Does Your Dog's Diet Need A Spring Cleaning?
written by Ellie Walker
As we head into the warmer months, spring cleaning may be on your mind. Not only is this a great time to freshen up your living space, but it’s also the right time to freshen up your pet’s diet as well! If you’re considering making the switch to a clean dog food diet this spring, read on.
How the change of season affects your dog’s diet
Dogs may have been domesticated for tens of thousands of years, but the change of the season still instinctually impacts their diet. Believe it or not, outdoor temperatures and daylight hours can cause metabolic and hormonal changes in your pup.
- Spring and summer: When the days are longer during the spring and summer, their brain sends signals that encourage dogs to have a smaller appetite because there is more time to eat throughout the day and less need to metabolize body fat to stay warm.
- Fall and winter: During the darker, colder months your dog’s brain signals for them to increase their food intake so that they are better able to metabolize fat to maintain their body temperature.
In fact, during the winter months, dogs need approximately 7.5% more calories for every 10-degree drop in temperature to ensure they have sufficient body fat. When spring comes around, your dog will need to slowly reduce their calorie intake back to their normal levels.
Why you should start a clean dog food diet in the spring
As your dog’s calorie intake and appetite start to naturally decrease in the spring, this season makes for a great time to reassess their entire diet.
Diet plays a big role in your pup’s overall health, which is why you want to ensure that they’re being offered a clean dog food diet. If this is your goal, unfortunately, kibble doesn’t quite hit the mark:
- Kibble is cooked at high temperatures that remove naturally occurring nutrients, which must be replaced
- Kibble uses powdered meat and artificial colors
- Kibble uses hard-to-pronounce preservatives so it can stay on the store shelf for way too long
Instead, you should look for a diet that emphasizes quality ingredients, such as 100% natural farm-raised proteins, fiber-packed garden veggies, and antioxidant-rich fruits. You’ll also want to take into consideration how these ingredients are cooked. Ideally, you choose one that uses gentle cooking processes that maintains the quality and digestibility of essential amino acids from protein. This method ensures our pets get more of the natural benefits from high-quality ingredients.
The good news is that if you’re committed to finding a clean dog food diet, Freshpet is a great choice. By making the switch to a clean dog food diet consisting of Freshpet recipes, your dog will benefit from:
- Healthier skin and coat
- Better digestion
- Weight management
- Allergy relief
- Maintenance of high energy levels well into their golden years
To learn more about the benefits of making the switch to fresh food, take a look at this blog.
Take advantage of seasonal veggies
A fun way to mix up a clean dog food diet is by adding fresh, seasonal veggies to their regular meals. Fresh veggies are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants and the majority are completely pet safe! If you want to add some veggies to your dog’s clean diet, consider these spring favorites:
- Spinach: This leafy green is rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E and magnesium
- Green beans: These crunchy veggies are high in vitamin K and calcium.
- Carrots: These bright orange veggies are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin K1, fiber, potassium, and antioxidants.
- Broccoli: Broccoli is one of the most beneficial veggies to eat raw as they are rich in vitamins like A, C, and E, as well as dietary fiber and, surprisingly, protein.
- Artichokes: All parts of an artichoke are safe for dogs to eat, which is great because it is high in potassium, magnesium, fiber, vitamin C and folate, which is a B vitamin that has been shown to reduce the inflammation that causes allergies and asthma.
Don’t forget the water
Dogs will likely be more active during the spring – the improved weather and longer days make it more appealing to go on walks, hikes, or play sessions at the dog park! But with this increased activity comes increased water intake requirements. Dogs should be drinking more water after times of robust activity like going for a walk or playtime. Your dog should also instinctively drink more water as we transition into the warmer seasons.
Switching to a clean dog food diet that includes refrigerated food, like Freshpet, will also increase their overall water intake. This is because fresh recipes are high in animal protein, which has high moisture levels. You can expect each recipe to have the same moisture content as fresh, human-grade meats which is between 70-75% moisture. This water intake can be increased further by adding water-rich veggies to their meals!
We hope you now have all the information you need to make the switch to a clean dog food diet this spring!