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How Do I Keep An Active Dog Calm After Surgery?

How Do I Keep An Active Dog Calm After Surgery?

Immediately following surgery, a veterinarian will instruct a pet parent on post-operative requirements and guidelines to ensure that their pet is healthy again in no time. While some of these instructions might seem straightforward, such as diet restrictions, travel restrictions, and such, others are not so bad.

However, pet parents are often scratching their head, thinking of how exactly they’ll manage to keep their dogs calm following the surgery.

A surgical procedure is a lengthy operation during which, your pet most likely has gotten quite a few stitches. Whether the operation involves valves or neutering, keeping your dog relatively calm following surgery is crucial to ensure that they’ll recover speedily.

The question is: Why?

We’ve gathered information from some of the country’s leading veterinary articles and experts to give you the answers you’re looking for.

Do All Procedures Require Periods of Inactivity for Dogs?

Broadly speaking, every surgical procedure, no matter how minimally invasive it might be, requires a period of inactivity for your pet. This is usually done to ensure that the incisions made during surgery heal up properly. Additionally, to ensure that sutures don’t break open.

Most surgical procedures are done under general anaesthesia. The effects of which linger on for between 4-6 hours after the procedure finishes.

Immediately following anaesthesia:

  • Your dog will appear flimsy and sleepy.
  • For less than 48 hours afterwards, your pet will lose their appetite.
  • Your pet might seem nauseous and queasy.
  • Dogs might sleep for longer naps than usual following surgery.

While all surgical procedures require resting time and periods of inactivity for pets, some may require it more than others. For example, orthopaedic procedures, cardiac procedures, and such require more resting periods than other surgeries.

How to Keep Your Dog Calm After Surgery?

1.     Keep Your Pet Close By

First and foremost, always be within your pets’ visual field. Keep them close to you at all times. They shouldn’t be running after you from one room to the other. Just carry them around, or walk slowly to ensure that they follow you at an adequate speed.

2.     Block Off Stairs

You’ve probably never seen a dog calmly take one step at a time when they’re coming down the steps. They make sure they beat their own record each time they come down.
By blocking off the stairs, you’re being a responsible pet parent. Either carry them upstairs with you or temporarily move down stairs.

3.     Tell Visitors to Refrain From Knocking

Nothing excites a pet more than the idea of new friends. Dogs associate the sound of a doorbell or knocking on a door as a sign of people coming in to meet them.

In all honesty – they probably do! However, dogs tend to get hyperactive around visitors. They’ll jump around and reach up to greet them.

Both of which will prolong the healing process after surgery. Instead, advise guests to call before coming in or ringing the doorbell instead.

4.     Invest in a White Noise Machine

Dogs have amazing hearing. They’re known for being some of the smartest pets there are. However, you could just trick them in to thinking there are no intriguing noises to look after.

A white noise machine filters out other noises around your pet to keep them put for longer.

5.     Choose Toys Wisely

Your dog will vigorously chew a chew toy, chase a ball at full speed, and jump through gates. However, they’ll stay put with plush toys.

Choose toys for your post-operative pet wisely. Some might lead to over exertion and some might keep them contained. All that energy is bound to come out in one form or another. It’s better to contain it with aptly chosen toys.


Surgical procedures are no joke. They’re tedious, tiring, and take a toll on your pets’ health. Which is why they’ll be recommended between 3 to 6 months of inactivity or less vigorous activity following surgery.

Author: DevAccount

I have been a patient of Yeronga Vet Clinic for over 20 years and wouldn’t go anywhere else. Dr Lisca and the team are second to none. Recently my 3 year old Labradoodle Daisy ruptured her cruciate ligament and underwent surgery. The professionalism and care Daisy received was top class. I would recommend Yeronga Vet Clinic to anyone looking for a great vet service for their fur baby.

We first came to Yeronga Veterinary Surgery nearly 4 years ago, carrying our tiny black Labrador puppy Delilah in, hoping to find some guidance and caring attention, and just a little bit of shared dog-madness. Well, we were in luck, and we have never looked back. The team at Yeronga Vet Surgery have been nothing short of exceptional at every step of our journey with them. From the basics of preventative care to important surgeries (and the odd mini-emergency thanks to our hungry labradors…) everyone has been both professional and welcoming, and more importantly, extremely good at their jobs! I am constantly blown away by the care and attention we receive, and the fact that our dogs cry with excitement when we pull into the street says it all. We’ve never had dogs who are so excited to visit the vet. We can’t recommend the team highly enough – they are exceptional.

Hi there puny human my name is Bastet. Here is a picture of me in all my glory to help your feeble human brain rest for a moment so I don’t pile on to much information at once. Ready? Nevermind let’s continue. Every few months my manservant deems it necessary to verify the divinity of close personal friend Zeus and myself, here is picture of us looking regal. I know you’re thinking “They are clearly perfect why would he waste their time.” and the answer is frankly he’s not very bright but means well so we indulge him. One thing we demand in return is that he takes us to the Yeronga Vet Surgery where we know we will be shown the respect and deference as befits ones such as us. So if you must interrupt the napping, playing or eating of your betters take them to Yeronga Vet Surgery.

Yeronga Vet have alway been wonderful in their professionalism and care over the years for those furrier members of the family, adding a healthy dose of genuine sympathy for those less routine difficult visits.