Updated: Aug 1, 2019
Ah, summertime here in Charleston! It's my favorite time of the year...but let's be honest – this place is a furnace from June to August in particular. With the summer heat brings the summer fun for us and our doods, but it can also bring on some dietary changes that can be alarming for dutiful goldendoodle, bernedoodle, and sheepadoodle puppy paw-rents out there! Every summer, especially late in the summer like we are now, our staff here at JennaLee Designer Doodles starts getting all kinds of messages regarding some changes in their doodle's eating habits. Is it something to be worried about, or is it normal? How do you know when it's normal and when it's not? We're here to help!
If your dog seems to be cutting its own calories during the sweltering summer months and eating less throughout the day, don't start worrying just yet! While it may be a secondary reason, getting that beach body ready to show off isn't their natural reason for the calorie cutting. First, let's consider the fact that it is H-O-T outside! If you're like me, i'm much more likely to have cool, refreshing, and light salad for lunch in July than I am in January when the crock pot is cooking up hearty meals 24/7! Your dog is the same way!
Just like people, when they eat, their bodies begin burning calories, which can in turn make their bodies warm up. When it's 90+ degrees outside...not many of us want our bodies to be doing extra things to warm up. So, naturally, your dog is more apt to eat less during the day. You may notice that they eat more when either they've been inside and cool for awhile, or later in the evening after the sun goes down.
However, not every time you notice your dog eating less does it mean that they're just hot – there are potential problems when dogs start cutting their food intake. So, what should you watch for and how will you know the difference? First, be sure to keep an eye on how much water your doodle is drinking. Once again, just like people, dogs need to drink more during the summer months to stay hydrated. If you're not sure if your dog is dehydrated, first do the 'gum check' to ensure that your dog's gums are nice and pink and lubricated. If their gums seem to be pale and be turning more toward white and they are tacky to the touch, you may have a dehydration problem on your hands. If this is the case, call your vet immediately as your goldendoodle puppy may need fluids or medication to get them back on track.
Secondarily, be aware of any other behavioral changes that are present in your doodle. You know them better than anyone else, so you know what is out of the ordinary for them. Trust your instincts, they are usually right! If you're concerned, we again urge you to call your veterinarian immediately. Your doodle should still eat something every day, and if they don't seem in the mood, there is nothing wrong with trying to spice up their dinner a bit with some beef broth, an egg, or another tasty treat that may spark their appetites. Lastly, if your puppy is still growing, please be aware that they will hit growth spurts where they will eat more and less. This may or may not have anything to do with the summer heat, but is something to take note of.
As long as your dog doesn't seem distressed, dehydrated, or acting out of the ordinary – you can most likely relax and enjoy the summer with your doodle puppy!
Wishing you lots of doodle snuggles,
Jenna and the JLDD Team