At this stage of the winter season, Mother Nature has us in a death grip with her sub-zero temperatures. As a result, we spend a large portion of our time indoors.

The byproduct of this decreased activity often ends in the one thing most of us dread – the winter weight gain. This applies to pets and humans alike.

So what can you do to ensure your pets don’t go through the same weight gain cycle every winter?

Suck it up!

Yes, I know it’s cold – very cold. Yes, I know it’s dark almost all the time. These excuses don’t hold merit when your pet’s health is at risk.

Staying active during the winter is all about preparation. If you and your dog are dressed properly for the elements, you’d be surprised how much time you can spend outside comfortably.

Stay active, and watch the calories melt away in snow time.

Instead of taking your dog for a long walk, take him to the park, or an off-leash area where he can run. 30 minutes romping at the dog park can easily replace hours of walking. Get out, get him running, get home, get warm. Simple, no?

Cut Those Calories

Calorie requirements and excercise go hand in hand. If your dog is less active in winter compared to summer, then you need to compensate by adjusting the amount of food he consumes.

Saying no to him is the ultimate test in willpower.

Consider reducing the amount of food you’re currently feeding, or switch to a low calorie dog food during the colder months. Odds are, the brand you’re feeding right now has a weight control equlivalent to the maintenence diet Fido is currently eating.

You’d be surprised how many unneeded calories dogs consume in a day – and most pet owners have no idea how quickly those calories can add up. It’s no wonder more than 41% of dogs are considered overweight.

Whether you make an effort to excercise your dog more, or reduce his daily caloric intake, the most important factor is to stay consistent. Follow these simple tips, and you won’t have to battle your dog’s bulge all winter.

Creative Commons License photo credit:

Creative Commons License photo credit: