Celebrate the season of Jingles with your furry friend!
Winter is not a season; it is a celebration. Make sure as a responsible pet parent, you and your pet enjoy winters. Modify their grooming needs, alter their diet and exercise, and add supplements – small changes will go a big way!
Winter is upon us in full swing! It’s time to bring the woollens out and get ready for the nip in the air. But what about our furry friends and their winter nutrition? Luckily for them, the fur does the job of insulating them from the cold, but there is a lot more that connects this season and your pet’s health.
Bid winter woes goodbye with a healthy diet
More than being just a change of season, we must look at managing a change in our pet’s daily diet. While we are aware that eating different vegetables and fruits in winter is beneficial, we don’t seem to do the same for our pets. Most pet parents are unaware of the significance of switching their pet’s nutritional regime based on the weather.
Just like humans, dogs can start to feel hungrier in winters and they do need to put on some extra fat to combat the cold. Likewise, when evenings start to get lighter, you can reduce your pet’s food intake. In winters, dogs may alter their exercise and eating habits because of the cold weather. Studies have shown that dogs require more calories to stay warm in chilly temperatures. You can put on sweaters on your pooch and feed them bigger meals. But some dogs don’t like dressing up and if it’s too cold, some of the smaller breeds might have trouble eating enough to stay healthy.
Then there are those who will continue to eat the same amount of food as they do other times, but because of the cold, they get far less exercise. And this can cause increase in weight which may cause other health issues.And a fat dog is in no way a healthy dog, so make sure your pet eats right and gets enough exercise.
Increased calories to combat the cold
If your pet loves winter and likes to spend his time outside, you must look at increasing the amount of food that you offer him. Instead of feeding one or two meals a day, move to smaller but more frequent servings. Add some warm, no-salt chicken broth to the food to make it more appetizing. In addition to this, you can also add cream, viscera, milk, and foods that contain vitamin A and fat in your pet’s diet. It will enhance his ability of fighting cold and infections. Make sure not to offer these foods to your pet for a very long time, as they may have a negative impact on his health and gut.
For example, if your pooch drinks milk for long period, he may suffer from diarrhoea and other symptoms of gastric problems. Therefore, it is advised that you should distribute the dog food reasonably and offer more pet products for your dog.
Guard the treats
Pay attention to what your pet gets to eat. If he is going to laze the winter away, then you must reduce empty carbs and definitely cut down on treats and table scraps. Focus on keeping his waist trim. If you can’t reduce or stop treats, look for healthier low-calorie options instead. Don’t let food be lying around for him to eat as and when he pleases. Make sure to monitor your pet’s daily calorie intake.
Keep calm and check his coat!
The only thing keeping your pet snug and warm in winter is his coat. And his condition is directly related to the nutrition he receives. Does your pet have food allergies? This can lead to a dry, rough, and thin coat. Winter is a good time to evaluate what your pet eats and how it impacts his fur. You can also ask your vet about coat health supplements for your pooch.
Nothing compares to good skincare
Your pet’s skin health is equally important during winter. Just like us, they can be prone to dry and cracked skin, which can worsen during winter. To prevent dry, chapped or cracked skin or paws, make sure your pet’s diet includes food that contain omega fatty acids.
Superpower of Supplements
We can’t say this enough! Winter is a time when your pet could need more supplements to aid digestion, reduce inflammation and ease joint pain, or to maintain healthy coat and skin etc. Talk to your vet and let him/her decide on the best supplements for your pet to help him transition through winter seamlessly.
Winter is a dry season and this can increase the chances of dehydration in your pet. Dogs can dehydrate quickly in winters just as in summers. Therefore, often check the water bowl of your pet and provide clean drinking water at all times.
How cold is too cold for puppies?So, the thumb rule is – when we feel cold, they feel cold too. Dogs can’t retain body heat; hence we often see them shivering when on a cold floor. Puppies need special care when the temperatures start to fall below 17 degrees Celsius. Some cold-averse breeds will get uncomfortable and will need extra protection. Pet parents of small breeds, puppies, senior dogs, or thin haired breeds, need to be cautious!
As the temperature falls, pull out the sweaters or coats. A soft bed and a thick blanket should provide plenty of warmth for your pup during the winter. However, if your pet sleeps in a particularly cold part of the house, consider getting a self-warming pet mat, which retains your pet’s body heat, or a mat with a removable microwavable heating pad.
Whether it is grooming or nutrition, if you want to bring any change in your pet’s routine, do it gradually. Don’t make any sudden transition. That will mostly lead to your pet rejecting his food, or worse, could cause digestive complications like diarrhoea or vomiting, which can cause dehydration. Offer new or changed foods slowly. Mix the new foods with the old half-and-half for the first few days. Increase the new food gradually while decreasing the old.
With a little modification in diet, skin care, and grooming, you can enjoy this wonderful season with your pooch! Apply these tips to ensure your pet is happy and healthy throughout winters.
– by Mitu Paul
(Mitu Paul is the Brand Head of Signature Pet Foods)