Hey guys, this is Nikki, lead veterinary technician with Posh Dog Knee Braces. Today, lets discuss weight management in our spayed and neutered pups. It is well known that spaying and neutering, after a certain safe age, is recommended by almost every veterinarian. It is very important in the prevention of overpopulation, and other health concerns, however, it also predisposes our pups to obesity. Unfortunately, many vets are so quick to schedule your dog for surgery, and there is simply no information given to the owners as far as where to go now.
So, now we have this relatively healthy dog, young and probably more active, and we just took away the hormones that helped keep their weight in check. Post spay and neuter, their metabolic energy decreases significantly. This means that we need to also be cutting back the calories, by at least 25%. The other issue, especially with females, is that the hormone estrogen helps to keep their appetite at bay. Taking this hormone away can give your dog an increase in appetite, which is bad in a patient that needs to decrease the calories taken in per day.
So, now you go back in for your annual checkup, to find your baby has gained weight. The veterinarian possibly tells you that your dog needs to go on a weight loss diet, or be given less food per day. So, now you have a dog that just went through major hormonal changes, and has increased food cravings, yet you are feeding them barely any food. Sound familiar? This equals out to an unhappy dog, and in return and unhappy owner. So, what is the solution, because it is also essential that we spay and neuter to be good pet parents, and do our part to prevent overpopulation.
This is where it is time to get proactive. Feel free to include your veterinarian in your plan, as you will need a way to weigh your dog every 2-4 weeks to check their weight. The good news is this is free😊 Now, it is time to implement the proper spay and neuter diet. For those that feed a raw diet already, you should not need to make any real changes. The key is to increase protein and fiber, but keep in mind it needs to be healthy fiber. There are a few expensive brand foods marketed to spayed and neutered pets that the first ingredient is chicken by product. Double yuck! Just keep in mind that carbs will not help with weight loss. Foods with lots of rice for example are not meant for weight loss. It may be bland, but it will cause weight gain.
Try discussing with your veterinarian before you plan to spay or neuter, ask them to help you develop a proper diet to keep your dog healthy for years to come! This also will help prevent issues with joints potentially in the future.
Please let me know if you have any questions, poshdogkneebrace.com, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.