winter nutrition

Do you tend to get the winter blues? Do you feel unmotivated, lethargic, or pack on a few extra pounds during the cold months? Cold winter days and nights not only affect our motivation, weight, and health, but our dogs’ too! But no need to fear, the right foods are here! Make sure your pet is getting enough of these valuable nutrients this season.

1. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil should have a place in every home. Orally, coconut oil adds much needed medium-chain triglycerides (good fats) that have a wide range of health benefits, including better digestion. It’s an immune booster and maintains a healthy skin and coat. Perfect for cold, dry winter months.

Topically, you can apply coconut oil to your dog’s feet and fur! Simply rub on your dog’s foot pads daily—don’t worry if he licks it, that’s healthy, too. For added moisturizing action, you can place toddler socks on his feet after application. Once a week, apply a light coating of coconut oil throughout your dog’s fur and allow to rest for 30 minutes, then rinse clean.

2. Water

It’s always a good idea to ensure your dog stays fully hydrated. Organs, including your dog’s skin, need plenty of water to function properly. Cracked paw pads and chapped noses are good indicators that your dog is not receiving the moisture his body needs. It’s important to keep your dog’s water fresh and full at all times.

3. Power Berries

Keeping your dog’s immune system healthy is always a great way to ward off illness and lethargy. Berries are high in vitamin C, antioxidants, and bioflavonoids, making them a perfect addition to any winter diet. Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, acai, cranberries, and raspberries are a few dog-friendly berries you can add to his meals.

4. Leafy Greens

Leafy greens and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Most leafy greens are low in calories and fat, and reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. Some healthy greens to rotate into your dog’s diet include spinach, kale, beet tops, carrot tops, dandelion leaves, and parsley. To aid in digestion and palatability, run your dog’s greens through a food processor or blender.

5. Fresh Food Diet

It’s always important to provide your dog with a fresh raw or cooked diet. This is especially true during the winter, when a dog needs extra moisture and fewer carbohydrates. A raw or home-prepared dog food is high in moisture, providing your dog’s organs the moisture they need to function properly. A high-carbohydrate diet, such as a dry kibble, can pack on the pounds and lead to lethargy. Fresh is always best!