Surgery and Your Pet: What You Need to Know

Young German Sheppherd Dog Laying on Veterinarian Table While Getting Leg Wrapped Up

Taking care of your pet when they are unwell and need surgery can be challenging. Your pet is counting on you as their best friend and caregiver for a stressful time in their lives. It's a title to be proud of as you create a safe space for them to heal post-surgery.

Here's a basic guideline to give you the confidence and knowledge you need to prepare your furbaby for an operation and ensure successful post-operative care. 

Pre-surgery Checklist (A Few Days or Weeks Before)

Cat with a cone and green eyes looking into camera lens

Take the time to focus on the following before your pet's admittance to the veterinary hospital. 

1. Get Obedience Up-to-Scratch

Practice commands and obedience like "sit" and "stay" so your pet gets used to staying in bed when instructed. This will be required post-surgery, depending on the stitches and wounds.

Pets on Broadway sells a variety of post-op pet products including surgical suits, cones, pill-poppers, leg hammocks, pain-reliever, CBD and other calming products and so much more. Many of these items are sold in-store only. 

2. Find Your Vaccine Card and Check it Twice!

Be sure your pet is up to date on immunizations before the surgery. Your vet will let you know which vaccines are needed. 

3. Plan Some Pampering

Catch up on grooming, so your pet is freshly washed and trimmed before surgery. This is because stiches shouldn't get wet; water loosens the sutures and can introduce pollutants into the wound. 

4. Prepare a Comfortable Space

Dog laying down after surgery

Set up your pet's comfortable recovery area before the day of the operation. Here are some things to add or consider:

  • Lots of comfortable padding or orthopedic mattresses.
  • A crate to keep them stationary. Make sure it's large enough for them to stand up.
  • New toys or interactive games to keep their minds alert while they can't move.
  • A cushioned collar or cone to prevent them from nipping at itchy stitches.
  • Carpets or runners to cover slippery floors in your home.
  • A temporary litter box or pee pad.
  • A stair gate to keep your pet from the steps for a few days.

Also be sure to place your pet's comfortable haven in a safe and social space in your home so they feel connected to you. 

24 Hours Before D-Day!

Here's what to do to get ready the day before the surgery:

5. No Breakfast, Sorry!

Fasting is usually necessary before any surgery—major or minor. Your veterinarian will tell you how long your pet needs to fast and if fluids are allowed. 

6. Prepare the Car

Person lifting their Rottweiler dog from the ground with harness

Setting up your car for comfortable transport is vital post-surgery. Make sure there is plenty of padding, and consider calming aids to ease anxiety, like CDB tinctures, pheromone sprays, or medication from your vet. Larger dogs may need a ramp to encourage waking into the car and to prevent jumping.  

Post Surgery Care

You're prepared so much for your pet until now. Here are our top tips to make sure their healing is quick!

7. Check their Incision Daily

Look out for infection, oozing or redness. Also follow any additional instructions from your vet to keep the wound clean. 

8. Let Them Know You Care

Cuddle your pet and spend time with them. It's important to keep your pet as immobile as possible as they heal. Weather permitting, be sure to take them outdoors. Use a leash to guide them outside for toilet breaks—or carry them. This will prevent them from bolting out the door and risking injury. 

Sitting with your four-legged friend in the back yard will offer some sunshine and fresh air, which can help promote healing. Mental stimulation will also keep them alert and happy. Prioritizing some quality time with your pet will ease their anxiety and help them feel safe. 

Taking steps to keep your pet calm before and after surgery can aid in the healing process. For extra help with your furbaby's recovery, visit Pet's on Broadway for products, treats, and advice.