In most cases, spaying and neutering your pet proves to reduce health concerns and decreases the overpopulation of stray pets. Since we understand that this is a big decision that you can’t reverse, we often hear many questions about the procedure and possible side effects. Perhaps the most common question remains: "will my pet gain weight after the procedure?”
We are here to set the record straight this week. Regardless if your pet undergoes a spay or a neuter, weight gain is not caused solely by sterilization.
Similarly to humans, pets will gain weight when they are overfed and under exercised. While a spay or neuter will keep your pet from intense exercise for a few days, that’s not enough to cause significant weight gain.
An overfed pet being supplied the wrong kind of food after a spay or neuter is susceptible to experiencing post-operative weight gain. Why? A continued high-energy diet is usually more common for younger dogs or cats that are developing. When a dog or cat is spayed or neutered, they will soon peak at their adult size and no longer require high-energy diets as they did prior to the procedure. Some dogs and cats experience changes in metabolism rates post spay or neuter, but when properly accounted for the changes is small enough that it shouldn’t lead to noticeable weight fluctuations. Ask one of our staff members at Butte Oroville Veterinary Hospital if your pet should switch brands of food after their procedure.
An inactive pet may also experience fluctuations in weight gain after surgery. While pets will be required to take a few days off while recovering, we encourage pet owners to bring back the activities shortly after stitches start healing! For dogs, take walks or play fetch outside. For cat owners, set aside some quality time to play with a favorite toy.
If you have any concerns or questions about fixing your dog or cat, our staff would love to chat with you. Especially if you have no plans for breeding, we encourage you to consider it. While weight gain shouldn’t keep you from eventually spaying or neutering your pet, there are many solutions should weight fluctuations become noticeable.