Is Pet Weight Gain a Seasonal Phenomenon? How to Slim Down This Spring

Pet Weight GainWhen it’s cold, wet, and possibly slippery outside, it’s hard to muster any enthusiasm for daily jaunts around the block. It might not make that much difference to some dog owners, but reducing or restricting outside exercise can negatively affect a pup’s state of mind – and silhouette. Pet weight gain is common during the colder months, but now that spring has sprung, it’s time to address those love handles.

Setting an Example

Even when a pet is looking forward to a walk or run around the neighborhood, if it’s yucky outside, their needs quickly get the short end of the stick. A common sentiment among many dog owners is that if the weather is terrible, Fido can wait until tomorrow. But it’s not always the owners who decide not to dodge the raindrops. Oftentimes, dogs are just as easily swayed to stay on the couch or bed.

Measuring Time

If you were to compare how much exercise your dog gets during the summer versus the winter, you’d probably see they get more time outside when the weather is warm, dry, and sunny. So how should dog owners combat the winter blues?

  • Stay committed to the routine. Keeping your dog on their schedule is critical to seasonal success. Meals must be at the same time every day, and top notch nutrition must remain on point.
  • Teach them it’s okay. If a dog learns that inclement weather is “bad,” they won’t ever want to go out in it. Sure, you might have muddy feet to contend with, but encouraging your dog to go out in all kinds of weather builds a resilient, easygoing pet.
  • Find the time. We’re all more tired during the winter, but giving in to seasonal malaise is a sure-fire way to trigger or contribute to pet weight gain. Plus, more physical exertion creates a happier, calmer pet.

Pump You Up

Now that it’s finally spring, let’s look at how you can help your pet shed any extra pounds brought on by the winter blues.

  • Design a daily tail-wagging workout that’s sure to please your pup, such as extra special visits to new parks, trails, or walkways.
  • Keep them going strong every day with healthy treats and praise (remember, this is a bonding opportunity, too!).
  • Register for obedience training, and encourage new tricks or commands.
  • Create an agility course in your backyard or basement with jumps, tunnels, and balance beams.
  • Play hide-and-seek together (you hide treats or toys, they spend time searching).
  • Encourage the use of food puzzles at mealtimes to keep the mind going strong.
  • Find other pet owners and schedule visits to the park together or playdates.
  • If your pet can handle the stairs, encourage them to run up and down flights to retrieve toys.

Minimize Pet Weight Gain

Because of the harmful effects of even a few extra pounds, it’s critical to keep your pet at their optimal weight. Obesity, arthritis, diabetes, and breathing problems are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to pet weight gain.

The team at Rocklin Ranch is always here if you have any questions or concerns.