Fixed dogs' nutritional needs?

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Fixed dogs' nutritional needs?

Postby bully_mama » Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:59 am

Was looking thru petsmarts dog food section on their site and saw a food made for spayed/neutered dogs. Do their nutritional needs really change so drastically that they should be on a special diet or is this just a marketing gimmick to sell their product? I've heard people complain about their dogs becoming overweight after being fixed, but I always just figured that they should decrease the amount they feed.
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Re: Fixed dogs' nutritional needs?

Postby Curly_07 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:23 am

Sounds like a marketing gimick to me. I don't buy from them or Petco because I prefer to feed holistic/organic.

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Re: Fixed dogs' nutritional needs?

Postby bully_mama » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:29 am

is holistic/organic like BARF?
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Re: Fixed dogs' nutritional needs?

Postby Curly_07 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:56 am

Yes and no. Barf/Raw is feeding raw bones, meats, organs, veggies, etc. The holistic/organic I'm speaking of is the next best thing to raw. It's dog food made by companies like Acana, Taste of the Wild, Pennicle, etc...you can buy them in specialty shops locally, sometimes the Tractor Supply Co carries them, or the many stores online where you can order cheaper. There are a few threads here of the online stores most of us use to order. Holistic foods don't have things like corn fillers in them, and have better ingredients-pure forms of the meats advertised in the first few ingredients, and they have better protein/fat ratios. I also enjoy them not only for their process of making the foods, but because many don't have cross contaminations, the ingredients are very specific (great if you have an allergy dog like me), and you feed less than many regular dog foods. It is more expensive (I pay $65 for 30 lbs of food), but I feed much less so it isn't that much of a difference in cost to foods from Petsmart, Petco, Walmart, etc. Once you really break it down.

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Re: Fixed dogs' nutritional needs?

Postby Enigma » Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:08 am

Speutered animals don't need any drastic changes to their diet, all four of our dogs are speutered, all are seniors and they all eat Acana Chicken&Burbank Potato, a normal food for adult dogs. If you see your dog is getting fat you just have to increase the exercise and/or decrease the amount of food. There are dogs who are prone to obesity and for those dogs I always recommend feeding a low callorie food such as Acana Light&Fit, it helps with the weight management.
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Re: Fixed dogs' nutritional needs?

Postby dogs4jen » Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:26 am

The last time I was in Petsmart, I noticed they had some better brands of food than they used to have. I didn't look through all of it, but I did see Wellness and some other decent brands. I go to a locally owned feed store, they have a big selection, prices a couple of bucks cheaper, and nice people.
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Re: Fixed dogs' nutritional needs?

Postby bully_mama » Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:53 am

Is it an all stages dog food? And how long would you estimate a 30lb bag to last two dogs? I have an adult and a young puppy.. so $130 for two different stages would be waaay too much..

I was looking at the blue buffalo, actually. But as I stated above two stages at $50+ a bag is a bit much. So I was looking for something that was an all stage food, but also good quality.
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Re: Fixed dogs' nutritional needs?

Postby Curly_07 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:13 pm

I feed Acana fish recipe for my 2 girls. It's pretty much an all stages food. How young is the puppy? For my 2 (a 70 lb and a 47 lb) I go thru a big bag (28 or 30 lbs? bag, can't remember) every 3ish weeks. So if you average out monthly per dog, I spend about $45? That's not bad to me. When I just had Curly and fed average foods a few yrs ago I would spend about $50/month on food. So it isn't that much different in cost, just quality.

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Re: Fixed dogs' nutritional needs?

Postby bully_mama » Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:53 pm

Mya, the puppy is around 10-12 weeks, don't know her exact age, but she's no older than that. And I have Loki, he's 60lbs. So I'm pretty sure we could work with the $65 if its ok for her to eat it too. I just can't afford $130 in dog food, even tho their own bags would probably last even longer. It'd just be insane lol
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Re: Fixed dogs' nutritional needs?

Postby Misskiwi67 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:19 pm

Spay/neuter does change metabolism, so they do need fewer calories than the majority of their intact counterparts.

Metabolism and caloric needs still vary greatly between individuals regardless of spay/neuter status, so there isn't anything special about that food that you can't adjust with a measuring cup.
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Re: Fixed dogs' nutritional needs?

