Peggy’s Pet Place: Will Neutering Make Your Dog Fat?

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spayneuterPeggy Frezon writes a great post in honor of World Spay Day, a day promoting spay/neuter as a way to save lives.

Peggy’s Pet Place: Will Neutering Make Your Dog Fat

In this piece, Peggy talks about one of the common myths around spaying/neutering a pet– that it will cause the pet to gain weight.   Below is a key excerpt (italics are mine):

Now what about our yellow lab, Hudson? We did get him neutered, and he did become overweight.

But one event didn’t necessarily lead to the other.

Young Hudson. Happy and neutered.

1. Was I feeding him the proper amount for his size and activity level?

2. Did I refrain from giving him table scraps and extra treats?

3. Was he getting several walks and plenty of exercise daily?

The answer to all of these questions is no. Although I loved Hudson and wanted the best for him, at the time I didn’t fully understand the importance of keeping him fit and giving him enough exercise. I’m quite sure that the reasons for him being overweight had much more to do with his lifestyle than his being neutered.

What a refreshing self-critical evaluation!  Instead of ‘blaming’ Hudson’s weight gain on the neutering, Peggy considers the other factors that may have caused the weight gain.

Look, your dog will gain weight if you feed them more calories than they burn off.  If they are less active after being spayed/neutered (as some suggest), you will need to adjust your daily feeding accordingly.  There is some evidence that spaying or neutering a pet will slow down their metabolic rate but the data are inconsistent and the change appears minor. (Note- I will continue to research this area and report my findings in future posts.)

And yes, I know that there are other important factors, including cost and health concerns, to take into account when considering whether or not to spay/neuter your pet.  Let me know if you would like me to compile some of the facts into a broader post on the topic.

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1 Comment

  1. Dogs fully depend on humans for food we are in full control of a dogs wieght. Nutering a dog won’t change the input side of a dog diet only humans handle that.
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