Post-Op Care for Pet Surgeries: How to Help Your Pet Recover

Whether your pet needs a routine or more complex operation, having your pet undergo surgery can be a stressful time. While we do our best to provide your pet with exceptional care, patient monitoring, and the highest quality of medications while they are with us, most pets do the majority of their post-operative recovery in the comfort of their own homes. As a result, it is up to pet owners to provide their pets with the required care to ensure a safe, smooth, and speedy recovery.

How to Help Your Pet Recover From Surgery

(Please remember that these instructions are generic, and while they apply to most post-operative situations, you should always follow the specific instructions provided to you by your veterinarian upon your pet’s hospital discharge.)

The Day of Surgery

When you first bring your pet home from surgery, keep them confined to a calm, quiet space (away from other animals and children) in your house. You can provide them with water and, although they might not have much of an appetite, you can offer them a small meal of their regular food later in the evening.


Be sure to administer all of your pet’s medications as they were prescribed. If you’re having trouble administering a medication, contact our office for help or for a compounded prescription.

Wound Care

Prevent your pet from licking or biting their incision site with an Elizabethan collar (cone).
Keep your pet’s incision dry for at least seven days after surgery. Do not wash the incision site, bathe your pet, or allow them to swim until healed. Watch the incision for signs of infection or tearing. A little bleeding the day after surgery is normal. Additionally, slight redness or swelling is also normal.
More severe bleeding, swelling, redness, or unusual discharge could be a sign of infection or other issues and should be treated with emergency veterinary care.

Activity Restriction

Restrict your pet’s activities for seven to 14 days after surgery (depending on the type of surgery).

Pet Surgery at Pacific Animal Hospital of Redondo Beach

At Pacific Animal Hospital of Redondo Beach, we understand that having your pet undergo a surgical procedure of any kind can be stressful. That’s why we are always here to answer any questions you might have about your pet’s recovery and post-operative care. Before sending your pet home, we will provide you with thorough discharge instructions and ensure you understand how to help your pet have a smooth and complication-free recovery.
If you have any concerns or questions at any time during your pet’s recovery, we welcome you to contact our office.