How to prepare for a dog’s surgery

By Dr. Cherice Roth, KeraVet Bio Advisor

A dog can need surgery for many different reasons. Regardless of the procedure, pet parents will need to do several things to prepare themselves and their dogs. Getting ready ahead of time will help keep the dog calm and help ensure a successful surgery, and it can also help facilitate a smoother recovery period. Here’s what pet parents need to know about how to prepare for their dog’s surgery.

Prepare to Stay Home for a Few Days 

No matter how simple the surgical procedure, a dog won’t be feeling quite like themselves for at least a few days. If possible, a pet parent should try to schedule their dog’s surgery when they’ll have a few days off (such as a Friday). That way, they can keep an eye on their dog, and help them get around, and make sure they don’t accidentally get hurt.

Find Out if the Dog Needs to Fast

Most surgical procedures require the dog to have an empty stomach. That means the dog should fast for at least 12 hours before surgery. According to most dog health advice, pet parents should remove access to food and water by at least 10 PM, depending on the time of the dog’s procedure. Fasting helps avoid vomiting or other complications.

Continue All Medications as Directed

Some dogs need daily medication. Even with fasting, pet parents should give their dog their prescriptions as directed, but a vet may advise against it in some cases. Pet parents should follow the dog advice provided by their vet.

Create a Comfortable Recovery Area

Most humans will set themselves up with a comfortable place to recover after surgery, and pet parents can create something similar for their dogs. No matter where they set up the “recovery room,” pet parents should make sure that it’s quiet and comfortable. They should also ensure it’s away from all the action in the home and other pets. Too much excitement or movement immediately following surgery can increase a dog’s risk of injury.

Treat the Day Like Any Other

Finally, one of the most important things a pet parent can do to prepare a dog for surgery is to treat the days leading up to it (and even the morning of) like any other day. If a pet parent is anxious or upset, the dog will notice, and they may become anxious too. Remaining calm and keeping things status quo will help the dog stay relaxed, even as they walk through the doors into the vet’s office.

Get a Dog Ready for Surgery 

Taking steps to get a dog ready for surgery plays an integral role in the overall success of the procedure. Things like setting up a recovery area and treating the days before the procedure like any other can help ensure that things go smoothly and the dog has a speedy recovery. If a pet parent has any questions or concerns about preparing for a dog’s surgery, they can get essential dog and puppy advice from a professional vet by reaching out through Fuzzy’s 24 Hour Vet Chat.

Learn more about KeraVet Bio Advisor, Dr. Cherice Roth, Chief Medical Officer for Fuzzy, by visiting her on LinkedIn.

This story was originally published March 18, 2022, to the Fuzzy website.

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