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Do dogs have to stay overnight after neutering or spaying?

Taking your pet to the veterinarian to get spayed or neutered is a wise decision. Those procedures prevent unplanned offspring. Spaying or neutering can also grant your pet some long-term health benefits.

If you’ve decided that you want to get your pet dog either spayed or neutered, you should consider what that decision entails. In the short-term, you have to consider your dog’s recovery.

In this article, we detail what you can expect after your dog is either spayed or neutered. Read on so you have a better idea of what you need to do after your pet undergoes spaying or neutering.

Do Dogs Have to Stay Overnight after Neutering or Spaying?

Most people regard spaying and neutering as relatively minor procedures. While both spaying and neutering are considered very safe, they are still surgical procedures. Because of that, pets will need some time to recover from them.

Do not be surprised if the veterinarian advises you to let your pet stay at the hospital overnight. That’s the recommendation for most post-op pets.

So, why is it necessary for your pet dog to stay at the animal hospital overnight? The reasons detailed below highlight the importance of that overnight stay.

Your Pet Can Be Observed Better

Dogs need to be observed closely after any surgical procedure. You can keep watch over them yourself, but you may not know what to look for.

While your dog is at the hospital, the staff there can check if the incisions are remaining intact. They can also observe how your dog recovers from being put under anesthesia.

Your pet can be monitored better if they stay at the hospital overnight. If anything goes wrong, the people there can also act quickly to resolve the issue.

The Veterinarian Can Provide Additional Medication

Allowing your pet to stay at the hospital overnight is also recommended because it makes administering additional medication easier and less risky.

Your pet may need some pain relievers the morning after the surgery. You can do that yourself, but your dog may put up some resistance. Their wounds could open up as they try to avoid the medication.

Veterinarians have more experience when it comes to giving dogs medication. They know how to give the medication without risking any complications.

Your Pet’s Temperature Can Be Checked Immediately

Checking your dog’s temperature post-surgery is important because it can indicate if something’s wrong. If your pet registers an unusual temperature reading, the veterinarian can take steps right away to address that matter. While at home, you may not even realize that your pet’s temperature is off.

How Long Do Dogs Stay in Hospital after Neutering or Spaying?

The length of time your dog needs to spend at the hospital after neutering or spaying is not etched in stone. In most cases, an overnight stay is enough. After the overnight observation, your dog will be allowed to go home and you will be responsible for watching over them.

However, there may be times when your dog has to stay for an entire day at the hospital. That could be because some minor complications emerged and the veterinarian would like to observe your pet a bit longer.

Notably, it is possible to bring your dog home on the same day they have the surgery. The veterinarian may allow that if the procedure is done early enough and they can still observe your pet for most of the day. They may allow you to bring your pet home before they close the hospital.

Can a Dog Be Left Alone after Neutering or Spaying?

After going through surgery, your pet could use a bit of a break. Giving them some alone time will allow them to relax and recover from the procedure. Leaving them alone is not an issue as long as they aren’t touching their wounds.

What you want to do is just check up on your pet from time to time. Approach them and check if the Elizabethan collar is still secure. Look at their wounds as well and see if there are any signs of licking, scratching, or biting.

As long as your dog is not touching their wounds, leaving them alone for a bit will not be a problem.

What to Do with My Dog after Neutering or Spaying?

Providing the right type of post-op care is crucial for your pet’s recovery. Detailed in this section are the things you must do so your dog can recover from the surgery faster.

Keep Your Dog Rested and Relaxed

The stitches holding your dog’s surgery wounds closed can open up if your dog starts running or jumping around. You must limit their activity during that time to prevent any accidents. Even bathing should be off the table for a while.

Allow your dog to head into your yard to expel waste, but that’s it. You should wait a while before going on regular walks again.

You should also keep other animals away from your dog during this time. Preventing those interactions will stop your dog from getting excited or irritated. Plus, it also prevents other animals from touching your dog’s wounds.

Check on Your Dog’s Surgical Wounds

Keep a close eye on your dog’s surgical wounds during their recovery. Call the veterinarian immediately if you notice some discharge coming from the wounds. You should also get in touch with the veterinarian if the wounds are swelling up.

Also, avoid doing anything to the wounds yourself. Don’t attempt to clean the wounds unsupervised because that could just make things worse.

Feed Your Pet Normally

There’s no need to change your pet’s diet post-surgery. You probably want to make their first meal post-surgery a bit smaller than normal because their appetite may not be there, but that’s it. Feed them regularly after that.

This is also not the time to change your pet’s diet because doing so could disguise potential issues. Allow your pet to fully recover before changing their diet if that’s something you want to do.

How Long Does a Dog Have to Wear a Cone after Neutering or Spaying?

The Elizabethan collar, otherwise known as the cone, should stay on your dog until their surgical wounds are fully healed. Most of those surgical wounds heal after about a week or two. If you’re unsure if the wounds are already healed, you can consult with the veterinarian.

Take your dog to the veterinarian so their wounds can be examined closely. After the examination, the veterinarian can tell you if the cone can already be removed.

When Can a Dog Be Walked after Neutering or Spaying?

Similar to the timeline for cone removal, you should only walk your dog after wounds are completely healed. Once again, the timeframe of one to two weeks is what you need to keep in mind here.

Some dogs may be well enough to go on short walks three to four days after the surgery, but that is still somewhat risky. You’re better off waiting or consulting with the vet before going on long walks together with your dog again.