A yellowish dog lays sleeping with a cone around its neck like one that is used to keep the surgery wounds clean after surgery.

Preparing your pet for surgery can be stressful. There are many things to consider and you may be dealing with a companion that is injured or feeling under the weather. Being prepared prior to surgery will give your pet the best odds of a swift, safe, and successful recovery. 

Oakland Veterinary Referral Services has a team of board-certified surgeons and surgical staff. They perform many advanced surgeries to help, treat, and cure our beloved fur friends. Here are a few tips to help you in preparing for the big day.

The First Step Is to Relax

Relaxing at this time may seem like a difficult feat, but your pet will thank you for it. Keep the routine as close to the same as possible during the weeks or days leading up to surgery. Maintain a positive, upbeat attitude with your pet, since pets always know when we feel scared or stressed. Know that your pet will be in great hands and will soon be on the road to complete recovery.

Treat your pet to a few new toys, treats, games, and other fun activities to keep the pace of life happy and calm.

One Week Before Surgery

Your veterinarian will give you complete instructions on what to do at home and when you arrive the day of surgery. Follow the instructions to a “T” – and don’t forget that we welcome your questions. Never be afraid to ask your veterinarian and staff about the instructions. 

Double-check that all of your pet’s vaccinations are current. Keep your pet hydrated and encourage more water. Prepare a soft bed or blankets that will comfort a healing four-legged friend for when your pet gets home. If you use your pet’s current bed and blankets, launder them thoroughly to be sure they are clean and sanitary. You may also want to purchase your own Elizabethan collar to prevent your pet from chewing the surgical site.

The Night Before Surgery

Pack your pet’s records and any medications that you are taking. Some veterinarians will prescribe pain and anti-inflammatory medications for your pet to start taking the night before surgery. Double check instructions for when your pet can no longer have food or water. It’s very important that your pet’s stomach be empty during the procedure. Go on a restricted walk, if your pet is able, and give them plenty of snuggles and pats.

The Day of Surgery

On the day of surgery, your pet probably won’t be able to eat or drink. Go for a short walk and let them to relieve themselves. Pack all of your pet’s needs and their carrier or crate. Take a few more moments to relax with them, sharing more snuggles. 

It’s a good idea to leave a little early in the event of traffic. Your veterinary staff will be waiting for your loved one when you arrive. Try to keep the emotional sendoffs short and positive. Talk to your veterinarian about anything they need to know about your pet and ask for updates during the day.

Preparing Your Pet for Surgery

We know this is stressful for you, but with some precautions and prep work, you can help give your pet the best chance of a good recovery. If we can answer any questions about preparing your pet for surgery, do not hesitate to call.