Dog Spay/Neuter: Does Age Affect Likelihood of Weight Gain?


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lower weight gain with exercise

Regular exercise helps prevent obesity in dogs. Photo credit: M. Glasgow

She went on to say that each dog’s energy requirements are based on size, life stage and activity level.

Working closely with a veterinarian can ensure that a dog is getting balanced nutrition without weight gain.

And the importance of regular exercise, not only in preventing weight gain but improving overall health, can’t be ignored.

More Research on the Influence of Spay/Neuter on Dog Health Planned

Dr. Lefebvre told Decoded Science that the BARK program has more studies in the works, looking at other aspects of spay/neuter’s effect on dog health.

While there have been some studies looking at issues such as orthopedic problems and potential links to spay/neuter, they have mostly involved specific breeds of dog and are not easily extrapolated to the average mixed breed dog.

Using data gathered from pet dogs brought into Banfield clinics provides more insight into the general dog population, rather than focusing on breed specific health issues.

Regular Vet Exams

One of the simplest ways to avoid obesity in your pet is to catch it before it becomes a problem. Dr. Lefebvre emphasized the importance of regular veterinary exams at all life stages to catch potential problems, such as weight gain, early on when they are easier to address.


Kustritz, M.V.R., Early Spay-Neuter: Clinical Considerations. University of New Mexico. Accessed July 29, 2013.

Lefebvre SL, Yang M, Wang M, Elliott DA, Buff PR, Lund EM. 2013. Effect of age at gonadectomy on the probability of dogs becoming overweight. (2013). J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2013 Jul 15;243(2):236-43. doi: 10.2460/javma.243.2.236. Accessed July 29, 2013.

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