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What You Should Do Before and After Spaying or Neutering Your Pet – Trex Program Southeast
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What You Should Do Before and After Spaying or Neutering Your Pet

Spay and neuter surgeries are an excellent way to ensure that a day at the dog park or in the yard does not turn into an unplanned pregnancy. With shelters across the country overflowing with dogs and cats, spay and neuter surgeries help control the stray population and reduce the number of pets in shelters. Aside from pregnancy prevention, having your pet altered has several health benefits. If you have a pet that needs to be spayed or neutered, you should know how to prepare for the procedure and what to expect afterward.

How to Prepare Your Cat or Dog for Spay/Neuter Surgery:

  • Avoid feeding your pet after midnight the night before surgery.
  • Inquire about any medications your pet is taking unrelated to the surgery and whether they should be administered on the day of the procedure.
  • Keep your pet on a leash or in a suitable carrier.
  • Make sure to leave your best phone number in case of an emergency when you go to a cat checkup.
  • You must pay when you check in.

Instructions for Post-Operative Care:

  • No running, jumping, playing, swimming, or other strenuous activity for 7 to 10 days.
  • Maintain your pet’s silence.
  • Pets should be kept indoors, where they can be kept clean, dry, and warm.
  • There will be no baths during the recovery period.
  • Dogs must be leashed, and cats must be kept indoors.
  • Examine the incision site twice a day. No drainage should exist. You should keep redness and swell to a minimum.
  • Allow your dog to lick or chew on the incision. If this occurs, they must wear an Elizabethan collar to prevent further licking and chewing, which could lead to infection.
  • During recovery, do not change your pet’s diet; do not give them junk food, table scraps, milk, or other people’s food. This could conceal post-operative complications.
  • If your dog has a scrotal castration, it may experience minor drainage/discharge for up to three days.
  • Within 24 hours of surgery, appetite should gradually return. The lethargy that lasts more than 24 hours after surgery, diarrhea, or vomiting are not typical and should be addressed by your regular veterinarian. For a few days after surgery, dogs may have a slight cough.
  • Make an appointment with your regular veterinarian 7 to 10 days after surgery to check the incision for complete healing, remove any skin sutures, and discuss any additional needs, follow-up care, vaccination boosters, and more info.

Recovery After Spaying Surgery

Most pets will begin to feel better within 24 to 48 hours, but full recovery will take 10 to 14 days. During this time, keep your pet calm and avoid letting them jump, as this could cause the incision to reopen. You should check the incision for signs of infection daily. Contact your vet if you see any redness, discharge, swelling, or foul odor.

Keep an eye on your pet’s behavior. If they still appear lethargic or are not eating or drinking after 48 hours, it could be a sign of infection. Consult your veterinarian or take them to an emergency veterinarian for treatment and ask if dog vaccinations are needed.


Spaying your female pet is an excellent way to avoid unwanted kittens or puppies. It can also help deter undesirable behaviors and protect them from certain types of cancer.