In addition to keeping the pet population in check, according to Pet Education, there are several good reasons to have your dog neutered or spayed. Neutered and spayed dogs tend to be less aggressive, don't typically roam away from the home and can even live a longer, healthier life. If you've already scheduled your dog's appointment, it's important to know how to care for your recovering pooch at home. When it comes to caring for a dog after being neutered or spayed, here are a few dos and don'ts to keep in mind:
Do Gather the Necessary Supplies
Before your dog comes home after surgery, it is important to gather all the supplies you will need to care for them effectively. Don't try to grab these supplies on the way home from picking up your dog because it's important to allow them to rest after the procedure.
Here is a list of everything you will need to care for your dog after they are sterilized:
- Elizabethan collar – The E-collar is the cone-shaped protective shield that is attached around your dog's neck that helps prevent them from licking the incision site.
- Dog kennel – It's vital to keep your dog in a kennel for at least the first night after the surgery. This is for their own protection. Place the kennel in a quiet room to allow your dog some peace after the procedure.
- Extra towels – Lining the kennel with extra towels will make your dog comfortable, and allow you to easily clean up if your dog has an accident.
- Puppy pads – In addition to the towels, placing puppy training pads will also allow you to quickly clean up after your recovering dog.
Do Know What to Expect the First 24 Hours After Surgery
Caring for your dog properly for the first 24 hours after their surgery is critical. Remember, your dog was just under anesthesia, and they will be scared, tired and in pain. When you pick up your dog, carefully help them into the car. Avoid petting or handling them too much. Your dog may try to scratch or bite you because they are tired, sore, and confused.
Once you get home, place your dog in the kennel and allow them to rest. Your veterinarian will recommend waiting a few hours before offering your dog any food or water. Don't expect your dog to eat or drink a lot the first few hours after they come home. Additionally, avoid offering your dog any table scraps or a treat to help them feel better. This could wind up upsetting your dog's sensitive stomach.
In addition, it is normal for your dog to sleep a lot the first day they are home. Keep an eye on your dog and if they have an accident, clean it up quickly.
With the right care, your dog should begin getting back to normal within a few days after the procedure.
Don't Forget to Watch for Signs of a Possible Complication
Even though they are rare, it's still possible for your dog to suffer a post-operative complication, such as an infection at the incision site. It's important to watch for signs of an infection or another complication, including:
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Trouble breathing
- Trouble walking
- Pale gums
If you notice any of these symptoms, don't hesitate to contact an emergency veterinarian. Leaving your dog untreated can lead to a worsening of symptoms, or even death.
Caring for your dog properly after they return home from their neutering or spaying surgery is critical. If you have any additional questions about your dog's health, or are concerned your dog is suffering a complication that resulted from their surgery, don't hesitate to contact a professional right away.