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Tips to Manage Your Pet’s Weight After Neutering or Spaying

Tips to Manage Your Pet's Weight After Neutering or Spaying
Tips to Manage Your Pet's Weight After Neutering or Spaying

Pet parents know numerous health and behavioral benefits are associated with neutering or spaying your pet. What many people have noticed is a significant weight gain after surgery. Why does this happen, and what can you do to mitigate those unwanted side effects? Let’s find out why this occurs and how you can manage your pet’s weight post-procedure.

1.   Appetite Regulation Issues

When a dog or cat has this surgery, it can decrease the ability to regulate the appetite. Additionally, since your pet might not feel the best directly after the procedure, it could reduce the incentive to exercise. These two events combined can increase the chances of your fur baby becoming overweight quickly. During this time, keep those tasty dog treats to a minimum, but don’t cut them out completely. You still want to pamper your pet.

2.   Loss of Hormones

One of the reasons your dog or cat may gain weight is due to the loss of certain hormones after surgery. These hormones, like progesterone and testosterone, may take up to three weeks to fully balance after surgery. Monitoring your pet’s weight for a few weeks is especially crucial.

3.   Diet and Nutrition

Sometimes dietary needs may change after your pet is spayed or neutered. If you notice weight creeping up, talk to your vet about gradually changing to aand. It may be that your vet thinks reducing the amount of food for a time is best. You and your trusted veterinarian will formulate the appropriate diet for your pet.

4.   Knowing a Healthy Weight

If your dog or cat was underweight before surgery, a small amount of weight gain may be a good thing. This is another reason to check with your vet to see what the appropriate weight ranges are for your pet. If your dog or cat is gaining too much weight, you may unintentionally overfeed. It’s happened to all of us at some point because we want to keep our fur family members happy.

5.   Counteracting Weight Gain

The great thing about knowing all of this is that there are some ways to counteract the problem. This is not an unavoidable issue for cats or dogs. An interesting fact to know is that neutered pets require about 75-80% of the food an unneutered pet needs to maintain optimal body weight. You can easily adjust your pet’s diet and even provide smaller meals more frequently. Try some all-natural treats with fewer calories, or give your pets veggies, like green beans and broccoli.

Fun and Games

As your pet recovers, it is vital that you encourage exercise. A gradual walking routine that increases the intensity and length will get your dog more active. When your dog is ready, play a game of fetch each day for your pup to get in that cardio. Your cat would do well with daily playtime, too. Consider a laser or wand toy to provide lots of entertainment for you and your feline! Whatever you can do will encourage more activity from your pets, will increase their longevity and help with weight management.