Dog sterilization has many benefits, in particular for their health: reduction in the risk of mammary tumors for females (if it is carried out before the third heat), prevention of prostate problems in males, etc. A disadvantage of sterilization is that neutered dogs are prone to being overweight but it is quite possible to maintain their healthy weight with appropriate nutrition and physical activity.
Why are neutered dogs overweight?
The sterilization of male and female dogs is beneficial for several things: it avoids unwanted litters and certain undesirable behaviors, it prevents health problems, etc. We invite you to read our files on sterilization in dogs and on castration in dogs for more details.
Sterilized dogs are however subject to weight gain. In fact, the caloric needs of dogs decrease by 20% while their appetite increases … It is very important to monitor their weight to avoid health problems related to obesity.
However, this should not be seen as an obstacle to carrying out this intervention because it is perfectly possible to maintain their fitness weight. For this, it is necessary to adapt their diet and switch to a food specially designed for sterilized dogs.
When an animal is overweight before sterilization, it is advisable to see with its treating veterinarian whether it is possible to wait some time before the intervention. Indeed, it will be easier to make the animal lose weight before it is sterilized.
Which food to choose after sterilization?
As mentioned above, it is advisable to give a food for sterilized dogs. Indeed, if we stay on the same food as before sterilization, it is necessary to reduce the quantities of kibble distributed daily to the animal, its energy requirements being lower. He will receive a lower amount of kibble than before and therefore a lower amount of protein, vitamins, etc. These needs will therefore no longer necessarily be met.
Sterilized dog food has a reduced energy density compared to kibbles for non-sterilized dogs. They are formulated to cover all the needs of dogs after sterilization. It is particularly important to cover the protein requirements of the animal. The protein-calorie ratio (CPR) of sterilized dog food should be higher than that of whole dog food.
Ideally, choose a sterilized dog food high in protein and low in carbohydrates : this promotes the maintenance of the animal’s muscle mass while helping to control weight. Indeed, the digestion of proteins consumes energy and the proteins improve the satiety of the animal.
Certain foods are supplemented with substances that help in weight control, such as L-carnitine for example.
It is advisable to respect a food transition of a fortnight when changing food to avoid digestive disorders.
Good to know : there are foods specially designed for sterilized puppies that are still growing. It is advisable to switch to a sterilized adult dog food only when the animal has finished growing.
The veterinarian treating the animal is a great help in monitoring weight after sterilization. He can advise the most suitable food and calculate the ration necessary for the animal to maintain its ideal weight. Indeed, the ration tables on the kibble packages are indicative, it is always good to have a personalized ration calculation.
of the regular weight checks are then recommended (first every month and then every three months) so that you can quickly adjust the animal’s diet if necessary.
Your veterinarian can also teach you how assess your dog’s overweight, palpating his ribs and looking at his abdomen (presence of a hollow in the side or not). You will also find all our advice for evaluating your dog’s weight in our fact sheet “Is your dog’s weight correct?”.
It is very important to regularly take your dog out, play sports, play with him, etc. to help him stay in shape and maintain his ideal weight. Don’t hesitate to equip your dog with an activity sensor to track his physical expenses! In general, activity sensors are a great source of information for you and your veterinarian about your dog’s behavior and health.