How to Care for a Dog After Surgery

by Jamie Tedder on Mar 06, 2024


Dog surgery can be a stressful time for everyone in the household. It involves concerns not only about the procedure itself but what happens after it as well. Whether your dog is recovering from an injury, illness, or surgery, it's essential to attend to their needs, ensure they have time and space to recuperate, and follow the instructions provided by your veterinarian to prevent complications and facilitate a safe and speedy recovery.

Supporting your dog after surgery and through their recovery starts by setting them up in a recovery space. It includes providing an indoor potty solution, such as grass pee pads for dogs. They are a convenient alternative to outdoor trips, which can be challenging for your furry friend during their recovery.

How to Support Recovering Dog After Surgery, Illness, or Injury

A few basic tips to support your dog's healing process are to keep them comfortable and ensure they get plenty of rest. During recovery, it may be necessary to restrict their activity to prevent further stress on the wound or injury. Keep them indoors for at least a week or two, and since you can't expect your dog to settle down easily, consider restricting your pet's movement by putting them in a crate rest. It will help your dog's incision heal quickly.

Set Up a Quiet Space for Your Dog

Like humans, dogs often sleep more when injured to conserve their energy. If possible, fix up a spare room or at least a quiet corner, away from kids and other pets, where they can physically recover. Provide a plush and snug bed with enough space to stretch out — this is important to minimize potential strain on your dog's wound. You can also keep their favorite toys with them or give them dog-friendly chew toys to keep them occupied and prevent boredom.

Use Dog Grass Pads

An indoor potty pad like Gotta Go Grass® can be a crucial aid for a recovering dog, providing an accessible bathroom alternative, particularly for dogs with mobility issues. This guarantees 24-hour access to a bathroom, which is essential during recovery when outdoor bathroom breaks may be challenging. It allows your dog to focus on rest and recovery while also preventing accidents.

Using real grass instead of synthetic or single-use alternatives offers far more advantages. For example, living grass has natural moisture and odor-control properties, helping you maintain a more sanitary environment without the extensive cleaning required for artificial grass. It can also last up to four weeks, and being natural grass, it is fully biodegradable, further reducing its environmental impact.


Provide Adequate Water and Food

Your dog may feel a bit nauseous and lose their appetite after surgery. To aid in their recovery, start by offering a light meal like chicken, which is easier for them to digest than store-bought, ready-made food.

Their appetite should typically improve within 24 hours post-surgery, and you can gradually switch back to their regular diet. Keep food and water accessible to them and offer them to your dog even if they don't seem interested — making sure they are fed and hydrated will help them recover faster.

Follow Vet Instructions

Your vet or veterinary surgeon will usually provide post-op instructions when you bring your dog home, which may include a guide for infection and pain medication, pain management, gentle exercise, treating your pet's incision site, and dressing wounds correctly. It may also detail instructions on keeping the area dry and why it is crucial to prevent your dog from licking or scratching it.

Additionally, make sure to keep up with your dog's follow-up appointment with your vet to monitor your pet's progress and ensure that they are on track to recovery. These appointments also allow your vet to check for signs of infection or other complications early on, and treat them promptly if necessary.

Use Dog's Bandages and Other Medical Aids

Consider using medical aids such as bandages, cones, or donut-style collars to prevent them from scratching or licking their wounds. If your dog is feeling anxious, consult your vet about prescribing anti-anxiety medication to help your dog stay calm during recovery. It's crucial to monitor your dog's post-surgery pain, keeping an eye out for unusual signs of pain, such as shaking, trembling, whining, or restlessness. If you notice any of these signs or suspect an emergency, contact your vet immediately or go to your pet's veterinary hospital for prompt care.

Provide Gentle Care

After surgery, your dog may be more sensitive than usual and quick to pick up on your emotions. During this time, it's crucial to remain gentle when engaging with them, even in the event of an accident, which they may be more prone to. If such an unfortunate event occurs, speak kindly to your dog instead of snapping or shouting at them. Use positive reinforcement and help your dog adjust to the temporary situation.

There are other ways you can be gentle with them, such as speaking to them calmly and using gentle touches. This approach can make a significant difference to your dog's well-being and recovery.


Help Your Dog Through Recovery with Gotta Go Grass®

Recovery times for pets recuperating from surgery vary depending on the type of procedure. It can take anywhere from two weeks for routine soft tissue surgeries to two months or longer for orthopedic surgery. Regardless of the timeline for your dog's recovery, your support at home is crucial. Monitor your dog's progress closely and watch for any signs of infection or behavioral changes indicating pain.

To relieve post-op discomfort, start by setting up your dog's bedding and grass pads. This way, you can avoid putting them through the ordeal of going outside simply for a potty break.

Gotta Go Grass® offers high-quality grass pads for dogs, providing a natural bathroom solution for your furry friend. Our grass is grown in a controlled environment to ensure optimal quality and long-lasting freshness.

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