eating off the street


New Member
ah, another question: so my dog is gaining weight. our vet said this happens after spaying and i need to be careful about the amount of food i give her. well, she acts like i'm starving her now! she's downed three cupcake wrappers, among other things, off the street. when i walk her beside or behind me, i can't tell when she's going to dart. she's awful short. my 'drop it' has been coming too late. i guess i can shorten the leash, but we have to go for 'potty walks.' it sounds so silly, but i have trouble coordinating all this. i've rudely interrupted her trying to go potty...


Experienced Member
Dogs do generally need less food after getting spayed/neutered, but maybe not as much less as you're giving her. Can you feel her ribs easily, but not have them sticking out? If she is at a healthy weight the increased foraging and craziness could just be a part of her adolescent phase. I would do a lot of work with the leave it command in the house, and then start applying it on the streets.

If she is eating even non food items I would talk to your vet about it. Dogs who swallow rocks and objects have a very serious issue that can be very dangerous.


New Member
that's a thought about adolescence. it just occurs to me that she may be regaining lost appetite. i got her a month ago. before that she was about two weeks with a rescue org, who did the spaying right before we adopted. before that she was two weeks in a shelter. that's a lot of stress. she's not quite fat yet, but she's packed on a couple of pounds fast. you can see the expansion in her girth.

the cupcake wrappers have been the one non-food thing so far. someone's been tossing their popeye's trash into the bushes... but you know, cooked bones, cooked chicken bones... the bones i've gotten her to drop. the cake i've not been lucky with.

ok. will talk to the vet about it, and up the leave it practice. no doubt i should do it with cupcakes (!)


Experienced Member
I'd like to pass some information on:

Lots of people believe that inactivity and weight gain follow ovariohyslerectomy in the bitch. These changes, however, are difficult to distinguish from changes due to normal maturation. Recent studies have tried to uncover the truth about these supposed effects of spaying.

One report on gonadectomy (removal of the ovaries or testes) in immature dogs' determined that neutered dogs were actually more active than sexually intact dogs. Gonadectomy was found to neither affect food intake nor weight gain. But another group of researchers, comparing food intake in sexually intact and neutered Beagle bitches fed ad libitum, concluded that neutered bitches ate much more than their sexually intact counterparts.

In yet another study5, activity level and weight fluctuations in spayed bitches were compared to those of intact females. The spayed bitches did not gain weight on a diet of a fixed amount of commercial dog food. No data on the effect of orchiectomy on food intake and weight gain in male dogs, other than the study on immature dogs, has been published to date.

The bottom line is that the available scientific evidence about whether neutering influences weight gain and activity in dogs shows that the question is, as yet, unresolved. In other words, it's too early for breeders to jump to either conclusion and therefore, one can't assume the worst.
Source: New Views on Neutering

My own concern about the theory of weight-gain after spaying is that it's become such a commonly held belief (rightly or wrongly) that we, as dog owners, often subconciously adjust our behaviour to try to compensate for it. We may exercise the dog more or feed it less, and this actually causes the weight to change, or at least has a dramatic effect on the weight.

My own dog will be getting spayed in two months time. I've always known her exact weight and I will know it before we go in for the operation. I have no intention of changing her diet in any way after the operation, or her exercise plan, until I see a significant weight change over a period of at least three months. I don't believe that her weight will change, but I'm happy to let the exercise prove me wrong. I shall no doubt write about it as it happens.

I say this because I believe you should continue on exactly as you were before and see what happens. Failing that, as much as I detest to see overweight dogs, I would personally rather have an overweight dog that I can exercise more, than an underweight dog that is eating all that it can see.

I do wish you luck whichever route you take though. I'm not sure any of us would win the cup-cake race against a dog! :)


New Member
How about a muzzle?

Hey'a Lilypup,

Why don't you consider using a muzzle when you walk. The type that allows the dog to open her mouth and pant normally.....they can even drink with that type of muzzle. Then you don't have to worry about being quicker than her, and perhaps even transferring your 'anxiety' about her getting this food, if you have any, to her....

My own experience with spayed bitches. I have had 5 bitches, all who I got spayed 3 months after their first season. None had any weight gain. I'm sure if you polled all the vets across the country as to whether spaying your bitch means weight gain, you will two different answers....yes and no, depending on who you ask.

The thing about scientific tends to change as technologies for testing and studying become more advanced.


Michaela :)


Experienced Member
Try feeding more canned instead of dry since it contains more water and they FEEL fuller or a less calorie dense high quality kibble. Feed 2x a day and add lower cal things like veggies to their food. Sweet potatoes, green veggies like green beans or broccoli etc are good. Adding low/no salt, no msg meat broths to the food also is a low cal tasty volumizer. Though adding things should not replace nutrient containing calories you can make things a bit less hungry feeling. Also keep training treats to low cal low fat things like baked chicken or lean meat, jerkies, or dried meats, and use small pea size bits. Work on your leave-it first in hand at home, then drop kibble you can cover with your foot and reward with chicken for leave it. Don't let them have the dropped item, pick it back up.

On walks briefly increase your rate of reinforcement around danger areas like the bushes and go faster or trot by. Get a squeaky toy or a ball if ur dog likes them and squeak or bounce near the bushes and tug or give the ball to hold as you go by. Work up to tossing kibble as you walk and leave it and click/treat or cue/treat YESS good for a leave it. Then pick up the tossed treat and either save it or cue take-it from your hand.

My dogs that gained the most weight were spayed/neutered at less than 6mos. After a first heat is better and more mature for males for me gained less/no weight. You must leave no chances for unwanted puppies after about 4-6 mos though. My female golden is due at 18 mos for spay, she went into heat at about 10 mos.

this helped me with deer poo which is very attractive to my puppy. :dogtongue: i can now drop food all over and both dogs just sit there. I do not ever allow eating off the floor in the house and it's saved me a lot of worry over dropped pills and other dangers.

Most of all though you do need to go by feel of ribs and bony prominences not just weight esp if they are still maturing which can be up to 3 years. Their weight may go up due to growth not fat. Ask your vet how the dog should feel and look and ask every visit about weight. Some vets won't mention obesity b/c people get really personal about a fat dog.