How to Take Care of a Dog After Neutering

While Bob Barker may have familiarized everyone with spaying and neutering their pets, what he didn’t tell us is how to care for them afterward.

Spaying or neutering is a useful practice, if you are not an animal breeder, to prevent your pet from having more puppies. In fact, most adoption centers either take care of it before adoption or require the adopter to spay or neuter the animal before handing them over.

If you are about to adopt a dog that will be neutered, read below to learn how to take care of a dog after neutering.

What is Neutering?

Many people believe that neutering is a term that only applies to male dogs. This is not the case. Neutering comes from the Latin neuter and refers to the removal of the reproductive organ. This can be done by removing all or part of the organ. Thus, the process of neutering can be done on both male and female dogs.

There are many reasons that people may choose to neuter their pets. These include that neutering:

  • Helps female dogs live longer
  • Helps to fight overpopulation
  • Stops females from going into heat
  • Curbs unwanted behavior

The biggest reason for neutering a pet is to stop from overpopulation. Our shelters are already full of animals that need to be adopted, and many people chose to not add to that problem.

How to Take Care of a Dog After Neutering

If you have decided that you want to have a pet neutered, here are some things to keep in mind so your pet can recover from the surgery quickly.

Low Activity

After your pet has surgery, there is a chance that they can reopen their wound if they become too active. Some dogs will want to be active right away and some will remain calm. What’s important is that you do your best to limit the amount of activity they get for the first week or two.

Place them in an adequately sized crate if you are not able to watch them. Take them out on a leash to go potty. Do what you can to make sure they are not too rambunctious. Too much activity can extend their healing time or at worst reopen their wound.

Good Diet

It is very important to have a good diet while recovering, but you will not want to overfeed them. Give them a half meal when you first feed them after surgery. This is to make sure your dog is ready to eat. For their next meal, you can provide a full portion.

Do not feed your dog “people food” during their recovery period. This can cause more complications. Also, do not remove an Elizabethan collar when your dog eats unless you are able to supervise them.

If your dog becomes lethargic, vomits or has diarrhea, you should contact your vet for an examination.

Dry Incision

It is very important to give the wound time to heal, but it will also heal best when kept dry. Most vets will use internal sutures that dissolve naturally months later. They also use surgical glue to protect your dog’s exterior incision. Keeping this area moist will allow the glue and sutures to dissolve prematurely. Moisture can also allow bacteria to harbor in the area and lead to infection.

Check Incision Often

Depending on the sex of your dog, there will be different incisions. Be sure to consult your vet to ensure you understand where their incision is. When your vet discharges you, the incision should not be draining and there should be no odor. A male dog may have a small amount of drainage for up to four days, however.

Be sure that your dog is not bothering the incision. If need be, get an Elizabethan collar to make sure they do not cause the wound to become irritated.

Possibly Separate Dogs

This goes along with keeping your dog’s activity levels low for the first week or two. If your dogs are playing with each other too much, your neutered dog can begin irritating their incision.

Also, a neutered male can still impregnate a female for up to thirty days after having surgery. Be sure to keep them away from any un-neutered females for that period.

Watch for Pain

While your dog was given the surgery, they were given pain medication. Once the medication wears off, they should not be in pain. If your dog appears to be in pain or if they seem to be getting worse, call your vet to see if they should come back in.

Whatever happens, do not give your pet medication meant for humans.

Act if Needed

If you have any questions or concerns while your dog is recovering from surgery, you should call your vet. Most pets recover within a week or two, but any complications can prolong that time.  It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your four-legged friend.


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