Call UsFind Us

Caring For a Dog After Surgery

Many dogs have to undergo surgery at one point or another in life. If your dog has just had a procedure performed, keep following information in mind to ensure that your pet has a speedy and healthy recovery. 


In the case of most surgeries, a dog will undergo anesthesia for the duration of the procedure. After your pooch wakes, he or she isn't going to feel quite right for a day or so. Don't give food or water to a dog that seems groggy, as the anesthesia is probably already making your dog feel nauseaous. Introduce a small amount of water when you think your dog is feeling a bit better, then gradually offer a small amount of food. Over the next few days, you can wean your dog back onto a normal feeding schedule.


For a day or two after the surgery, keep your dog in a quiet, warm area to allow for rest. Provide a comfortable, clean, dry pet bed and keep other pets out of the area. 

Monitoring Your Dog

Check on your dog's surgical site daily. If you see any pus, discharge, bleeding, inflammation or missing stitches, notify your vet right away. Swelling is common with many surgeries, but let your vet know if you think it is excessive. Keep bandages clean and dry, and change them as directed by your vet. Don't bathe your dog or allow swimming for for atleast a week. If you see your dog licking, scratching, or chewing at the incision, ask your vet for an Elizabeth collar so stitches don't get pulled out.


Exercise should be restricted for a day or two after the surgery and greatly limited for the next week or so. Short walks are permissible unless your vet tells you otherwise. Don't let your dog play aggresively, jump or run--there's too great of a risk for swelling, stitches getting pulled, a delay in healing and more. 


If your dog has been prescribed medications for the post-operative period, follow all lebel intructions to the letter. If you'e unsure about doage or administration directions, don't hesitate to ask your vet. Also be sure to ive your dog's medication for the full prescribed period, even if you think your dog is already better.