering to stay warm. Dogs who spend much or all of a cold day outside could need up to three times their usual food. Another option would be to switch to a higher energy food.
Our Super Performance Formula packs a nutritional punch that will help your dog thrive in any cold-weather environment. This formula features 32% protein and 2
1% fat levels. In addition, it also has the Omega 6 & 3 fatty acids to promote a healthy and warm winter coat.
Another factor that will impact your dog’s cold weather diet is its breed.
Longhair breeds such as the Siberian Husky or Bernese Mountain Dog were bred to survive long, cold winters with thick double coats of fur. As such, they’ll burn fewer calories staying warm compared to short hair breeds.
Similar to shorthair breeds, smaller breed dogs generally have less fat, and thus, less insulation against harsh conditions. As a result, they will need higher energy and fat levels to be active in cold weather.
We offer a variety of different formulas to meet your dog’s unique needs throughout not only the year, but all life stages. Head to blackgoldpet.com to find the formula that fits your furry friend’s cold weather needs.
Whether you’re shuffling through sand, snow, or something in between this winter, with the right dietary shifts, your dog will have the right fuel for any cold weather adventure.