If your pooch is unlucky enough to need an operation, they'll require a different level of care to usual. Anyone who has had to undergo an operation before knows how uncomfortable the recovery process can be. It is no different for dogs.
When your dog gets home, it is important that you do what you can to make them feel as comfortable as possible. Each operation is different, so the vet will likely give you a list of things you should and shouldn't do when looking after your dog. It is important that you follow these instructions as they are vital to your dog's recovery.
You should also be sure to ask any questions you have, as this will ensure you are clear on all points. Remember, there are no stupid questions when it comes to looking after your pet, and asking everything can help put your mind at ease.
If you have concerns that you may not be able to fulfil some of the instructions your vet gives you, you should let them know as early as possible. They will then be able to give you more help to ensure your pet gets everything they need.
When you do get your pet home, you should ensure they have a warm, dry, clean and comfortable bed waiting for them. To avoid confusion, try and leave their bed where it usually is. However, you may want to move it into the room where you are spending most of your time so you can keep an eye on them.
Wherever you put their bed, be sure it is somewhere quiet and out of the way so your pooch can relax.
Ideally, you should only let your dog outside to go to the toilet and should try and stop them from running around too much. Try keeping them on a lead, even if you are only going in the garden. You should be aware that your dog may need to go to the toilet more often usual, especially if they were given fluids during the operation.
If you've been given medication to give your dog, you need to make sure you give it to them correctly and at the right time. You also need to ensure your dog takes all of the medicine, as it is vital for their recovery.
You should also keep an eye on the surgical site, watching out for any sign of infection or soreness. Stop your dog from licking it or paying too much attention to it as this can cause problems with stitches or increase the risk of complications. If you have any concerns about the appearance of the surgical site, talk to your vet.
When it comes to food and water, feed your dog only small amounts at a time until they start to feel more like themselves. If your pet is still affected by the anaesthetic, they may well be sick after eating for the first time. However, regular meals and plenty of water will help them overcome this.
Written by: Hannah