There are plenty of benefits to spaying or neutering your dog besides just preventing unwanted litters. You’ll also avoid many troublesome behaviors associated with mating and breeding instincts like going through heat cycles for females, roaming to find a mate, and mounting and thrusting in males.
The operation also helps head off common health problems such as breast cancer and uterine infections in females and testicular cancer and enlarged prostate glands in males.
While these procedures are routine and relatively simple, you still need to take care after the operation to ensure your pet is healthy and happy – especially in the first few days after it’s done.
In this article, we’ll learn how to care for your dog after spaying or neutering.
- Typical post-operations instructions and recovery time
- Warning signs of a problem once you’re home
- Keeping your dog comfortable and safe
- How you can expect them to behave after the procedure
And remember, it’s always important to keep in touch with your vet to monitor your dog’s health and wellbeing – in general and after surgery. Having dog insurance makes this especially easy. The policies usually cover procedures as well as vet visits and wellness.
Post-Operation Instruction For Your Dog
You’ll need to closely watch your dog during the first 24 hours after surgery. They’ll require extra care and supervision for the next two weeks, but the first day is most important.
First Day After Surgery
First, ensure your pet has a safe, peaceful, and quiet place inside your house to recover. Even if they love being outdoors, a spot inside is best. And, once they get home, try to get them to keep moving around.
That helps them shake off the effects of the anesthesia without any complications.
The anesthesia will probably also make your dog nauseous. But they still need to eat and stay hydrated. Try to give them a little food and water in the evening after they get home.
It’s normal for them to feel queasy for up to two days, so encourage them to eat a little something each day.
First Two Weeks After Surgery
Keep a close watch on your dog for the next two weeks. Don’t play with them too much, and try not to let them run or jump as much as usual. All that activity can cause the incision site to swell or open up.
Also, try to keep them quiet. The physical act of barking can also affect the incision site.
As for the incision itself, you’ll want to check it twice a day. You may notice a little redness, swelling, and even a bit of bleeding. That’s all normal. And note that there’ll be a tattoo near the incision.
That’s so you (or anyone else) know your dog has been spayed or neutered. It doesn’t require any extra care.
However, you want to ensure your dog doesn’t start licking, chewing, or scratching at the wound. They’ll need a collar if they do.
In general, you need to keep the incision dry. That means no baths, playing in the rain or snow, or swimming.
Typical Recovery Time
The general recovery time for a dog that’s been spayed or neutered is around two weeks. That goes for males and females. Some pet owners are under the impression that males recover faster because their procedure isn’t as complex as for females.
But, the truth is that the incision is the same for both. So, it must heal properly, no matter if your pet is a boy or girl.
Pain Medication For Dogs After Surgery
Your vet usually gives your dog an injection of pain medication that lasts up to a day after the surgery. You can also ask them about take-home medication.
There are pain medications specially made for canines, and those are the only ones you should give your dog. It’s essential to follow your vet’s instructions carefully when it comes to when you give the medicine to your pet and how much they get.
And, never give them medication – even simple aspirin or ibuprofen – made for humans. They’re often toxic to other animals.
Five Warning Signs After Neutering Or Spaying Your Dog
Call your vet if you notice these symptoms around the incision after the operation:
- Foul Smell
- Incision Opening
- Bulging Or Swelling
As we mentioned before, a little redness or swelling – even a little bleeding – is normal. But, you should call your vet right away if it seems excessive or keeps getting worse.
Call right away if you notice a smell or discharge and especially if the incision reopens.
How Will My Dog Act After Getting Spayed Or Neutered?
Your dog will seem queasy or tired after getting spayed or neutered. That’s especially so during the first day or while the anesthesia is still wearing off.
After that, you’ll notice signs that they’re generally uncomfortable or in a little pain. Unfortunately, that’s normal too. After all, they just had surgery.
Fortunately, however, that discomfort should only last a few days. Call your vet if you notice that they’re still hurting after a week.
Your dog’s overall behavior and personality won’t change after being spayed or neutered. They’ll still be the pet you’ve come to love! But, you’ll probably notice a few unwanted habits disappear – and maybe one or two arise.
Male dogs sometimes become more aggressive after being neutered. On the other hand, they may become fearful or even hyper-aroused. But, in most cases, they’re less aggressive because they’re not considering other dogs as competition.
They’ll also be less likely to mount female dogs or other objects or to mark their territory with urine.
These changes usually start taking place six weeks after surgery. And, females often don’t change their behavior much, if at all. Overall, it’s always a good idea to have your dogs spayed or neutered. It prevents unwanted litters, improves their behavior–especially when they’re inside or around new people or animals – and can even help head off medical issues down the line.