When welcoming your dog home after undergoing a surgery, there are several things you’ll need to keep in mind to ensure he has a speedy recovery. Your pet may not feel like he is fully himself for the next day or two, due to the anesthesia. It is best to secure him in a quiet, warm space clear of other pets or children, where he will be able to rest and will not be prone to injuring himself. A smaller room or kennel for airline travel would be optimal. If your dog still appears to be under the influence of the anesthesia, refrain from feeding him or allowing him to drink water. When he does finally come around and is alert, slowly introduce him back into these things, as nausea can be a side effect of some anesthetics. Initially, offer water. If this goes smoothly, a few hours later, you may introduce a small portion of food. Wait until the following day to resume his usual feeding routine.


You should keep your dog in a restful state immediately following the surgery. Throughout the course of the next week, you should moderately restrict his activity level. Unless your veterinarian recommends otherwise, short walks with him on a leash are suitable. Do not encourage any rough play, jumping, or strenuous running. Prevent him from being surrounded by other pets with whom he might typically play. The reason for this is that after a surgery, too much vigorous activity can lead to swelling or delayed healing.

Some surgeries might call for a more strict reduction of particular forms of exercise. Use caution and make sure you fully comprehend the instructions from your veterinarian, and follow them closely.

Environment and Grooming

It is preferable that you keep your dog indoors, in a warm, secluded area. Be sure the space is sterilized and that his bedding is clean and dry.

As it is vital that his incision must remain dry, allow one week before bathing him or permitting him to swim. If it appears that the area surrounding his incision has become soiled, you may cautiously swab his skin with a mild antiseptic soap and warm water. Follow by wiping with plain water to rinse the area. Abstain from getting any water or soap on the incision.


Your dog may be irritated or confused by his surgical incision, as it will undoubtedly lead to his feeling itchy, sore, or just plain different. It will be his natural instinct to scratch, lick, or chew. If you observe him doing anything to his incision, he may need an Elizabethan collar. This must be worn consistently, especially when you are not able to watch him. You would be amazed at how quickly a dog is able to pull out stitches when your back is turned.


Observe his incision every day. Contact your veterinarian if you detect any escalation in discharge, swelling, redness, bleeding, or if you think there may be any stitches missing.

If your dog has been required to wear a cast or bandage, ensure that it is clean and dry every day, and that it is not emitting a foul odor. You may place a plastic bag over the affected limb and tape it in place to prevent the bandages from getting damp or dirty during trips outside.


If your dog has been prescribed any medications for treatment, be sure to completely read through and follow all instructions on the label. If you are unclear about anything, you can contact your veterinarian for clarification. Ensure that you administer the medication for the entirety of its prescription, even if your dog’s health has improved in the meantime.

Getting Help

If you think your dog may be having an issue or you are suspicious of some sort of complication, do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian or local emergency clinic. Your earnestness in this endeavor may prevent any negative developments.


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