Surgery can be a scary experience for both you and your pet. The challenge does not end when your animal reaches the recovery room, however. After you bring your pet home, he will need some special care to aid his recovery. Pay close attention to your vet’s directions and make preparations at home before you pick up your pet. Below you will find tips for preparing your home for your pet as well as tips for speeding your pet’s recovery.
Before You Bring Your Pet Home
After your pet’s surgery is completed, he will likely need to stay at the hospital for a little while. The length of the stay will depend on the type of surgery performed and your vet will probably tell you how long this period will be before the procedure. It is important to realize that complications can occur after surgery, so do not try to take your pet home before the veterinarian clears him. You can request visits while your pet is hospitalized; your vet should approve this provided not too much stress is caused to your pet, which could prolong recovery time.
When your pet is ready to go home, your veterinarian will give you specific instructions for his care. Pay close attention as the vet explains these instructions and ask any clarifying questions you might have. Ask the veterinarian to show you how to safely lift or carry your pet, if necessary, in case you need to help him in and out of the car. If you have concerns about particular aspects of your pet’s post-operative care, ask the vet about outpatient care that might be available for administering medications or performing other care measures you do not feel confident doing yourself. You will be asked to bring your pet back to the clinic in most cases for a post-operative check and then again when any incision sutures/staples are due to be removed.
When You Bring Your Pet Home
Once home, you should keep a close eye on your pet to make sure he is recovering properly. Your pet may be a little unsteady on his feet as he recovers from anesthesia, so try to keep him in a quiet and contained location first day back. As your pet recovers, make sure you give him plenty of opportunities to go outside to do his business, but keep him on the leash so he does not wander too far and strain himself.
Make sure your pet has a comfortable place to rest at home. If you need to restrict your pet’s activity for his recovery, keep him in a comfortably sized crate lined with a padded pet bed. Make sure you give your pet plenty of toys to keep him occupied, especially if he is not used to being kept in a crate. If your pet’s activity does not need to be restricted, you should still make sure he has a comfy pet bed available when he wants to nap.
In addition to the tips already listed, make sure you keep an eye on the surgical site for signs of infection. Keep the area clean and dry and follow your vet’s recommendations for replacing any dressings. You also need to follow your vet’s instructions for administering medications to your pet.
Adhere to your vet’s directions and follow these tips and you increase the odds of a full recovery without incident. We wish your pets the best of health.
Article reviewed by a veterinarian