How much extra food to feed in cold weather?

Discussion in 'Working and Companion Animals' started by chicken, Jan 12, 2007.

  1. chicken

    chicken Well-Known Member

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    We have 2 German Shepards who live outside all the time. Just wondering if there is a certain amount of extra food recommended for these really cold days? They both weigh about 60 pounds each. I feed Diamond premium and the recommended daily is 3 cups for their weight.
     
  2. jen74145

    jen74145 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I generally feed free choice, but if it's going to be cold, my guys love me if I bring them some warm meaty broth.
     

  3. sheeplady

    sheeplady Well-Known Member

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    I feed my dogs extra carbohydrates when it starts getting cold. They love oatmeal and french toast. ( no syrup or butter. :) I have lots of eggs and bread so no big deal to cook them for the dogs. I assume that you have a good shelter for them. Pack with straw and hang a windbreak over front.(old blanket or tarp)
    I used to have outside dogs, but no more. They are inside with me now.As I write this, they are lying on their own pile of blankets snoring away. One is 19 and the other two are getting older too. I live alone and enjoy their company. I don't feel so lonely hearing all that snoring! :) Great watchdogs too!
     
  4. longshadowfarms

    longshadowfarms Well-Known Member

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    My Pyr is outdoors at all times. I basically just keep a feel of his ribs. I like to be able to feel a little rib, but not a lot. In the winter I tend to let them gain a little bit to add warmth.
     
  5. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Extra fat. Give them a raw egg if they will eat it (scramble with butter if they won't) every couple of days. Put a LITTLE olive oil or pan drippings on their food.
     
  6. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Boost the quality not particularly the quantity. Dogs are meat eaters give them any fat drippings (within reason too much at once will cause diarrhea) meat scraps you can offer plus thier food. If they eat quickly you can soak thier food in hot water and feed it warm. Veggie oils are OK too, in small amounts, we've addded a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter to boost the energy in a ration, plus most dogs seem to love it! Water is very very important in the cold.
     
  7. lonelyfarmgirl

    lonelyfarmgirl Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If your talking straight dog food, switch from diamond premium to diamond hi-energy. I have outside dogs, and some have trouble holding weight. I always use diamond hi-energy in the winter. It is 20% fat. If your shephards are lean at 3 cups, jump to 5 cups. If they are chunky at 3 cups, go to 4. Observe closely, and feel them every day. If your amounts are wrong, you should notice a difference one way or the other in a maximum of 2 weeks. Or if conditioning is not your forte, weigh them now, and 2 weeks after the food switch. you should have no problems doing a straight food switch. diamond is diamond.
     
  8. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We used to mix the dogs feed in the winter with Bacon grease and soak it.With Hot water. After it soaks the water in we fed it to the dog. This was in N E ohio too.