Why Pets Are More Food-Oriented During Winter

Posted by Russell Gibbons on 27th Jun 2023

Why Pets Are More Food-Oriented During Winter

As the colder months approach, many pet owners notice a change in their furry companions' behaviour when it comes to food. 

Pet Treats for Winter

Dogs and cats, in particular, often exhibit an increased appetite and food-oriented behaviour during winter. While individual pets may have their own unique reasons, several factors can contribute to this phenomenon. 

In this article, we will explore some of the possible reasons why pets tend to be more food-oriented during the winter season.

1.  Biological Factors

Pets, like humans, have a biological response to colder temperatures. Lower temperatures can increase their metabolic rate, leading to a higher energy expenditure to maintain body heat. As a result, pets may require more calories to sustain their energy levels during the winter months. This increased energy demand can manifest as a heightened appetite and a greater focus on food.

2.  Seasonal Changes: 

Winter often brings changes in the natural environment, affecting the availability of food for wild animals. 

This scarcity can influence pets' behaviour, as they may have an innate instinct to seek out more food during this time.

Even though our pets are domesticated, their instincts are deeply ingrained, and they may exhibit behaviours similar to their wild counterparts.

3.  Lack of Physical Activity: 

During winter, outdoor activities may be limited due to adverse weather conditions. 

This decrease in physical exercise can lead to a decline in calorie expenditure for pets. If their calorie intake remains constant, they may experience a surplus of energy, which can be manifested as an increased appetite. Additionally, pets may resort to food-seeking behaviours as a means of entertainment and stimulation when they are unable to engage in their usual outdoor activities.

To manage these such behaviours, why not provide them with some boredom busting Dog Treats, or simply buy some healthy pet treats and hide them around the house so it keeps them interested for hours.

Twinkle Toes Cow Hooves Dog Treats

Cow Hooves and Twinkle Toes Cow Hooves make for great Boredom Busting Dog Treats

4.  Comfort and Warmth: 

Food provides more than just nutrition; it can also offer comfort and warmth to pets during the winter months. The act of eating can generate heat within their bodies, providing a temporary sense of warmth and satisfaction.

This association between food and comfort may lead to an increased desire for food during colder periods.

5.  Behavioural Conditioning: 

Pets are perceptive creatures and can quickly learn to associate certain events or behaviours with specific outcomes. During winter, owners often spend more time indoors and may provide additional pet treats or larger portions of food as a means of showing affection or combating the gloomy weather. 

Such positive reinforcement can lead to a conditioned response in pets, causing them to seek out food more actively during winter.

With this in mind, be sure to watch for an increase in their bellies..... We don't want to be the cause of any added weight!

While individual pets may exhibit varying levels of food orientation during winter, several common factors contribute to this phenomenon. 

Biological changes, seasonal variations, reduced physical activity, the desire for comfort and warmth, and Behavioural conditioning are all potential reasons why pets may become more food-oriented during the colder months. 

As responsible pet owners, it is important to be mindful of these changes, and ensure that our furry companions receive the appropriate nutrition and exercise to maintain their health and well-being throughout the winter season.

Hopefully this will give you some ideas as to what to look out for during the colder months as well as provide some understanding why your pets will seek out more food.  This includes your ponies as well.

Thank-you for your support.  Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

All the best from the team here at Huds and Toke and please make sure you tag us in on our socials with all the adventures you are having over winter with your pets and Horses.



Australian Pet Treats for Winter