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Winter Weight Gain

Winter Weight GainIn the spring of every year, most of our furry friends come into the veterinarian's office several (or many) pounds heavier than they were the previous fall. This commonly occurs due to their decreased activity in the winter months. In Wisconsin, when a good portion of the year requires us to bundle up in snowsuits before we can even step outside, it is understandable that the daily walks and outdoor romps drop off with the frigid weather. However, as with people (think yo-yo dieting), the fluctuations of your pets weight can be detrimental to their health. To help prevent these extra winter pounds we recommend decreasing your pet's food (and treat!) intake by about 10-20%. Consider giving your pet just 1/4 of his regular milk bone, use a piece of kibble as a reward, or try ice cubes, raw carrots or green beans. These are ways you can keep the treats around but help to keep off the pounds. If your pet hovers near the edge of the heartworm preventative pill sizes (25, 50, or 100 pounds), weight gain could result in inadequate heartworm and intestinal parasite prevention. If your pet needs to upgrade to the larger pill size, this will also result in a higher cost for your monthly preventative. To monitor your pet's weight during the winter months, you are more than welcome to come in for a weight check. This is of no cost to you, and will hopefully help to keep you on track until we can get back outside next spring!