Neutering your dog is a procedure that may reduce the risk of certain cancers, as well as some other medical and behavioural issues. One question many people ask themselves is how soon can I walk my dog after neutering?
It’s essential to ensure your dog has enough time to heal before you begin walking them again. Otherwise it could be detrimental to your pet’s health.
This blog post will discuss what factors influence recovery time, including age, weight and activity level of the dog, type of surgery performed on them (castration vs spay) and any complications experienced during or following surgery.
This article may be helpful for those who are considering having their pet neutered or who already had it done but want more information about when they can walk their dog after neutering.
The Quick Answer on Dog Walking After Neutering
I’ve been asked this question a lot recently and I’m happy to answer it. The answer is that most vets recommend not walking your dog for at least 48 hours after neutering surgery, but sometimes it can be as long as 10-14 days or even longer if there have been complications.
The risk of injury or infection increases the more active you are post-neutering, so with this in mind, we would always advise giving your dog at least two days rest and then introduce gentle exercise slowly perhaps short indoor walks or short leash walks around the garden.
It’s important to remember that every dog reacts differently: most dogs can be walked after a few days, while others need at least three weeks to recover from their neuter surgery. Keep longer walks until they have fully recovered.
Remember, spaying is a more complicated surgery than neutering, so you may have to wait longer to walk a female dog than a male dog.
How Far Can I Walk my Dog After Being Neutered?
There is no correct answer here as all dogs are different and a dog’s energy level differs by breed; short walks are best during the healing process; however, once your dog’s recovery is complete, there’s no reason why you can’t increase the distance to a slightly longer walk, although it isn’t wise for your dog to participate in high-intensity activities for a few weeks.
Can a Dog Run after Neutering?
Some dogs have boundless energy and it can be difficult to restrain them from running even with post-op discomfort. This can be especially difficult if you have two dogs who play together. If this is the case with your pup, ask the vet’s advice, they may advise keeping them crated or prescribe some low-grade sedatives to prevent overexertion after the surgical procedure.
Mental stimulation can tire a dog out as much as physical activity, so why not stock up on a few brain training toys to use during the recovery process.
Can Neutering Change Male and Female Dogs Behaviour?
Yes, it can do and it’s quite a controversial issue in the dog world at the moment. For years neutering and spaying have been recommended not only for medical reasons and dog overpopulation but also for behavioural issues.
How many times have you heard dog owners say, “Oh, he’s aggressive neutering will sort that out” well, a recent study published by Psychology Today has shown that, in fact, both male and female dogs become more aggressive the earlier they are neutered.
Disturbingly, the study also shows that fearful behaviour increases with both males and females being less accepting of unfamiliar situations, other dogs, etc. Other problems included barking more, rolling in faeces and licking themselves obsessively.
Of course, once castrated or spayed, your pooch won’t be bombarded by a whirlwind of sexual hormones, so it can be beneficial to male dogs; they will perhaps stop “humping your leg” (not guaranteed some neutered dogs still enjoy this activity) they will be less likely to roam looking for a lady friend and territorial marking in a male dog will be reduced.
Do Female Dogs Become Hyper After Spaying
They can do. Spaying inevitably leads to a decrease in the hormones estrogen and oxytocin, both of which have calming and anti-anxiety properties, so it’s perfectly feasible for a female dog to become more stressed and hyper after being spayed.
Of course, spaying will stop problems related to the heat cycle, such as inappropriate sexual behaviour, the urge to find a mate and hormonal issues, but it won’t turn a poorly behaved dog into a saint. If your dog was working herself before she had surgery, it’s unlikely she’ll change.
Care of the Incision Area
What a dog spay incision looks like when healing
Once your dog arrives home after spaying, there are a few things to watch out for to make sure the wound is healing correctly
- A normal incision should be closed at the edges
- The area surrounding the wound may be slightly pinkish in color, this is caused by inflammation and is a normal part of the healing process.
- You may signs of slight bruising surrounding the area which once again is quite normal
- Also, during the first 24-48 hours, you may notice a small amount of pinkish fluid seeping from the incision it’s normal for the incision
It’s essential to make sure the wound stays clean and dry so baths and swimming are definitely off limits, along with walking. It’s also important that your pooch can’t lick or chew at the stitches so you will need a belly band or Elizabethan collar to prevent this.
Below are some signs the incision isn’t healing properly, if you notice any of these you should ask your own vet for advice. You can clean the wound with clean cloth dampened with warm water but don’t use rubbing alcohol on the wound as this may cause pain and delay healing even more
- The wound becomes red and inflamed
- Yellow pus seeping from the wound
- Continuous discharge
- A nasty smell
- The edges gaping open
Stictches are usually removed around 10-14 days after surgery and it’s important you only take short walks until your dog heals fully.
Dangers of Walking your Dog Too Quickly After Surgery
After any surgery, your dog’s exercise levels need to be restricted for a while, at least until the post-surgery checkup. Your vet will usually give you some guidelines on walking your dog after neutering. It’s important to stick to this and only walk short distances as your dog’s recovery could be impacted and problems can occur if they are walked too soon.
Dogs are more sensitive to infection after neutering; this is because their body is focused on the healing process, not fighting bacteria that may cause infections. The responsible thing to do is keep them indoors away where there is less chance of picking up something nasty.
It may be hard to make your dog rest after spaying or neutering, but it’s crucial the incision doesn’t reopen. This can happen if your dog licks or gnaws at the wound, easily prevented by the “cone of shame” or Elizabethan collar or by indulging in rough play with other pets or too much activity.
Early walks after neutering can cause swelling not only will this prevent the wound from healing nicely it may also cause your furry friend pain, which no dog owners want.
If your pooch is on pain medication, chances are they won’t feel too great and may be sick even on a short walk. It’s best they have complete rest until they are drug-free.
Dog’s can’t tell us when they are in pain, but it’s safe to say they will be experiencing some level of discomfort after any operation. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t fancy a jog around the park just after surgery
FAQ’s on Neutering Dogs
50 words each
Are male dogs less aggressive after neutering?
If your dog’s aggression was caused by testosterone and fighting for a females’ attention then neutering could make them less aggressive however if your dog is facing up to other dogs because of lack of socialisation or training neutering is unlikely to fox the issue.
At what age should a dog be spayedor neutered?
There is some debate about this, many vets recommend as soon as possible around the six month mark, but others say this is too soon and you should wait until the dog has finished developing around 18 months – 2 years, this is especially so with larger breeds.
Can my dog walk upstairs after neutering?
Your dog walking upstairs slowly a few days after coming home shouldn’t harm them as long as you control their ascent and they don’t go charging up them like a racehorse
Can I walk my dog off leash after neutering?
Definitely not! there is every chance you pet will strain themselves if they are allowed to run and jump as normal so keep them restrained. The good news is; recovery should only take around 10 days and by then they should be back to normal.
Last Word on Exercise After Neutering
If you have a neutered dog, it is best to wait at least 10 days -two weeks before taking your pet out for a walk. The first few days after the surgery should be spent resting and recovering from anaesthesia. Afterwards you can introduce short periods of exercise perhaps a leashed walk around the garden
Although there are exceptions to this rule and some dogs may be back to their normal exercise levels relatively quickly, we recommend dog walks should be suspended for a while.
Good luck and happy walkies!