Why Is My Dog Gaining Weight in winter?

By | April 4, 2019

Weight gain in winter is explained by the fact that in summer, body cells don’t store (or very little) fat when exposed to the sun. To avoid weight gain in Dogs, calories burned must equal or exceed calories consumed. It’s as true for your pet as it is for humains as well.

Weight gain according to Scientific Research

A new scientific Research reveals that 57 per cent of dogs get less exercise in cold weather, when the temperature is cool enough to cause laziness in dogs. Pets, in general, feel sleepy even during daytime. Owners don’t prefer going for a walk in the cold, then their dogs stay at home because activity is lower on days with snow or rain.

dog weight gain in winter

Sixty per cent of dog owners suffer from inactivity in winter, then they prefer staying at home with their dogs, maybe to watch TV or to take care of children. So, dog owners may take their pets in a walk 1 hour less comparing to summer time.

When it’s cold, the body needs more calories to maintain a constant, normal temperature and to withstand low temperatures. It is not uncommon for pets, like humans, to fight weight gain in the winter. If you’re worried about your pet gaining weight in the winter, here are five tips to help your pet.

Genetics can be, as well, the raison in your dog’s susceptibility to gain weight fast. Some dog breeds are more prone to gaining weight than others, such as Labrador retrievers, American cocker spaniels, basset hounds, Norwegian elkhounds and Shetland sheepdogs…

What are the consequences of my dog’s obesity?

Obesity generates a number of direct symptoms, for example:

  • Stress Intolerance.
  • Respiratory problems.
  • Tracheal collapse (crushing of the trachea).

It promotes the appearance of diseases or increases health risks:

  • Increased risk of cardiovascular disease by increasing heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Joint disorders: cruciate ligament rupture, disc herniation, hip dysplasia.
  • Aggravation of preexisting osteoarticular disorders.
  • Less resistance to infections, especially cutaneous.
  • Increased risk of urinary incontinence in sterilized animals.
  • Fatty infiltration of the liver.
  • Increased risks to anesthesia …
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What should you do? 

However, all above information is only a relatively recent scientific discovery, and it remains to be determined exactly how many “doses” of light it takes and how intense it must be for the effect to  be clearly seen.

Weight gain occurs when the number of calories ingest exceeds the amount spent on a daily basis.

dog in cold

If it is too difficult to maintain regular physical activity during the coldest months, do not increase your daily ration. If your pet is less active, it is useless to give him more to eat in winter, because an extra intake of calories leads to inevitable weight gain.

In short, consider reducing calorie intake to compensate for reduced physical activity. Fewer treats with a small amount of croquettes and gradually reduced should cover the difference.Food toys are another good way to help your pet not gain weight, and above all do not give table scraps.

The establishment of a dietetic treatment for the purpose of slimming an animal is based on the precise collection of the management of the usual food: very often, cheap foods are bad qualities, too fat and too sweet and simply modifying the food is enough to make the animal lose weight.


Mathematically, it’s impossible to know how many calories a dog needs. But an overweight dog absorbs too many calories in relation to his actual needs. It can not be done in a strictly scientific way. It’s just a matter of better controlling what you do, going to “I give without counting”, or almost, to “I control”. Overweight and obesity pose serious health risks for your dog.

In the case of a dog going outside in cold weather, he must be given more energy to “burn” during the winter because his body must fight against the cold.

You must increase his ration by 10 to 20% depending on the weather conditions and the activity of the animal. For very active dogs, it would even be advisable to switch to a “performance” food if it is not already what he eats.

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Some industrial foods are specifically formulated for weight loss. There are many. It is possible to conceive a household ration for weight loss as well. The choice of one or the other formula is discussed with your veterinarian, the daily quantities are determined precisely; it is also possible to make mixed rations (housewives + croquettes).

To prevent your pet from gaining weight in winter:

  • Control your dog’s diet according to his activity.
  • Do not give him too many treats between meals
  • Continue to get enough exercise every day, even in cold weather.

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