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Ultimate tips to care for your pet before and after surgery

As loving pet parents, we want nothing but the best for our furbabies. So our pets undergoing surgery or treatment can be stressful and emotional for both parents and the furbabies. But with proper pre and post-care, you can help make the recovery process smooth and successful.

In this blog post, we will explore essential steps and tips for nurturing your furry friend back to health after surgery.

A french bull dog pup wearing a bandana sitting on a bench at the vet office
Going to the vet can be an stressful experience for our pups

Pre-surgery care

1. Consult your vet

A pre-surgery appointment with your veterinarian to discuss the surgery, its purpose, and any concerns you may have will help ease your mind and better prepare you and your pet for the day. Your vet will provide specific guidelines, such as fasting your pet before surgery, to ensure their safety during the procedure.

2. Prepare your home

It is essential to have a clean, quiet and comfortable area at home where your pet can recover. If your pet is crate-trained, this can help with the recovery process. Especially if there are other pets or children at home, having a secure enclosure such as a playpen can ensure that your pet gets the quiet time needed to recover. Ensure the recovery area is free from hazards and has easy access to food, water, and a litter box if needed.

3. Prepare your pet

Likely, your pet won't be able to bathe after surgery for several days. If you have a hairy dog like an oodle, this might mean arranging a groom with your groomer. You'll be thankful that you groomed your dog pre-surgery.

4. Purchase supportive necessities

When your pet comes out of the surgery, they will likely have to wear an Elizabethan collar. This prevents them from licking the wound and accidentally opening stitches or further infecting the area. As important as these E-collars are, they can be harsh and uncomfortable for your pet. Luckily, alternatives, such as Muse Pet's soft recovery collar, will be ideal alternative for cats and small dogs.

This can be handy to have in hand, even for minor accidents at home, to avoid licking a paw or to stop licking a balm off their paws and other areas. It's super comfortable and doesn't obstruct your dog/cat from doing regular activities.

Quick tip: Scheduling your pet's surgery for the morning can be advantageous. Especially if they have to fast until surgery.

Day of the surgery

1. Carry your pet's favourite toy/blanket

If your pet is to stay in the hospital for longer than a few hours/overnight, it'll help them to have your favourite toy or a blanket with them. A smell they are familiar with can comfort and emotionally support them through an otherwise stressful time.

2. Pick up medication

Reuniting with your pet after surgery can be very exciting, but remember to gather the necessary information from your vet and collect pain and other essential medication.

3. Comfy ride home

Remember to carry a comfortable car seat or bed so your furbaby will be comfortable in the car ride home. Line the bed with pee pads, as most pets will not have bladder control after the surgery. A quick walk (if allowed) before the car ride can help, too. Carry plenty of water, as your pet can be thirsty if they don't have access to water.

A whippet dog lying under a blanket on a bed
Comfortable and a relaxing environment can be the key to your pet's recovery

Post-surgery care

1. Follow your vet's instructions

Strictly adhere to your vet's postoperative care instructions. These may include administering medications, changing dressings, or monitoring for unusual symptoms.

2. Rest and Comfort

Encourage your pet to rest and limit their physical activity, as excessive movement can hinder the healing process. Having the playpen/crate mentioned above can be helpful.

3. Monitor Wound care

The recovery collar can help avoid excessive licking or your pet damaging the stitches. Keep a close eye on the surgical wound for any signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or discharge. Report any concerns promptly to your vet.

4. Nutrition and Hydration

Ensure your pet has access to clean, fresh water at all times. Offer small, frequent meals: If your pet has had abdominal surgery, consider feeding smaller, more frequent meals to prevent nausea or vomiting. Sometimes, your vet may recommend a special diet during recovery to aid healing.

5. Emotional Support

Pets may experience stress and anxiety after surgery. Provide comfort and emotional support by offering gentle pets and cuddles to reassure them. Providing your pet with their favourite toys and blankets creates a sense of familiarity. During recovery, keep the environment calm and limit exposure to loud noises or unfamiliar animals.

6. Follow-up appointments

Depending on your pet and the surgery, they may require follow-up appointments with your veterinarian. These might be to remove stitches or to help ensure your pet's surgical site is healing correctly and that they are on the path to full recovery. They are crucial to monitor your pet's progress and address any concerns.


Shower them with love and support throughout their healing journey

Pet surgery can be a challenging and stressful experience, but with the proper care and attention, you can help your furry friend recover swiftly and comfortably. Remember to consult with your veterinarian and follow their guidance.

Nothing hurts more than seeing our best friends in pain and unable to express their emotions in words. So make sure you have support from family and friends, as these times can be mentally challenging to us humans as well.

While it can be an unpleasant experience, medical procedures are necessary to guarantee the health and safety of our loving pets.

Disclaimer: Please note any advice here in general in nature, consider your individual circumstances and consult your vet for the best healthcare for your puppy.


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