If you are the proud parent to a precious pooch, you have many different aspects of his care to consider. Aside from your immediate concerns of where he is going to sleep and what he is going to eat, you need to be prioritizing his medical needs and in particular, preventative care. Neutering your dog should be the next most important thing you think about once your furbaby has settled in.

What is neutering?

Neutering refers to the surgical removal of the male reproductive organs – the testes. This can be done in a fairly simple and straightforward procedure which is carried out while your dog is under the effects of a general anesthetic. This means that he won’t have any awareness of the procedure, nor will he feel any pain.

Why is neutering your dog important?

The choice to get your dog neutered is a very responsible one for a number of different reasons. Firstly, you are doing your part to ensure that he does not make any babies. There is a massive overpopulation of pets in the United States, with millions living in shelters and temporary accommodation due to a lack of loving homes. By preventing your dog from breeding, you are taking a small step towards stopping further influxes of puppies onto the market.

Secondly, neutering your dog will help to reduce undesirable behaviors, such as urine spraying, humping and running away to try and find a mate. And finally, by removing your dog’s reproductive organs you are also preventing him from suffering from testicular cancer – one of the main cancers affecting intact male canines.

Taking care of your dog after his neutering procedure

Veterinarians across the country perform countless neutering procedures every week, and the surgery is considered to be low-risk provided that it is carried out by a qualified and experienced professional. Nevertheless, it is still a surgical procedure that this means that you can expect your dog to take some time to recover.

Here are our top tips for taking care of your dog after neutering.

Offer extra support while the anesthetic wears off

A general anesthetic can take up to 24 hours to wear off completely, and so during this time, your dog may still experience some side effects. These could include lethargy, loss of balance/co-ordination and even some unusual behaviors, such as a moody temperament. It is important that you give your dog plenty of time to recover from the anesthetic, while still supporting him if he is under its effects.

Offer food and water (but don’t be surprised if he doesn’t eat)

It is not uncommon for humans and animals alike to feel queasy and nauseous after a general anesthetic, so while you should offer your dog some food, it is nothing to be alarmed about if he doesn’t eat. However, he should drink so make sure he has easy access to plenty of fresh water.

Restrict his movement

After any type of surgery, including neutering, it is important to restrict his movements while the incision site heals. This isn’t always easy, particularly if you have a young and energetic dog. We strongly recommend that you invest in a crate and keep him crated as much of the time as possible. It may seem like a punishment, but it is vital if the wound is to heal properly. Fill the crate with plenty of comfortable bedding and a few treats. A puzzle toy with a treat stuffed inside is a good way to keep his mind active even if his body needs to be still.

Protect the wound

The incision site will be itchy and irritated, and your dog will want to scratch at it. However, he needs to leave it alone so that it can heal without the risk of infection. For this reason, our vet will probably give you an Elizabethan collar/cone for him to wear, which will prevent him from biting at it. Watch him carefully to distract him from scratching. If the site becomes red, sore and inflamed, or there is a foul smell emanating from it, the wound may be infected.

When you go out, use a leash

You may have a dog that walks perfectly when he isn’t on the leash, but the opportunity to run and climb may prove too tempting for him, and these activities could re-open his incision and cause complications with his recovery. Therefore, it is much safer if you keep your canine pal leashed while he out on walkies until his wound is completely healed.

For further advice on the best way to take care of your dog when he is recovering from neutering, please don’t hesitate to contact us.