Neutering is a big decision for owners to take and ultimately it’s for the greater good. However, neutering is a serious bit of surgery and has a required rest time afterwards which really does mean your dog is housebound.
For some outdoor loving pooches, this can be a total nightmare – they’re already feeling sorry for themselves and now they can’t even take part in their favourite pastime – walkies.
Our Jug Jeff has been neutered so we often get asked how soon after the snip he was back in the parks again and we’re happy to share his recovery time and general guidelines around waking the dog shortly after neutering.
Before we start it’s important to remember that neutering is a serious bit of surgery for a dog with risks. After they’ve had the surgery and up from anaesthetic they will be groggy, probably lost their appetite and they’ll be wearing one of those silly Elizabethan collars. They won’t be in the mood to go for a walk in all honesty and you shouldn’t rush it.
If your dog isn’t asking to be walked or giving you the signs after the operation then leave the harness alone and let them rest.
First 24-48 hours
We recommend not taking your dogs out for walkies for at least 24-48 hours. There are a few reasons for this;
- The wound will still be fresh and susceptible to infections especially if it’s raining on the walk.
- The stitches may not yet have sewn the skin back together
- The anesthetic may still be in the system making them clumsy
- Rigorous exercise or rough play with other dogs may tear the stitches apart
- The Elizabethan collar will make it uncomfortable
Obviously your dog still needs some exercise and to go to the toilet so a quick and easy walk around the garden should be fine. If you don’t have a garden then a short walk around the block will do.
We recommend using a dog harness here as a collar is going to get annoying because of the Elizabethan collar.
If your mutt is making good progress then you can begin taking your dog on gentle walks, still on the lead but only in good weather. The wound is still easy to get infected and we want to avoid that at all costs.
We recommend keeping them on a short leash, maximum 15 walk and away from anything strenuous like other dogs who may invite them for a quick chase. Even if your dog is excellent when off the lead before the neutering we would still not really allow it because a tumble or rough play can still wreck the stitches – plus, they may still have the Elizabethan collar on at this point.
At some point between Day 1 and Day 10 you will have had a post-neutering vet checkup to ensure everything is progressing as it should. To advise you on safely walking the dog after neutering we would go with the vet’s progress report. If they say all is well then you can be a little more relaxed on the walks after around day 5.
However, we would still personally refrain from off the lead walking and running but we would certainly be a bit more relaxed when it came to the length of the walk.
Your final vet checkup should give you the all clear here! Woohoo! Unless you’ve not been keeping your dog clean and rested then after around 10 days your dog walks should be able to get back to normal which includes rough play and being off the lead!
No more Elizabethan collars, no more tied to the lead (if they normally wouldn’t)
How to speed up your dogs comeback after the snip
If you’re searching on Google for information on how quickly after a snip can you walk your dog again then we’re guessing you want it to happen sooner rather than later. Here are some tips on speeding up the process
- Let your dog rest in the first 2 days – this is a critical healing time and rushing here can cause problems to the stitches
- Allow your dog to tell you when they’re ready – don’t take them for a walk if they’re not asking for it.
- Keep the early walks away from anything that may distract them and make them want to run – aggressive dogs, cats, small animals they like to chase etc
- Keep the pace light and the distance short
- Instead of thinking how soon can I walk my dog after neutering think how quickly you can help them recover
- Make sure they have access to fresh water 24/7 and their dog food provides complete nutrition
- Have a comfortable harness and a good lead to keep them steady and comfortable while walking with the Elizabethan collar
Ronnie is the JugDog site editor and a dog expert who has lived and worked with dogs his entire life. Living in St. Helens, UK with his wife son and Jug Dog Jeff Ronnie spends most of time researching the answers to the burning questions of the dog community as well as reviewing the latest and greatest dog products.