Many pet parents neuter or spay their dogs for health benefits and safety. This procedure lessens the risks of certain diseases, reduces aggression, and generally adds to their years, with proper diet and exercise.
However, you must take some post-neutering or spaying care so your dog won’t suffer from the next risk: weight gain and possible obesity.
While most dogs don’t become overweight after neuter or spay procedures with proper care, it is a possibility, and awareness is key to ensuring that your dog remains healthy throughout their years.
Here’s what you should know about preventing weight gain in dogs who’ve gone through spaying or neutering.
Risks Of Weight Gain After Neutering & Spaying
Dogs benefit from neutering and spaying in many ways. However, first-time pet parents should know about one possible side effect of the procedures that they have to prepare for — weight gain. This is especially true in large breed dogs.
Neutering in particular can triple the tendency for putting on weight.
“Castration seems to decrease the ability to regulate the appetite in male dogs and at the same time, it might also decrease the incentive to exercise, which results in an increased risk of becoming overweight,” says Charlotte Bjornvad, main author of a study on dog obesity from the University of Copenhagen.
It’s possible that if a neutered or spayed dog’s weight is left unchecked, the benefits of neutering or spaying will be nullified in the end. According to research, most obese dogs had a lifespan shorter by two years, regardless of their breed.
Hence, exercise needs to be a key part of your dog’s daily lifestyle after neutering or spaying. Walking your dog regularly or having them join your daily jog can help you and your dog maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Proper diet and nutrition will help, too. Don’t go overboard on treats, and ask your veterinarian for advice on how to formulate an appropriate diet for your dog.
So, Is Your Dog Overweight?
You should know the difference between a healthy and an overweight dog. It’s the difference between a fit pooch and one who’s in danger of long-term or old-age disease.
When combined with the after-effects of spaying, some practices tend to influence your dog’s weight. You may unconsciously overfeed through free feeding or keeping the bowl full all the time. Using human food makes the taste more appealing and appetizing to your pet.
It’s also possible that you’re giving them a lot more treats, especially when training young pups.
Just make sure that you know how to tell if your dog is overweight. One telltale sign is body shape.
Even for growing pups, they should not look too rounded from the top or the side. Their tummy should be tucked and not flabby and hanging down.
When you feel your dog’s ribs, they should feel solid enough through some muscle. Overweight dogs usually have too much fat in the torso area, and it becomes hard to feel their ribs.
Is your dog overweight? What methods have you tried to take some pounds off your pooch? Let us know in the comments below!