Easy Caring Tips For Your Pet After Surgery


Today we're going to go over some of the basics of post surgical care and hopefully put your mind at ease. 

1. Environment

The environment your pet will inhabit after surgery can have a big impact on their recovery. Your pet may prefer a dark and quiet space to rest. So be sure to keep children and animals away from them until after they've recuperated. 

Black dog chilling in his bed

You'll also want to limit their activity. This means cutting off access to slippery floors and staircases and not allowing any running or rough housing.

2. Water and Food 

It's best to follow your veterinarian specific instructions regarding how soon your pet can eat or drink after surgery. But it's usually ok to offer them water in small amounts every couple of hours. 

Puppy drinking water from the bathroom faucet

Most pets can be fed as soon as they're able to eat. Just be sure to start with small and bland meals since It's normal for pets to experience some nausea during the first 24 hours after surgery.

3. Potty Breaks

The only time you should allow your pet to go outdoors is for potty breaks and you'll want to keep them on a leash to prevent them from over exerting themselves. This is especially important even if they're trained to stay with you off leash. A rabbit or a squirrel may be too much of a temptation causing them to run before they're ready.

Beagle walking on his leash

You may find that your pet needs to relieve themselves more often than usual. Because of the medications administered during surgery your pet may also experience some constipation or diarrhea for a few days.

4. Licking and Chewing

It's quite common for dogs to want to lick or chew their incision site during their recovery. But it's crucial that you prevent them from doing since this can inhibit the healing process. So you'll want to place an Elizabethan collar on them after the surgery. But the normal plastic cone makes your dog even more upset and the plastic material can rub against the skin, causing painful rashes. So you should consider getting a healing cone alternative.
Our Anxiety Free Healing Cone and Donut Healing tube are the best alternative to the "Cone of Shame" for puppies or dogs. Check our previous posting HERE to see which one is suitable for your dog. 

5. Mental Stimulation

One of the most overlooked aspects of post surgical care is providing mental stimulation for your pet with this activity restricted. Your pet is found to become a little bored. So be sure to give them lots of extra TLC (Tender Loving Care).
You can also keep their mind occupied with food puzzles and other interactive toys. You can even do gentle positive reinforcement based training with your dog. These little gestures can go a long way in keeping a pet spirits up during this challenging time. 

6. Causes for Concern

You'll also want to keep a careful eye out for any signs of complications or unusual behaviors. Here are some Signs of complications.

   1. Lethargy after 24 hour
   2. Vomiting after leaving the hospital
   3. Loss of appetite after 24 hours
   4. Redness or swelling around the wound
   5. Bleeding or discharge from the wound
   6. Odor from the wound
   7. The wound is hot or painful to the touch

If you observe any of these symptoms, you'll want to contact your veterinarian.

Vet checking customer's dog

Please keep in mind that while these tips are recommended most of the time every case is different. So make sure to consult your veterinarian before making any decisions. 

Hope these tips make you feel more empowered than before to care for your pets after the surgery. 



Jisuk Kim / Creator of Million Dogs



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