Chicagoland winters bring many things to mind: cold, blustery days, fewer hours of daylight, quick trips in and out of the house, layers upon layers of bulky, figure-camouflaging clothes and, for some, dwindling motivation to exercise and hit the gym (be honest, that New Year’s Resolution has long since fallen by the wayside).
Regrettably, as so many of us are painfully aware, this is the perfect recipe for waistline expansion. The winter weight struggle can be a yearly battle for many of us.
What many people do not realize is that it can also be a struggle for many of our pets.
Our dogs and outdoor cats suffer the most from the cold temperatures and shorter days, which limit their walking and playing time, thus decreasing their daily caloric requirements. Additionally, shorter daylight hours trigger hormonal changes in pets which act to slow metabolism and conserve calorie expenditure.
Since most owners do not adjust their pets’ diets to compensate for decreased calorie expenditure during the winter months, it is not uncommon for pets to gain weight once the cold strikes. (more…)