View Full Version : Does desexing at 6 months make a dog fat?

8th December 2006, 08:10 AM
I have heard many things in my life one of them being:

If you desex a dog (male or female) at 6 months of age it will gain a lot of weight

True or not? I have heard you should desex at 1 year :shock: What do you think?


Thanks in advance everyone :flwr:

8th December 2006, 10:30 AM
Desexing a dog doesnt necissarily mean they will become fat, however there is a deffinate pattern of desexed dogs putting on dramatic amounts of weight.

Without wanting to recite five years of vet school (lol) desexing a dog or a bitch, more so a bitch when it comes to weight gain alters their hormone levels, which in turn effects their metabolism.

Also, their is a pattern in desexed dogs leading more 'sedentary' lives post desexing (especially the males.

These two paired together = weight gain.

When desexing your dog you need to be aware of weight gain and adjust your diet as needed.

I have one girl here who put on about 6 kilos post desexing, and thats on a good diet! On the other hand, I have others who gained little.

Quite often vets will recommend desexing as a way to put weight on dogs, especially toy breeds.

As for the right age to desex, well my firm opinion on this is 6 months for females, ideally before the first season. Mainly because you near rule out chances of pyometra and other infections. Also, some vets will charge MORE after they have experienced heat cycles and the cost of a GA is largely dependant on the dogs weight, thus making it cheaper when they are 6 months compared to a year or more.

With boys, many people suggest 5 months is perfect as you can quite often 'snip them' before they learn to lift their leg. You will have tricked them, and many never learn post desexing and squat for life. Fantastic if you have boys that are prone to marking in your house.

My pet girls are all desexed at 6 months, my boys on the other hand stay entire untill I have an issue with them. In saying that though, I always ensure they are done before 4 to 5 years to help reduce the risk of prostate cancers etc

If you have any doubts, have a chat with your vet as peoples opinions differ greatly on this subject. The above though is based on what I was taught in vet school, and adheres to the Australian Veterinary Association guidelines.


Cathy Moon
8th December 2006, 11:57 AM
My cavs didn't gain weight after they were spay/neutered because I didn't overfeed them.

It's such a natural thing for me to look at their waistlines and adjust their food accordingly, after 3 years of having Cavs I have to say it's effortless. :flwr:

8th December 2006, 12:05 PM
Thanks for the help kyla_QLD_cavalier_rescue and Cathy Moon I guess I just have to watch hid food intake and increase the exercise a bit. No problem because by 5-6 months regular walking can start! :D

8th December 2006, 12:07 PM
I've had no problems with either of my boys who get plenty of exercise and are very active.

As noted there is a metabolism shift that is quite slight once you neuter -- only about a 10-15% drop. But that tranlates into them neeing about 20% less food all else being equal.

My own opinion is that WE get more sedentary with our dogs around the time we neuter them -- the novelty of having that puppy has worn off a bit and suddenly walks every day are growing less interesting and more of a chore -- hence a lot of people cut way back on exercise with a dog less likely in some cases to look for exercise (not with mine! They love going for long walks and hikes and agility etc -- so really depends on what WE do to keep them happy and active, getting off our own duffs! :lol:).

I took a third of the weight off a spayed female rescue (Lily) simply by cutting back on her food and giving her lots of normal exercise. She lost the excess weight within two months and she was grossly obese. Now she is tiny -- under 13lbs and looks like a puppy. So it isn't really whether the dog is neutered -- it is how we control their food and exercise and treats.

8th December 2006, 01:08 PM
Karlin thats a very good point about US being the ones that become sedentary, and then our dogs reflect that.

Perhaps this is where the weight gain fits in as well. We start to feel guilty about doggies missing out on walks, so give them a handfull of biscuits instead :roll:


8th December 2006, 10:28 PM
I admit, i probably shouldn't talk when it comes down to the walking thing. I fail to walk my dogs everyday, i probably should but now i've started work its probably ganna be alot harder but i'm going to have to for my babies. As for the diets, we try our best to watch their diets but esspecially with Harvey I feel as though were doing something wrong because he is very overweight. The others say thats how he is and he probably isn't going to change but I want to change it, i don't want him getting sick because i was to lazy to get off my butt and fix everything. At the moment their both probably getting way to much at a cup night and morning plus Harvey isn't active but thats going to change today! After work no matter how tired I am i am taking them for a walk!

9th December 2006, 06:21 AM
Thanks for the advive Karlin! I definately won't be doing that to be honest I think I'll raise the exercise level because he is getting older and his bones won't be so fragile! And great attitude Kori! Good luck with Harvey!

9th December 2006, 06:24 AM
Thanks Em! I am so sorry ta Harv but my feet are so sore, i couldn't possibly go for a walk, maybe if i had something i could sit in then hed get heaps of exercise lol.