Today we’ll be looking at exercising dogs after spaying.
Spaying is a routine operation to remove the female reproductive organs, while neutering applies to male dogs. This practice prevents accidental pregnancies and unwanted puppies, changes the behaviour of your dog, and may prevent certain types of cancers.
Afterwards, your dog won’t be able to get their regular walks until they are fully healed. So, in this article, we will look at some activities that will be your pooch entertained and offer light exercise and mental stimulation post-surgery.
Keep reading to learn a little bit about the benefits of neutering your dog, how long it will take her to heal, and why physical activity should be restricted.
Plus, we have compiled a list of gentle exercise ideas and tips for you and your dog to enjoy at home.
What is Spaying?
Let’s begin with a brief explanation of what the process involves. Spaying is a term commonly used to describe the medical procedure called an ovariohysterectomy, which removes a female dog’s uterus and ovaries. Neutering is the male equivalent.
Your vet may use dissolvable sutures or “skin glue” that dissolve about two weeks after surgery. Other vets use nylon sutures or metal staples that require a visit to the vets to remove them. In both cases, it is essential the stitches don’t get wet. Obviously, this means no water activities, swimming or muddy hikes.
How long is the healing process?
Although routine, spaying is still a major surgical procedure, dog owners should be aware that it will take their pet some time to recover. It will be a couple of weeks before regular activity can be resumed.
For the first 48 hours, your girl will need complete rest to recuperate from the anaesthesia and surgery. Your vet will probably recommend keeping her in a crate and away from other pets so she has time to heal. It’s best just to let her into the garden to do her business. It is not advisable to leave your dog alone during this time so you can monitor her recovery.
After a couple of days, she will be able to go on short walks, although she still isn’t allowed to play with other dogs or jump. After two weeks, most dogs are back to normal when the skin incision should have healed, but recovery times can vary.
Complications – when to seek a vet’s advice.
Too much exercise or getting the wound dirty may result in the stitches coming open or your dog getting an infection. If you notice any of the signs below, seek professional advice.
- Excessive swelling
- Nasty smell
- Pus or discharge leaking from the wound
How Soon Can I Walk My Dog After Spaying?
You can take your dog on a short walk 2-3 days after surgery. However, you must keep her on a leash and watch for signs of fatigue or tiredness.
This can be difficult if you have an active dog like a Border Collie, as our canine companions do not understand the notion of taking it easy. However, the inner wall will still be healing and too much physical activity can delay the healing.
How far can I walk my dog after being spayed?
It depends on the dog, really a couple of short walks around 10 minutes twice a day to start with, you know your dog better than anyone, so if you have a high energy pooch, they may be OK with a bit longer. Just make sure they don’t overdo it. We have written a full guide on how soon to start walking your dog after neutering here.
Is it the Same For Both Male and Female Dogs?
Neutering and spaying require the same recovery period although for females, the incision area is more extensive and the procedure more invasive, so you may find females need more rest after being spayed.
Some Alternatives to Walking – 7 Gentle Activities to do at Home
Mental stimulation is just as crucial to your dog as physical exercise, so it has a key part to play in any post-surgery recovery. Keeping your girl occupied will stop her from becoming bored, release pent-up energy, build your dog’s confidence, and strengthen the bond between you and your pet.
Below are seven alternatives to walks that will entertain your pup until they get back to normal.
Puzzle Games – Two weeks may seem a long time without walking, but there are other ways to keep your puppy active and puzzle games are fantastic for a dog to play with in the house. There are hundreds of different options that will give your dog a good brain workout.
Cavaletti – Cavaletti is a gentle exercise that will improve your dog’s proprioception and balance. You need a few wooden poles (the sets can be bought online) Simply arrange them in patterns on the floor and lead your dog over them in different rotations. This activity needs your pooch to concentrate and also improves the limb flexion (bending) as they pick their feet up.
Clicker training – Clicker training is not just valuable. If you have a new puppy, you can begin at any age. So why not use the two weeks recovery period to teach your dog some new tricks like doggy bows or sit and stands. Not only will this dog play keep your dog entertained it will give them some gentle stretches without tiring them out.
Hide and seek – You don’t want your dog doing vigorous exercise in the first few weeks after surgery, so alongside lead walks, playing with your dog is the answer to stop them from becoming frustrated and bored. Just go into another room, hide, then call your pup to come and find you. Of course, dogs have different recovery times, so don’t encourage them to come charging upstairs to seek you out until your vet has checked them over.
Wobble boards – Balance and wobble boards are becoming increasingly popular to increase your dog’s core strength and are often used in rehabilitation. Just be aware they take some work (imagine planking for humans), so this is an activity best left until a week or so after your dog has been spayed.
Stuffed kongs – What dogs don’t love a treat stuffed toy and they are a great way to take your dog’s mind off their buster collar or if you need to leave them alone for a couple of hours. Just remember after neutering or spaying, your dog may experience some weight gain, so stick to low fat treats.
Tug of war – Minute for minute; this is one of the most intense workouts for a dog and has quite a few benefits. It will strengthen the bond you have with your pup and help increase their impulse control and you can also reinforce training of the basic commands like sit and leave.
Do female dogs get calmer after spaying?
In most cases, yes, your dog will not be bombarded by hormones anymore, so any mating behaviours such as aggression may be resolved. However, if your dog is hyper before spaying, her character won’t change; she will still be the same dog.
How long will my dog be in pain after spaying?
Your dog will experience discomfort for a few days after the operation; if they are still in pain after a week, you should consult your vet.
Can a dog walk up stairs after being spayed?
Your vet will advise complete rest for the first 48 hours after surgery, so not immediately no! however, once they can go on leash walks, they can attempt the stairs as long as they have some support. There are support harnesses you can buy to help your dog recover after surgery which may help. Also, consider if your dog usually likes to jump on the sofa, you could invest in a ramp to help them get up.
How long after being spayed can my dog jump?
After the post-surgery check-up at 10-14 days, your dog should be able to resume normal activities but always check with your vet first.
We hope this guide to exercise after dog spaying has given you some tips on caring for your dog after surgery and preventing infection.
The answer to how soon can I walk my dog after neutering or spaying is 2-3 days, but strenuous exercise, running and jumping should be avoided for a couple of weeks when normal activity can be resumed.
Do some gentle indoor activities indoors to prevent your girl from gaining weight and becoming bored. Take it easy and watch for any signs of fatigue or discomfort.
If you have found this article helpful, why not check out our others which are jam-packed with hints and tips to exercise your four-legged friends.