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Tips for Pet Surgery Aftercare

Welcoming a Fluffy Friend into our lives brings lots of joy and companionship. 

However, just like humans, they might require medical care like surgery.

pet surgery aftercare

Does your pet need a routine procedure or a major surgery? 

As responsible pet parents, one of our roles is to give post-surgery care to help them heal.

Their post-operative care is vital for a fast recovery time. 

This guide looks into the top tips for pet surgery aftercare.

Learning how to care for pets after surgery aids their recovery process, so let's get right to it!

What Should You Expect?

pet surgery aftercare


After your pet undergoes surgery, you'd need to care for them until complete recovery.

From pain relief to incision checks, your fur baby will rely on your support.

Here's what you should expect:

General Anaesthetic

General anaesthesia may be used during veterinary surgical operations.

It makes your pet sleep to avoid unnecessary pain.

Still, it can take a period of time for its effects to wear off.

Side effects include the following:

  • Sleepiness
  • Stumbling
  • Reserved behaviour
  • Aches
  • Loss of appetite

Recovery Time

Your pet's recovery time depends on the type of surgery they'll undergo.

Soft tissue operations like stomach surgery heal quicker.

Most soft tissue surgeries' recovery time is at 2 to 6 weeks.

Also, surgeries on ligaments and bones take a longer time.

Healing usually takes 8 to 12 weeks after surgery.

However, torn cruciate ligament (ACL) repair may take up to 6 months.

Post-Operative Instructions

Be sure to follow your vet's specific instructions carefully!

There may be special care required that you shouldn't miss.

Follow-up Appointments

Your vet will check the healing process during your pet's follow-up appointments.

They'll also look for signs of infection.


  • Don't leave bandages on for too long. This may lead to pressure sores and decreased blood flow.
  • Having a veterinary professional dress the wounds is a good idea.
  • If the dressing comes off between visits, schedule a visit at once!
  • If you see swelling or blood leaks, call your vet right away.
  • Seek medical advice if you smell a foul odour near the incision site!

Related: Choosing the Best Pet Safe Lawn Fertiliser

Pet Surgery Aftercare To-Dos

pet surgery aftercare


Your Fluffy Friend might experience temporary lack of appetite after a general anaesthetic.

Give them a light meal (1/4 or 1/2 of a full meal) for easier digestion.

After about 24 hours, your pet’s appetite will return to normal.

Then again, call your vet if your furry friend's appetite doesn't return within 48 hours.

Appetite loss might mean pain or infection.

Also, consult your vet if you're unsure of the ideal food for your pet post-surgery.

Pain Control

Your vet will go over the drugs recommended to treat post-surgical pain.

Your fur baby will go through the needed dosage, required frequency, and intake method.

To prevent pain during recovery, strictly follow your vet's instructions.

The 2 most frequently given drugs for pets after surgery are:

  • Antibiotics to avoid infection
  • Pain medication to lessen post-op aches

Your vet may also give an anti-anxiety medication to keep your pet calm.

Keep away from home remedies!

Never give human medications to your pet without talking to your vet. 

Many human drugs are poisonous to pets.

Limit Movement

Your vet may advise limiting your pet’s activities after a surgical procedure.

Jumping and sudden stretches might delay healing.

They might also force the incision to reopen.

Fortunately, a lot of procedures don’t need complete "crate-rest."

They can lie on their comfortable bed or an orthopaedic pillow for comfort.

Stop your pet from jumping on furniture that they enjoy sleeping on.

When you can’t closely watch them, you might need to keep them in a secure room for a few days to stop these behaviours.

Comfort and Crate-Rest

Still, orthopaedic surgeries might need crate-rest.

You can make them more comfortable in a cage by making sure that:

  • It has plenty of room for your pet to stand up and move around.
  • You might need a bigger kennel if they need to wear a plastic cone or Elizabethan collar.
  • There’s enough space for feeding bowls.

Surgery Checks

Here are some surgery checks that you need to look into:


Stitches or staples are usually removed 10-14 days after the surgery.

Depending on the surgical procedure, vets could use internal stitches that dissolve when the incision heals.

Don’t worry; you’ll be informed what type of stitches were used.

Still, you must stop your companion from licking the wound to avoid infection.


Stopping your pet from biting or rubbing the surgery site can be difficult.

To stop them, use donut-style collars.

You can also check out post-surgery pet clothes.


Keeping your pet's bandages dry is the best way to ensure a faster recovery.

They should be covered with a plastic bag or cling wrap whenever your pet goes outside.

When they enter the house, you can remove the plastic covering.

Sweat may gather there if the plastic isn’t removed, causing an infection.

Related: 5 Reasons Why Your Cat Is Not Eating

Final Thoughts

pet surgery aftercare


Providing your pet with stimulation and love during post-op surgery is crucial.

They don't understand when they’re healing and will likely become sad.

You can give them chew toys or squeaky toys that won't jump or stretch.

To avoid boredom, give your pet one or two toys at a time, and change them frequently.

Treats are a great way to comfort your Fluffy Friend!

Then again, bear in mind that they might need less calories.

Take a few minutes out of your busy day to play with your pet. We’re sure they’ll feel loved even while recovering!

Related: The Best Dog Breed for Van Life

pet surgery aftercare


Proper aftercare is important for a successful recovery!

The journey to your pet's overall health doesn't end when they leave the clinic!

It continues at home through your care.

By following the tips here in this blog, you can fast track your pet's healing.

Here's to a speedy recovery and many happy and healthy moments together.



Looking for some products that could help you out?

Check out our Online Shop!

Here are some useful products in relation to this blog post:

MrFluffyFriend - Anxiety Relieving Pet Bed

MrFluffyFriend - Orthopaedic Pillow

MrFluffyFriend - Adjustable Dog Bowl

MrFluffyFriend - 6 Pack of Dog Toys for Stronger Teeth


  • Hey Maria!

    Thanks so much for your comment! Stay tuned for next week’s blog content!

  • Hey Maria!

    Thanks so much for your comment! Stay tuned for next week’s blog content!

  • Hey Maria!

    Thanks so much for your comment! Stay tuned for next week’s blog content!

  • Great products. And information about. Tips for pet surgery.after they come home.
    MrFluffyFriend™ replied:
    Hey Maria!

    Thanks so much for your comment! Stay tuned for next week’s blog content!

    Maria Hoyt

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