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Changes in Your Pet’s Eating Throughout the Year

  • 25 May 2017
  • Pet Wants

There are a lot of good things that can be said about summer. One of those things is it tends to be easier to spend more time outside during this season. When you’re outside a lot on a summer day or evening, you may notice later on that you’re not very hungry. This can be true even if you were quite active outside. You may also notice that hot meal options sound especially unappealing at the time. Given how common these types of feelings about eating are for humans, it’s probably not surprising that pets can feel the same way.

How Seasons Can Affect Pets’ Appetites

A lot of research has been done on how animals’ eating fluctuates throughout the year. What’s surprising is very few of these studies have focused on cats or dogs. However, a fairly recent study conducted in France looked at the eating habits of cats over a six-year period. The study compared both normal-weight and overweight cats. It also gave some cats indoor and outdoor access, while a handful of the cats were limited to only the indoors. Based on this lengthy study, there were clear increases in food consumption during the winter months. November, December, January, February and October were the five months when the cats ate the most. And June, July and August were the three months when the cats ate the least. In terms of specific numbers, the cats ate fifteen percent less in July than they did in December.

What This Information Means for Your Pet

During the summer, two major changes occur which cause pets to eat less. The first is rising daily temperatures. Second, longer stretches of daylight cause a hormonal response in pets’ brains. This combination means that animals are going to spend less of their time looking for or eating food. Once the shift towards winter begins, animals experience the opposite kind of response. Since the approaching lower temperatures mean that more energy will be needed to maintain body temperatures, food becomes a bigger priority.

The research done in France shows that even if an animal is fully domesticated, it still experiences the same seasonal shifts as animals who live in the wild. What this means for your pet is it’s important to pay attention to its weight and feeding habits throughout the year, then make any necessary adjustments. Given that over half of all pets are now classified as obese, providing your pet with the right type and amount of food should be a priority.

At Pet Wants, we are able to help both dog and cat owners by offering multiple blends of our foods. We make it easy to choose a quality food with the right nutritional and caloric balance for your pet’s specific needs. If you have any questions about the best way to handle feeding your pet throughout the year, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Pet Wants Mountain Maryland (301) 689-3909.