Spaying/Neutering Aftercare: Things You Should And Shouldn’t Do For Your Dog

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There are many valid reasons to spay/neuter your bitch/dog. One of the main reasons is that spaying/neutering is beneficial for your pet’s health in the long run. At the same time, it is also a very responsible attitude as it helps controlling the number of stray dogs. Spaying/neutering your pet will also prevent some unwanted behaviours.

As with any other medical procedure, it’s highly important that you know how to effectively take care of your furry friend after undergoing surgery. If instead of dogs you want to know more about cats, click here. Some dogs will recover faster, but there are ways in which you can facilitate the recovery process.
Here are some of the things you should remember.

Care after arriving home

dog-717718_960_720After bringing your dog home you may notice she is disoriented or more depressed than usual. It is not uncommon for the dog to be particularly quiet during the first 24h after surgery. If, for some reason, your dog is agitated you should confine her. Specially in the case of females where there is a higher chance for the stitches to open.

Make sure you place your dog in a quiet place, in dim light, during the recovery process. The bed must be comfortable and the room temperature should be pleasant. If you have other pets at home or children, keep them away from your dog. During the recovery period your dog may experience some disorientation and may become aggressive our stressed.

The anaesthesia effect usually wears off completely after 24h. After this period, your dog should be behaving as usual.

What about food and water?

Once your dog gets home from the vet, you can offer her a small amount of water. You should not allow your dog to drink too much as this can cause vomiting. When the dog is awake and alert you can offer her food. The amount should be small (half than the usual). If your dog vomits or refuses to eat do not force it. You should wait until the next day to offer food again.

Twenty four hours after surgery you may offer water and food in normal amounts. It is normal for your dog’s appetite not to be the same as usual during the first day. However, if everything is not back to normal within the first 48h after surgery, you should call your vet.


bulldog-3013251_960_720Your pet received long-term pain medication during the spaying/neutering surgery. However, 24 to 36 hours after surgery, it is possible that the effect of this medication begins wearing off. Therefore, it is normal for the vet to prescribe pain medication. If you have received medication for your dog , follow the instructions given by the vet.

DO NOT GIVE HUMAN MEDICATION TO YOUR PET!! Many owners do not know, but over-the-counter medications routinely used in humans (such as aspirin, paracetamol, or ibuprofen) can be dangerous and even fatal to their animals. Dogs do not metabolize these drugs in the same way as humans do. If you think your dog needs pain medication, contact your vet. He will prescribe an appropriate medicine.

Bathroom habits

Contact the vet if your dog is not urinating or defecating regularly within 72 hours after surgery.
Check if is blood present in your dog’s urine. A small amount may be present in female dogs during the first 24 hours after surgery. If this continues or if your dog appears ill at any time, call the vet.

Activity levels

A day or two after spaying/neutering, your dog’s personality should return to normal. However, you should restrict your dog’s activity for seven days after surgery.

Too much activity may lead to the opening or inflammations of the surgery site. To help keep your pet quiet:

  • Restrict the places your dog has access to inside the house. Keep your dog in a room or a in a crate of adequate size when you are not able to supervise it. The dog should be able to stand up and turn inside the crate.
  • If there are steps and if your dog is small, carry her up and down the stairs.
  • Always walk your dog on the lead for short periods of time and do not let him play rough with other animals or people. Also, do not let your dog jump up or down the sofa.

As stressful as it may seem to take care of your dog after surgery, remember that you are doing the best for your pet’s health!


To remember when you got your dog neutered and never forget his medication get the PETABLE app. It will send you reminders so you never miss a treatment again. Click to download:
appstore   playstore


  • david
    July 25, 2019, 2:46 pm  Reply

    my dog isnt drinking after three days of been nuetering

  • Laura Pritchett
    September 26, 2019, 2:16 pm  Reply

    I just got my 6 month old small terrier mix yesterday and although it’s been 24 hours, he is still very sluggish and cries out in pain with no warning, while seemingly still and resting. I am following the guidelines and hope my little boy Is on the mend and playing again soon.

  • debbie joy
    November 7, 2019, 2:23 pm  Reply

    So, I came here for an answer to a question I have. I appreciate the article as it is informative, but it doesn’t answer the question I have. My vet didn’t prescribe any pain meds. I can see that my dog is in pain. Why would they fail 2provide this? In previous situations, it’s beencommon for a vet to suggest 1/4 baby aspirin-my dogs are Papillons & Chihuahuas under 8#. Would this not b ok?

  • January 10, 2020, 1:12 am  Reply

    My dog is going to be neuter February 4,2020 I ThankYou for the information I’m going to need help with my dog so I’m trying to know what to do for my baby I mean my dog he is 6 years old on February 21,so I’m saying he is 6 year now
    Pray for my dog and me Thank You

  • Carolyn schmit
    May 15, 2020, 5:02 pm  Reply

    Thanks for the info. Have a shitstu puppy and plan on having her taken care of. Do not want to mess with puppies. Think you have provided great info for before and after. Than you.

  • Tj
    June 18, 2020, 6:33 am  Reply

    My dog appears pain free and full of beans 2nd day after surgery. So hard to keep him quiet. How much can we let him do. Wandering around the yard himself ok?

  • Cyndi
    June 19, 2020, 3:09 am  Reply

    My ten month old border collie was pretty much himself after surgery. Had a heck of a time keeping him from jumping. Before I could stop him, he leapt up into my Terrain. Even with the surgical collar he was able to lick himself. I had to get a blow up round travel pillow and fasten tightly, but not so he can’t breath. He is a handfull. I have to stay right at his side constantly!

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