Puppy Hygenhunds standing on a snowy front doorstep.

Feeding to activity level and body type

As a general rule, puppies and young dogs burn more calories, so they have higher energy needs. Choose a diet with high quality proteins and fats to meet their energy needs. Older, less active dogs, have lower energy needs and require a diet that is tailored to those needs.

Pound for pound, small dogs require more energy from food every day than larger dogs. Remember dogs have specific food requirements based on their health, level of activity and age.

Regardless of size, breed or age, during cold winter months both two-legged and four-legged animals intuitively increase calorie intake, so it’s important that your dog maintain a regular exercise program.

How to identify weather-related distress

 “Jack Frost nipping at your nose” makes for a cosy song lyric, but in reality, your dog is even more susceptible to adverse effects related to cold weather than you.

Although many dogs have heavy coats that help to keep them warm in cold temperatures, some short-haired breeds, small dogs, puppies and senior dogs may benefit from the additional warmth provided by a sweater or vest. Choose a garment made with a water-repellant material that fits snuggly but allows warm air to circulate between the body and the material.

Maintain a vigilant eye for telltale signs that your dog is being adversely affected by winter’s chill. Signs could include visible shaking, cowering, repeatedly lifting up their feet or constantly trying to get back inside. A good rule of thumb is, if the temperature is too frigid for you, the same likely holds true for your pet.

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