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Post Operative Feeding Regime for Neutered Dogs


Most dog owners are not aware of the changing dietary requirements of an animal after it has been neutered. After an operation to remove the ovaries and womb (in a female dog) or the testicles (in a male dog) the metabolic rate, and therefore dietary requirement is lowered.

This means neutered dogs will require less food to maintain their body weight than before their operation. This includes when neutering is performed for a medical reason e.g. womb infection or testicular tumour

This has been shown by many studies, and also our own experience. Animals tend to gain a fair amount of weight after neutering if their diet remains unchanged. The weight gain is often more marked in animals neutered under a year old, i.e. in females neutered before a season, but is seen in the majority of neutered dogs. If an animal is overweight and already on a reduced feeding regime before their operation then weight loss is slower after the surgery than it was before.

After a dog is neutered we recommend reducing their diet to 2/3 of their previous feeding amount. Alternatively a change to a food for ‘neutered animals’ or if an animal was overweight at the time of the surgery, a change to a low fat diet or a ‘light’ version of their current commercial diet is a good first step.

Weighing out a dog’s food every day is a good way to make sure they receive the appropriate amount. Animals should always be fed for their ideal weight and not their current weight. Treats or additional food stuffs e.g. table scraps, if fed, would need to be taken into account and therefore a reduction made in the dog’s daily wet/dry food intake.

Please bring your dog into the Cassiobury Surgery, or arrange a weight appointment at Katherine place for your pet 2 weeks after their operation and again 4 weeks after their operation. Monthly weight checks after this would be advised for the next few months. This will keep check of your pet’s weight and allow early intervention if they are showing weight gain to help prevent obesity.

We provide free of charge weight clinic appointments with our nurses for any dog that is overweight to help you know what to feed and how much your dog needs. Prior to the appointment an accurate food diary (including weights of food) of everything the dog eats for a week needs to be submitted for us to analyse before the appointment.

We will work together with you and your dog to make dietary alterations to achieve the appropriate weight loss. An appointment would need to be booked with reception either in person, or by phoning 01923 223321.