Skip to Content

How soon after spaying or neutering can I bathe my dog? (Or Groom)

How soon after spaying or neutering can I bathe my dog? (Or Groom)

The period after spaying or neutering is a sensitive and potentially changing time for your pet dog. Their body is undergoing changes they may not understand. You may also have to impose some restrictions they may not like.

Playing right after spaying or neutering is not recommended. The same goes for going outside and other activities.

You may be wondering if those restrictions extend to bathing.

Can you bathe your dog immediately after spaying or neutering or should you wait on that? Let’s answer that important question related to canine hygiene in this article. Reference the information included here so you can care better for your dog who just underwent surgery.

How Soon after Spaying or Neutering Can I Bathe My Dog?

Spaying and neutering are routine procedures, but they are still forms of surgery. You cannot expect your dog to be just like normal merely hours after undergoing one of those procedures.

As their owner, you must be ready to give them plenty of time to recover. You will have to switch things up a bit during your dog’s recovery period.

We already mentioned that playing and heading outside are activities your pet should avoid while they are recovering. On top of that, you need to monitor them closely and stop them from tinkering with their wounds.

Changes to your dog’s hygiene routine are also needed. Bath time, in particular, is something your dog should avoid for now.

Why is bathing your dog not a good idea during that time? That’s mainly due to how exposure to moisture can affect their wounds.

The surgical glue used to close the incision may dissolve after being exposed to water. If that glue dissolves, your dog’s wounds may open up. You should wait for your dog to fully recover before bathing them.

The typical recovery period for spaying or neutering is 10 to 14 days. The recovery period will change based on the size of your dog. Smaller dogs recover faster while bigger pets need more time.

In any case, bathing should be off-limits for your dog until they have recovered fully from the procedure. Of course, many dogs won’t mind avoiding baths for two weeks or even longer if they can.

How Long after Spaying or Neutering Can My Dog Get Groomed?

Bathing is out of the question until your dog recovers from spaying or neutering. But what about grooming? Do you have to skip out on grooming appointments as well while your pet recovers?

Yes, grooming is also off the table while your dog is recovering from surgery. Wait 10 to 14 days before getting your dog groomed.

You cannot predict how your dog will react to grooming. Even if they’ve been groomed before, they may react differently if they are still in the midst of recovery.

Any sudden movement from your dog during their grooming session can be bad news. Their wounds may open because they reacted surprisingly to being groomed. It’s best to wait until your dog’s surgical wounds have fully healed before you take them to the groomers.

Alternatively, you can also schedule the grooming before your pet undergoes surgery. Get the grooming out of the way early so you don’t have to worry about your dog’s hair or nails getting too long.

If you forgot to schedule the grooming session beforehand, you can also ask the veterinarian to shave your pet. The veterinarian may oblige especially if shaving your dog makes performing the surgery easier.

How Long Does It Take a Dog to Recover from Being Spayed or Neutered?

10 to 14 days is the expected recovery time for dogs who just underwent spaying or neutering. We already mentioned that the size of your dog can impact recovery time. Beyond that, there are other factors to consider.

For instance, the recovery period may extend beyond 14 days if your dog misbehaved. Perhaps your dog licked their wound or it opened up while they were running around. At that point, you’ll have to take your dog back to the vet so they can get checked out again.

Something may have also gone wrong during the procedure and that can cause the recovery timeline to get messed up. If your dog has difficulty urinating, doesn’t eat much, and vomits after the procedure, you should bring them back to the veterinarian.

Don’t hesitate to talk to the veterinarian if you have questions about your pet’s recovery. They are there to help so reach out to them whenever necessary.

How to Wash a Dog after Spaying or Neutering?

Bathing your dog after the recovery period may be something you’re nervous about. That’s understandable.

To make that task more manageable, feel free to follow the steps below.

Step 1: Ensure That Your Pet’s Wounds Have Recovered

Before bathing your dog, you have to be certain that their wounds have fully healed. Don’t assume that their wounds are fine as soon as you hit day 10.

Inspect their wounds closely to see if they are indeed ready for a bath. If your pet has recovered, there should be no discharge or odors coming from the wounds. You can double-check with the veterinarian if you want to be extra safe.

Step 2: Be Gentle

Your dog’s wounds should be closed now, but you don’t want to risk having them open up because you were too careless during bath time. Bathe your pet gently. There’s no need to rush or scrub vigorously just because your pet hasn’t bathed in a while.

Step 3: Dry Your Dog Carefully

Being gentle is also recommended after bathing your dog. Rub the towel carefully on your dog to dry their fur.

Watch out for the areas where the wounds used to be. They shouldn’t open up at this point, but you should still be cautious around them as you dry your pet.

Optional Step: Put an Elizabethan Collar on Your Dog

Does your dog groom vigorously after bathing? If so, you may want to put an Elizabethan collar on them for a little while. The collar will stop your pet from grooming and potentially doing any damage to the surgical site.

Why Does My Dog Smell after Being Neutered or Spayed?

There are two reasons why your dog may give off an unpleasant odor after being neutered or spayed.

The first reason is the presence of discharge. Small amounts of discharge may be present around your dog’s wounds early on. The discharge’s odor may not be especially strong, but it can still be bad.

As for the other reason, well that’s because your dog hasn’t bathed for a while. The longer into the recovery period your dog gets, the more they may start to develop funky odors. Just bear with those odors until your dog fully recovers.