Questions every pet parent should ask before surgery

By Dr. Cherice Roth, KeraVet Bio Lead Medical Advisor

Have you been told that your pet might need surgery? To properly prepare your pet and your family here is a list of questions to consider asking.


  • What is the specific diagnosis and reason my pet requires surgery?
  • Can you explain the benefits and potential risks of the surgery?
  • Are there any alternative treatments available besides surgery?
  • How long is the expected surgery and recovery time?
  • Will my pet experience pain, and how will it be managed before, during, and after surgery?
  • What are the chances of success for this surgery?
  • What complications could arise during or after the surgery, and how are they addressed?
  • What is the estimated cost of surgery?
  • Are there any long-term health implications or lifestyle changes for my pet after this surgery?
  • What support services do you offer, like rehabilitation or physical therapy?


  • What preoperative tests or exams will my pet need?
  • How should I prepare my pet for the surgery?
  • How should I modify my pet’s diet and nutrition before surgery?
  • What type of anesthesia will be used, and how is it monitored?
  • Can you walk me through the surgical procedure?
  • If tissue or biopsies are being taken during the surgery, will there be additional analysis, and what would that entail?
  • Can I visit my pet while they are recovering at the facility?


  • How long will my pet need to stay in the hospital post-surgery?
  • What kind of post-operative care will my pet need at home?
  • Are there any restrictions or special care instructions I need to follow during my pet’s recovery?
  • How will you manage my pet’s pain or discomfort at home?
  • What signs of complications or recovery issues should I look for?
  • How often will you need to see my pet for follow-up visits?
  • What is the estimated cost of post-surgical care?
  • Is there any printed or online information I can take home about the surgery and post-operative care?
  • How should I modify my pet’s diet and lifestyle after surgery?
  • How can I reach you or a team member if there’s an emergency or if I have concerns after hours?

Learn more about KeraVet Bio Advisor, Dr. Cherice Roth, MS, DVM, by visiting her on LinkedIn.