One concern that people often have in getting their pets neutered is the possibility of weight gain. Although this surgical procedure sometimes makes it easier for canines to pack on the extra pounds, that in no way means that it has to happen. Healthy food, portion control and exercise can go a long way in keeping your pooch trim, happy and healthy post-neutering.
Does Neutering Cause Weight Gain in Dogs?
Some dogs who get neutered do indeed gain weight more easily and quickly than before, therefore making them a lot more vulnerable to becoming "fat." Neutering can lead to shifts in a canine's metabolism, and therefore can trigger increased appetites. This could be particularly true in puppies who are neutered prior to sexual maturity. Note that this isn't exclusive to male dogs. Female dogs who are spayed also tend to develop slower metabolisms.
Less Moving Their Bodies
Intact male dogs are legendary for their hormonal drives and efforts to find mating partners. Frantic attempts to leave home and find female dogs in season are the name of the game for unfixed male dogs. After you neuter them, however, these urges often vanish pretty quickly, leaving once nimble and restlessly energetic pooches comparatively inactive and sluggish. This sudden drop in exercise after neutering can indeed lead to weight gain, especially when combined with the aforementioned possible boosts in appetite.
Controlling Weight After Neutering
Awareness is key to halting potential weight gain and obesity in neutered canines. If you feed your pet nutritious and balanced commercial canine meals in proper portions, you should be on the right track, but only if you make sure that he receives enough exercise for his breed type. Daily physical fitness is crucial for canines across the board, but some dogs require a little more in that department, whether that means brisk running or longer sessions in general. If you observe any weight gain in your fixed pet, put together a healthy feeding and fitness plan with your vet.
Hazards of Excessive Weight Gain After Neutering
Excessive weight gain is a severe health issue in human beings, and that also goes for canines. Not only does carrying too much weight apply lots of uncomfortable tension and strain onto dogs' joints, it also makes them susceptible to a lot of potentially harmful medical ailments like liver issues, heart disease, diabetes mellitus, respiratory disorders, high blood pressure, constipation and cancer. Importantly, being above a healthy weight can also have a major effect on pet longevity, often drastically cutting their lives short -- the last thing that you as a loving and caring owner want. Inordinate weight gain always calls for prompt veterinary assistance and guidance, so take the matter seriously, whether your cutie is neutered or not.
By Naomi Millburn
About the Author
Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.