Why Do Dogs Eat Less in Summer?

You might not have noticed before now, but our four-legged friends often eat far less during the summer. But why is this?
Why Do Dogs Eat Less in Summer?

Last update: 26 May, 2019

You might not have noticed before now, but our four-legged friends often eat far less during the summer. There are some exceptions, of course, but in general, their food intake falls considerably in the hot summer months. But why is this?

Why do dogs eat less in summer?

A dog and a bowl of dry food.

The main reason, of course, is the heat. Extremely high temperatures make them less eager to run and play outside. As a result, they don’t use as much energy. All they want to do is lie down and escape the stifling heat.

If you think about it, it’s not all that different from what happens to us. The heat can be overwhelming, so that all we want to do is lie down in the shade and drink as much water as possible.

Do they need to eat less in summer?

While this is true, you don’t need to dramatically reduce the size of your dog’s meals. However, we sometimes forget that, just like us, they would probably prefer lighter, fresher meals.

They probably won’t be particularly thrilled about the idea of eating a huge, heavy meal in the middle of the afternoon. So, how can you encourage your dog to eat in summer? The answer is simple: change their mealtimes. Try to feed them during the cooler hours of the day, such as the early morning or late at night.

What’s the solution?

There are several changes you should make to your dog’s diet in summer, including:

  • Making sure they have enough water. Dry dog food is not ideal in the hot summer months. If you choose not to switch to a different type of food – which is the best option – it’s essential to give your dog constant access to plenty of fresh water, so that it can drink whenever it wants. Check it several times a day to make sure it hasn’t run out, and refill and clean it whenever necessary.
A French bull dog eating wet food.
  • Switch to wet food. Wet food usually comes in small cans. It’s specially formulated for our pets, and your dog is sure to go crazy for it. This type of food will be much more appetizing for your dog in the summer. However, this can be a double-edged sword. Wet food can often be more fattening than dry and is very easy to digest. This, in turn, can make their droppings softer than usual. To prevent this, you can alternate between wet and dry food.

Further useful advice for the summer

  • Fruit: there are lots of different types of fruit and veg that are great for your dog. If wet food isn’t an option for your dog, try to put some fruit in their dry food to freshen it up a little. But remember to check what kinds of fruit and veg are suitable for your dog.
  • Change their mealtimes: as we said before, altering your dog’s feeding routine is a good option. Your dog will be much happier to eat in the cool hours of the early morning or late at night.
  • Ice cream: you can make it yourself with water, yogurt and fruit. Mix the ingredients together and put them in the freezer. You can also make dog-friendly popsicles from salt-free chicken soup. It’s a good way to give them their dinner and cool them down at the same time.

Don’t worry if your dog eats less in summer. If you follow these simple tips, you’ll easily be able to whet its appetite. Keeping an eye on your pet and helping them to maintain a good diet all year round is vital for good health and well-being.

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