Dog Care | Pre & Post Surgery

Cutting Through the Information

Due to many different factors, including disease or trauma, your dog may one day need surgery. While surgery can be stressful for you and your dog, there are a few basic steps that you can follow that will ensure the process is as easy and carefree as possible.
Depending on the type of surgery required, your vet will advise when your dog can resume a normal, healthy lifestyle.


  • Your vet will do an initial checkup on your dog before the surgery to determine if any pre-existing conditions will interfere with the procedure.
  • Make sure your pet is caught up with all vaccinations.
  • Your veterinarian will suggest a blood test to screen for any diseases not found through a physical exam.
  • It’s a good idea to administer antibiotics several days before the surgery to increase your dog’s ability to fight disease.
  • Find out if there are any restrictions to food and water before the operation.


  • Your dog will most likely be weak and groggy after surgery. Allow him/ her to rest and not get excited.
  • Restrain your dog with a leash or in a carrier when leaving the hospital.
  • Provide small amounts of food and water until your dog begins to recover. Too much of either can lead to an upset stomach.
  • Be sure to follow any post-surgery diet recommended by your vet.
  • Limit your dog’s exercise, this includes climbing stairs, jumping or running.
  • Provide a clean and warm sleeping area during recovery.
  • If your vet prescribes any medication after surgery, follow the instructions completely and until completed use.
  • Sutures, or stiches, are usually removed about 10 days after surgery. Check the area for redness, swelling or drainage. If you detect any irritation, contact your vet immediately.
  • Try to keep your pet from licking or chewing at the wound. If they continue to interact with the area, you can try using an “Elizabethan Collar” around their head.