Should I Change My Dog’s Diet During the Summer?

August 9, 2019 11:15 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

The summer heat and humidity in Missouri can be extremely difficult on all of us, even our four-legged friends. Pets feel the hot weather just as much as we do, and because of that, their behavior tends to shift during the summer. Many of the patients we see at our animal hospital in Bolivar, MO during the hotter months of the year aren’t eating their regular diets, causing their families to be understandably concerned.

Understanding Food Energetics

Just as humans have food sensitivities, so do dogs. Food energetics is a contributing factor when a pet is experiencing discomfort from their diet. Food energetics fall into four categories: hot, warm, neutral and cool. During the dog days of summer, it’s best to feed your canine companion a diet heavy in cooling food energetics such as rabbit, duck, whitefish, eggs, tofu and even yogurt. You’ll want to avoid foods that contain turkey, chicken and sweet potato to eliminate hot food energetics from your dog’s diet.

Fatty Proteins

Pork and salmon offer healthy protein options for dogs, but only during colder months. The fatty element of these protein sources is great when animals need to warm up and are also expending quite a bit of energy. Otherwise, fatty proteins should be avoided.

Stay Hydrated

Of course, it’s so important for your dog to stay well hydrated during the summer. Regularly set out cool, fresh water in a shady spot for your dog to enjoy. You can also switch from feeding a portion of dry food to a wet food diet.

Adjust Your Expectations

Dogs wear fur coats day in and day out. When the temperatures crawl above 90℉, dogs decrease their energy output, opting instead to stay as cool as possible. Their energy level directly impacts their hunger. If they are insisting on shorter walks and less time in the yard, it’s safe to assume they need less food. Adjust how much you are feeding them so you’re not wasting food that will go uneaten. However, if your dog’s behavior is making you uneasy, it’s better safe than sorry. Call an animal hospital in Bolivar, MO to make an appointment with a veterinarian.

Hot Weather Feeding Tips

Other than adjusting your dog’s diet, there are other steps you can take to encourage Fido to eat:

  • Store and serve food at room temperature or cooler.
  • Decrease serving sizes.
  • Instead of a full meal, offer a protein-rich treat to chew on for the really hot days.
  • Place food bowls in cool and shady places.
  • Opt for foods that contain grains, such as barley, millet or wild rice.
  • Mix it up with some fruits and veggies, such as lettuce, cucumber, melon, mango, broccoli and celery.

If you’re concerned about your dog’s diet or energy level during the summer, you’ll want to make an appointment at an animal hospital in Bolivar, MO. As a premier veterinary office, Animal Care Clinic of Bolivar offers pet-centric services for all of the cuddly companions in your life. Contact us today to make an appointment.

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