The right food for the neutered dog

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Neutering means that your dog can no longer reproduce – something that is clear to all dog owners. But did you know that castration has far-reaching consequences for the entire body of your four-legged friend? In this article, you can read everything about dog food for a neutered dog.

Overweight as a result of castration

Studies have shown that neutered dogs are more likely to be overweight than non-neutered dogs. Females, in particular, tend to be obese after surgery. The risk of weight gain is twice as high in them as in non-neutered bitches. But males also more often suffer from excess fat after castration. But how come?

 

Also Read: The right dog food for (arthritis) joint problems

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A lower energy requirement, but more appetite

Castration changes the entire hormone balance and therefore also the metabolism of your animal. Due to the disappearance of the female sex hormones, estrogens, the feeling of hunger increases in females. This is because these hormones play an important role in regulating appetite and metabolism. The inhibitory effect is not forthcoming and the desire for dog food is clearly greater. It becomes especially problematic because the dog’s activity often decreases after neutering and therefore the energy requirement drops significantly. The reduced amount of exercise is therefore also the cause of overweight in neutered male dogs. Males lose less weight after castration due to the change in hormone balance than they gain due to the reduction in spontaneity and activity. And who eats more than is actually necessary,

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Why is being overweight so bad?

Being overweight should be taken seriously because obesity is not only an aesthetic problem, but it can also lead to a shorter life expectancy in dogs. In addition, it leads to many associated complications in our pets, such as diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular problems, digestive complaints, and increased stress on the joints.

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How can I prevent obesity after castration?

The good news is: with food that is adapted to your dog’s changing needs, you can… get rid of excess weight or – even better – prevent it. It is not advisable to simply give less regular food. Ultimately, after castration, the energy requirement decreases, but the need for important vitamins and minerals remains the same. An ‘eat-half diet’ means that your dog not only consumes fewer calories but also fewer nutrients such as calcium or magnesium, which in turn can lead to deficiencies. In addition, less food combined with an increased feeling of hunger after neutering can lead to your dog constantly begging for food.

Instead of feeding less regular food, it is better to switch to food that is less rich in energy, but still contains sufficient nutrients and meets the needs of your dog.

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Dog food for a neutered dog

This question has no unequivocal answer. This is because each dog has its own individual nutrient requirement after castration, which depends on breed, age, sex, amount of activity and health status. When in doubt, it is best to go to an expert, for example, the vet, and with his/her help put together an accurate feeding plan for your dog. As a rule of thumb, the number of calories in the new food should be about 20 to 30% lower than in the regular food. For example, castrated and overweight dogs need about 52 kcal per kg of body weight. If your dog also moves a lot after castration, then the energy requirement is of course relatively higher.

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Ready-made food or better to cook yourself?

In general, you should change your cherished dietary habits as little as possible. If you have always given ready-made food up to now, you can opt for ready-made products. If you suddenly switch to preparing food yourself after castration, while you always gave ready-made food before, this can overload your dog. However, if you initially prepared your animal’s food yourself or your dog’BARF’ – raw food – then you have to keep doing that. The number of calories and the supply of nutrients can of course best be monitored with self-composed dog food.

Low-energy products that are suitable for your own mix are, for example, lean muscle meat, lungs, low-fat cottage cheese, vegetables, bran, or grass meal.

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How and when should you switch to different food?

Many experts recommend switching to the low-energy feed a few weeks before castration to prevent obesity. However, a transition as a precaution is not always necessary. After all, there are also dogs where castration has hardly any effect on eating habits or activities. In that case, it makes more sense to observe your dog closely and weigh it regularly, in order to recognize and counteract a possible tendency towards overweight early. Checking your dog weekly can also be helpful in assessing whether your dog may be weighing ‘an ounce too much. Your dog is generally a healthy weight if you can easily feel your dog’s ribs under the coat and skin – however, if you can see them with the naked eye, it’s more likely to indicate underweight.

If your dog already has a tendency to be overweight before the castration, it is advisable to switch to . as soon as possible other food. In this case, preferably before the procedure. Depending on whether you do this before or after the operation, you should take the time to switch to new food. An abrupt switch to a new food can stress your dog and lead to serious digestive problems. It is advisable to let your dog get used to the new food slowly and gradually.

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Sufficient exercise for the neutered dog

In addition to appropriate dog food for a neutered dog, sufficient exercise is very important. If you make sure that you feed your dog properly and according to need after castration, you make a valuable contribution to the health of your dog. But it’s not just the food that influences the health of your four-legged friend. You should also make sure that your dog gets enough exercise. Even dogs that have been neutered and have become diapered should be walked daily. With an appropriate and if possible steadily increasing exercise program you can give your dog back the pleasure of exercise and ensure that your dog burns enough calories. This way, your dog will remain fit and vital for a long time after castration.

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