Dog winter: 5 tips to make our dogs happy
Winter is already among us and there is nothing better than keeping our pets happy at this time of year when a series of doubts often arise. Veterinary experts give here some guidelines on feeding, exercise and recommended activities to do with animals Dog trainers Houston tx.
1. How many hours per day is it recommended that the dog perform physical activity?
The time depends on the size of the dog, its age and its physical condition. “Young animals, small and calm breeds 15 to 30 minutes 3 times a day. Young dogs, medium breeds could be active for 45 to 60 minutes 2 to 3 times a day. Young dogs, athletic, large breeds. and very active 60 to 120 minutes 2 to 3 times a day. In adults, times may vary depending on the condition of the animal. It is advisable on cold days to adjust the dog’s exercise routine by shortening the times of outings and walks. Likewise, these times vary depending on age, size, and race. It is also convenient to distribute the exercise 2 to 3 times a day, depending on the level of training,” says veterinary doctor Graciela Sterin, specialist in small animal physiatry and president of the Ibero-American Group of Veterinary Physiatry (AIFISVET).
2. What benefits could joint dog-human activity provide? Is there any research on whether this improves the relationship between them?
The veterinarian, Estefanía Maurizio, specialist in Scientific Communication at Eukanuba, maintains that regular physical activity provides great benefits:
– Maintains optimal body weight.
– Promotes lean body composition (muscles) over fat.
– Provides mental well-being and contributes to improving social ties.
– Promotes the health of the osteoarticular, respiratory, cardiovascular and immune systems.
In particular, when dogs lead an active life with their families, they develop strong and positive bonds, enhancing our own physical and emotional well-being, as well as cognitive, educational and social development in the event that there are children in the family.
3. With the cold, do you have to adjust the type and amount of food given to the dog?
The type of food and the amount that should be given to a dog will depend on the dog’s own factors (age, breed, size), the type and amount of activity it performs, and also on external factors. “All these factors modify the needs or requirements to be satisfied through nutrition, mainly through the amount of energy it provides so that the dog can, for example, grow, reproduce, the functions of its body, exercise, and much more” , says Maurizio
And he adds: “Of the three types of factors, the environmental factor is usually somewhat less decisive in the amount of nutrients – and food – that the dog needs, but it will always depend on how extreme the conditions are and how prepared the dog is. (habituation, coat, body type). Particular examples of environmental factors are temperature and humidity level, and if the dog is doing physical activity, wind and ground surface could also be mentioned.”
4. Does the dog thermoregulate?
Regarding temperature, the dog will allocate a proportion of its energy to a process known as “thermoregulation”, or maintenance of body temperature. Faced with low environmental temperatures, dogs need to conserve their body heat, and in more extreme cases, generate it (for example, shivering). This type of process can increase its energy needs by 20 – 40%, if we reach temperatures close to 0 °C. We must also consider the time each dog will spend outdoors in these conditions, if it has shelter space, etc.
“The influence of these factors is not the same in all dogs, which is why it is important to observe the dog and, especially, its body condition, to detect changes. There is no rule that applies to all dogs equally, so, if you have any doubts, or if we notice that the dog is losing weight or seems to be somewhat leaner than usual, “We recommend consulting with your veterinarian to evaluate an increase in the daily ration that will allow you to have enough energy to face these climatic changes,” explains the veterinarian.
5. How does diet influence my pet’s activity?
Nutrition is responsible for providing the dog’s body with the specific nutrients that it needs for its normal processes and activity. “The nutritional needs of the dog will vary over time, according to its own, environmental factors, and the level of activity it performs. Therefore, it is to be expected that, throughout his life, we will have to advise ourselves and modify the type or amount of food we offer him, to accompany these changes,” says Maurizio.
The level of activity, which can be summarized by the type of effort and the time and frequency with which it is carried out, can greatly modify nutritional and energy needs. Nutrition is so important for active dogs that, along with the genetics of each dog, training and the relationship with its guardian or trainer, it is considered a key determining factor for the success of dogs that perform high-performance activities or at a competitive level.