Postby bully_mama » Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:29 am

That's what I thought, Misskiwi. But I wasn't entirely sure, so that's why I asked. Thanks for all of the advice and the clarification everyone. After the two current bags of food I have for the pooches are gone, we'll be switching to Acana.
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Re: Fixed dogs' nutritional needs?

Postby Enigma » Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:31 am

Misskiwi67 wrote:Spay/neuter does change metabolism, so they do need fewer calories than the majority of their intact counterparts.
Honestly, people keep saying that, but with five (our four and my sister's boxer) spayed/neutered dogs here, NONE of them have any different metabolisms than before the surgery. It's easy to keep them lean and healthy, and they all eat high protein & high fat food for adults without a problem. Three are turning 11 and two are turning 8 this year, none of them are high energy dogs. On one of my mom's dogs it's actually hard to keep the weight on, this was one of the reasons we switched them on a higher calorie food, because he was getting too skinny. He gained 2lbs over the last couple of months on a new food and is looking and feeling great.

It's the same with all of my fosters I still keep in touch with. The only ones that gained weight and are too fat are the ones who went to older people who are overfeeding them (every one of them got a lecture from me, I hate seeing fat dogs). The rest are nicely lean and healthy.

I can imagine the metabolism changes in SOME spayed/neutered dogs, but defenitely not ALL of them. And it's on US to keep them healthy and lean, blaming the fact that your dog is fat on spay/neuter is ridiculous. If you see your dog is gaining weight or is already overweight, no matter if he/she is intact or not, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, don't seek excuses. Ugh... Sorry, this is one of my biggest pet peeves.
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Re: Fixed dogs' nutritional needs?

Postby Curly_07 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:33 am

Yeah, I too don't think there is much difference in altered dogs to intact dogs as far as metabolisms. I do believe that each dog metabolises foods differently though, and this is why 2 dogs that weigh the same can need 2 very different amounts of food daily to be at a healthy weight.

My advice is to find a good food that works for your dogs and go with that. Don't get hung up on how much one eats verses what the other eats. Heck, they may even need different foods. Like mine for example, one is allergic to certain foods and the other is a senior with health issues...so luckily they both eat the same thing. before Nela passed away, I used to buy 2 different brands with different ingredients because that's what worked for them. Just my .02

Your dogs may do great on one of the Petsmart foods, they may do great on Acana or Taste of the Wild. You won't know until you test them out :) It took me over 2 yrs of trying different foods to find what worked for mine. Trial and error lol
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Re: Fixed dogs' nutritional needs?

Postby Misskiwi67 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:15 pm

Curly_07 wrote:Yeah, I too don't think there is much difference in altered dogs to intact dogs as far as metabolisms. I do believe that each dog metabolises foods differently though, and this is why 2 dogs that weigh the same can need 2 very different amounts of food daily to be at a healthy weight.

My advice is to find a good food that works for your dogs and go with that. Don't get hung up on how much one eats verses what the other eats. Heck, they may even need different foods. Like mine for example, one is allergic to certain foods and the other is a senior with health issues...so luckily they both eat the same thing. before Nela passed away, I used to buy 2 different brands with different ingredients because that's what worked for them. Just my .02

Your dogs may do great on one of the Petsmart foods, they may do great on Acana or Taste of the Wild. You won't know until you test them out :) It took me over 2 yrs of trying different foods to find what worked for mine. Trial and error lol


Caloric requirements can change as much as 20% after spay/neuter. Spay/neuter also occurs just a few months before normal changes in metabolism that occur with age, which generally reduce caloric needs by half. I would much rather have owners aware that the metabolism will change and it is their job to keep their pet healthy than pretending its not a big deal and having owners become caught unaware.

The problem (as a vet) is we see puppies monthly until 6 months of age, and then don't see them again until 14-18 months of age. I would rather educate at 6 months to monitor for metabolic changes (both age and otherwise) BEFORE their pet gets fat than try to get an obese puppy to lose weight after the owners have convinced themselves its "cute".

Other than that - I completely agree with you guys!!
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Re: Fixed dogs' nutritional needs?

Postby Enigma » Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:05 pm

Yes, but there's a huge difference between saying spay/neuter changes metabolism in general and saying spay/neuter might change the metabolism of some dogs. I agree with warning dog owners of the possibility of gaining weight after spay/neuter, but saying it happens with all dogs is wrong imo. Obesity is not just a problem of spayed/neutered dogs, the majority of intact show dogs are proof of that.
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