Deciding to spay or neuter your dog is very important for your pup’s health and well-being, but it can understandably be nerve-wracking. Before Bailey was spayed, I remember doing countless searches trying to find ways to make the whole process easier for us.
I had a few ideas of what could work, but her actual recovery was different. If your dog has a spay or neuter surgery coming up, this post will hopefully give you some reassurance and tips for the recovery process.
The Night Before
Don’t let your pup eat food or drink water after 12 am before surgery. Make sure you both get lots of rest and spend some time together.
The Day of Surgery
For me, the hardest part of the spaying experience was handing Bailey over to the surgeon. At that point, I had to trust that the surgeons would do everything they could to keep her as comfortable as possible.
After I got the call to pick Bailey up, the rest of the day consisted of lots of sleeping and cuddles. Because of the anesthesia, she chose not to eat until the next morning.
When you pick up your dog, bring a travel carrier and a favorite soft toy for the trip back home. As much as you might want to give your dog his favorite treat or chew during this time, it’s best to wait until later to avoid any tummy upsets.
Also, remember to carefully follow your vet’s pain medication instructions.
When You Get Home
There’s a good chance your dog won’t want to do much but sleep today. Offer some water and make sure your pup’s crate is set up with a cozy bed or blanket to rest on.
Bailey was very distressed when we got home, so we spent most of the day sleeping on my bed. Whatever your dog prefers, the most important thing is to get lots of rest.
The Second Day
Today, your dog will act much more like his usual self. Unfortunately, this means it might be challenging to keep him calm. For today and the next few days, limiting activity is very important. Your dog should spend most of his time resting in his crate, with the exception of bathroom breaks outside. No running, jumping, or playing should be allowed.
Make sure your dog is also wearing an e-collar, also known as the infamous “cone of shame” to keep him from itching the incision area.
To keep your dog busy, I strongly recommend chew toys. Some of Bailey’s favorite during her recovery were antlers and Himalayan cheese sticks.
Another idea is to give your dog toys that require her to think – for example, you can stuff a Kong toy with peanut butter, kibble, or your dog’s favorite treats – and work for a reward.
The Next Week and Beyond
Follow your vet’s instructions on when it’s appropriate to start taking your dog on walks. No matter what you do, start slowly and be careful.
Make sure you’re checking the incision area daily to ensure there have been no complications.
Unfortunately, your dog won’t be able to have a bath for two weeks after surgery, so keep him out of any dirt. Now, be sure to follow your vet’s instructions and do your best to keep your dog as calm and comfortable as possible.
The spay and neuter recovery process can be stressful for both you and your dog, but if you follow these tips it’ll be over in no time.
You can rest easy knowing that you’ve done the responsible thing and ensuring your dog’s health and happiness.
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