Winter Nutrition Tips for Dogs: Foods and Supplements To Take
A cold winter is the perfect excuse for your dog to snuggle on the couch or curl up by the fire. But if you want to avoid a trip to the vet for digestive issues or other medical problems, it's important to take care of your pet's nutrition during the winter months. Winter presents a specific set of health challenges, and you'll want to overcome them with the right practices.
Below, our team at XDOG has put together some practical winter nutrition tips to help keep your dog happy and healthy from December to March. These include simple ways to prevent illness, lethargy, weight gain, and other common health concerns.
1. Stay Hydrated With Water
First and foremost, you want to make sure your furry friend stays adequately hydrated. Water is essential to staying healthy, but it often gets overlooked in a world of superfoods and powerhouse products like Bully Puppy supplements. You should monitor your dog's water intake and always give them enough to drink.
Dehydration is a common problem during the winter for both humans and animals. If left unchecked, it can keep the body from functioning correctly and lead to the following health concerns in your dog:
- Chapped paw pads
- Chapped noses
- Dried-out skin
2. Maintain a Healthy Coat and Skin With Coconut Oil
One of the best winter nutrition tips for your pet has to do with coconut oil. Coconut oil works well for many things, including helping your dog digest food better and maintain a healthy coat and skin. It's an all-natural product everyone should have in their home.
You can give your dog coconut oil in a couple of different ways:
- Topically: Rubbing coconut oil on your pet's fur and feet can help moisturize and prevent dryness or itching.
- Orally: Coconut oil is safe to ingest. You can add it to your dog's diet, and it's no problem if you apply it to their fur and they lick it off.
3. Improve Overall Health With Leafy Greens
If you want to improve your pet's overall health during the winter, consider regularly adding leafy greens to their diet. Leafy greens are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Foods like spinach and kale have numerous health benefits, including:
- Lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Reducing the risk of cancer
- Helping prevent heart disease
4. Boost the Immune System With Berries
Bacteria, viruses, fungi, and toxins are all around us, often creating a hazardous environment. The immune system helps prevent these harmful substances from invading the body and causing sickness and disease. Unfortunately, improper nutrition can lead to a weakened immune system.
Berries are some of the most popular comfort foods for pets. They help increase serotonin levels and keep your pup from wintertime depression (yes, animals can get depressed, too!). Additionally, berries can boost your dog's immune system and fight off illnesses like the cold or flu.
Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are rich in antioxidants, bioflavonoids, and vitamin C. Adding these to your dog's diet is one of the best winter nutrition tips to help them stay in a good mood and avoid illnesses.
5. Reduce Weight Gain and Lethargy With Fresh Food
During the winter, a pet's weight gain and lethargy are significant concerns. It can be challenging to get enough exercise amid freezing temperatures and fewer hours of daylight. This frequently means putting on a few extra pounds and a lack of motivation.
Fresh foods are a great way to give your dog energy and avoid unhealthy weight gain. Raw, homemade dog food has low carbs and high moisture levels. These are essential to helping Fido function well and stay ready for springtime.
6. Support Joint Health With Dietary Supplements
Different dogs react differently to the changing season. Some feel at home in the cold and love to play in the snow. Others adapt poorly and suffer problems like joint pain and mobility issues.
Joint health is crucial to maintaining a dog's overall quality of life, especially as they age. Older dogs may be susceptible to hip dysplasia and arthritis, making it difficult to walk and stay active. During the winter, these health conditions can flare up.
To support your furry friend's joints and keep them as healthy as possible for as long as possible, consider adding dietary supplements to the feeding routine. Nutritional supplements and foods that promote joint health are rich in the following ingredients:
- Omega fatty acids
7. Avoid Too Many Treats During the Holidays
The holidays are a great time for celebrating the joy of life, but it's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of gift-giving, office and home parties, or just plain enjoying yourself without paying attention to what you're feeding your dog. Sometimes, the issue involves not giving them enough healthy foods. Other times, it's about giving too much unhealthy food.
Chocolate, yeast doughs, and macadamia nuts are popular treats around the holidays. However, these foods can be toxic for your dog and make them sick. Watch out when snacks and finger foods are lying around within reach of your pet.
During the holidays, many people tend to celebrate by treating themselves to a little extra sugar. Many people also tend to give their pets more junk food. It's important to stick to your dog's normal feeding schedule and keep them from overindulging in the goodies.
Closing Thoughts on Winter Nutrition Tips for Your Dog
Winter is often the time of year to stay inside and spend more time with family and friends. However, you'll want to follow these winter nutrition tips to ensure that your dog avoids lethargy, depression, illnesses, and other issues during this season. While you're at it, check out our list of essential dog food ingredients to keep your pet healthy all year long.
At XDOG, we offer expert resources and top-quality products for dog owners. Our wide selection of vitamins and supplements provides the perfect nutrient-rich balance to help your dog stay healthy and strong and live life to the fullest. Shop now to find deals and see what we have in stock!