Spay and neuter procedures carry extensive benefits for pets. But they also come with new challenges for our pets.
Spaying and neutering are top risk factors for weight gain in dogs and cats.1 These patients have a higher risk of weight gain for two simple reasons:
Their metabolism slows down2,3
Their appetite goes up2,4
It’s a recipe for weight gain over time. Let’s take a look at how those changes can affect your spayed and neutered patients.
Pivotal Procedures, Lifelong Changes
Changes to metabolism and appetite can begin as early as three days post procedure, placing our pets at increased risk.
Spayed & Neutered Pets Require Tailored Nutrition
When reducing calories, it matters how we do it, and the traditional approaches for spayed and neutered pets are problematic. It's time for nutrition to be tailored to the needs of the nearly 90% of US pets that are spayed or neutered8.
Cline MG, Burns KM, Coe JB, et al. 2021 AAHA nutrition and weight management guidelines for dogs and cats. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc. 2021;57(4):153-178. doi:10.5326/JAAHA-MS-7232
Jeusette I, Daminet S, Nguyen P, Shibata H, Saito M, Honjoh T, Istasse L, Diez M. Effect of ovariectomy and ad libitum feeding on body composition, thyroid status, ghrelin and leptin plasma concentrations in female dogs. J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl). 2006;90,:12-18.
Kanchuk ML, Backus RC, Calvert CC, et al. Weight gain in gonadectomized normal and lipoprotein lipase-deficient male domestic cats results from increased food intake and not decreased energy expenditure. J Nutr. 2003 Jun;133(6):1866-1874. doi:10.1093/jn/133.6.1866
Kanchuk ML, Backus RC, Calvert CC, Morris JG, Rogers QR. Neutering induces changes in food intake, body weight, plasma insulin and leptin concentrations in normal and lipoprotein lipase-deficient male cats. J Nutr. 2002 Jun;132(6 Suppl 2):1730S-1732S. doi:10.1093/jn/132.6.1730S.
Lefebvre SL, Yang M, Wang M, Elliott DA, Buff PR, Lund EM. Effect of age at gonadectomy on the probability of dogs becoming overweight. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2013;243(2):236-243. doi:10.2460/javma.243.2.236
Nguyen PG, Dumon HJ, Siliart BS, Martin LJ, Sergheraert R, Biourge VC. Effects of dietary fat and energy on body weight and composition after gonadectomy in cats. Am J Vet Res. 2004 Dec;65(12):1708-13. doi:10.2460/ajvr.2004.65.1708
Wei A, Fascetti AJ, Kim K, Lee A, Graham JL, Havel PJ, et al. Early effects of neutering on energy expenditure in adult male cats. PLoS One. 2014 Feb 26;9(2):e89557. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0089557. Accessed October 7, 2021.