Dogs undergo surgery for a plethora of reasons, just like humans do. Whether it’s a simple neuter, broken bone or severely traumatic incident, your dog will need help recovering from surgery.
Helping your dog after they have been through surgery will be key in a full body recovery. In this blog post I talk about tips for helping your dog recover after surgery.
Unfortunately this blog post is written from experience, as Wynston has broken his foot and been mauled to near death by a large dog.
Tips for Helping Your Dog Recover After Surgery
Pay close attention to their behavior and body language.
When your dog gets home from surgery, they will probably be super sleepy and lethargic. They may also lack an appetite. These types of behaviors are generally normal.
Pay close attention to your dog’s behavior as the days go on. If you are uncomfortable with the healing or aren’t sure if something is normal, call your veterinarian immediately. It’s better to seek guidance from your vet than have to face another health issue.
Get them comfortable.
Make sure your dog has a quiet, safe space to recover from surgery. You do not want to allow your dog to jump, so it’s best to have a cozy space on the floor.
After Wynston got attacked by a dog, we put the bed mattress on the floor so Wynston could still sleep in bed without having to use the ramp. The more comfortable your dog is, the easier it will be to recover and heal.
Assist your dog.
If your dog needs help standing up, going potty or eating, help them! Your dog depends on you, and you are all they have! Your dog will need help in their surgery recovery, and it’s up to you to be the best pet parent possible.
Manage their pain.
Your dog’s veterinarian probably prescribed something for pain. Make sure you are administering it as prescribed to keep your pup comfortable. If you fear your dog may be in extreme pain, contact your veterinarian immediately or go to the emergency vet.
It’s absolutely imperative that you keep your dog calm and relaxed for at least two weeks after surgery. If you have an energetic dog, you may need to keep them on kennel rest. Too much activity can halt healing and even tear open incisions or the surgery site.
Enhance your dog’s diet.
Your dog will benefit from a high-quality diet after surgery. They may even need additional foods such as pumpkin to keep their digestive system working properly. Many medications can cause constipation.
Some dog’s aren’t interested in eating after surgery, but offering safe human foods or freeze-dried raw food can potentially boost their interest in food.
Administer medications properly.
It’s crucial to give your dog their medications as prescribed. This means giving every dose and completely finishing necessary meds, such as antibiotics. Dogs cannot dispense their medications alone, and it’s our responsibility to help our dogs heal from surgery by giving them all medications correctly.
Don’t neglect wound care.
If your dog needs wound care as a part of their surgery recovery, create a routine and stick to it. Wynston required wound care several times each day after his two surgeries. I kept a journal of it all in order to stay accountable and keep track of what time we did our warm compresses.
Keep a journal or planner.
Keep a log of when you administer your dog’s medication and do any necessary wound care. It’ll help you keep track of everything without having to remember every single detail. Writing down a history can also help with further veterinary care.
You may also want to write notes about your dog’s activity level, appetite and potty routine.
Remember your dog’s mental health.
Dogs can become sad and depressed, too. Routines are typically disturbed after surgery, and the transition can be difficult for many dogs.
Give your pup a lot of love and praise during their recovery. You can even gently play with a squeaky toy, or offer your dog a massage. There are a ton of ways you can continue to bond with your dog and keep them happy while they have to rest.
Products to Help the Recovery Process
There are several products I personally recommend to help your dog recover from surgery.
Bolster Bed: Especially helpful for surgeries where head and neck support is beneficial. This bed was very helpful for Wynston. It allowed him to get full nights of sleep.
Organization Caddy: I used this diaper caddy to organize all of Wynston’s medicine and treatment supplies after his two invasive surgeries.
Digestive Aid: Wynston was severely constipated after surgery. These Instinct Freeze-Dried Raw Boost Gut Health Mixers got Wynston’s bowels moving within 24 hours. They were a miracle!
Portable Dog Water Bottle: To keep Wynston hydrated after surgery, I used this portable water bottle. I was able to help him drink in bed without causing a huge mess. I also bring this water bottle along on all of our travels and adventures.
Dog Stroller: Dog strollers are absolutely amazing when you have an injured pet. Your dog can still enjoy walks and outings safely if you have a stroller. They are also fantastic for vet visits, and are tremendous tools in helping your dog recover after surgery.
Potty Pads: Your dog may have accidents after surgery, or they may need a new potty routine. Puppy pads can help immensely with the transition. They are also helpful to have on hand for wound care.
Remember to always follow your vet’s instructions first and foremost. Your veterinarian and their medical team are there to assist and answer questions, so don’t hesitate to reach out to them with concerns.
We hope that you’ve found this list of tips for helping your dog recover after surgery helpful!