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How long does it take for my Dog to recover from being neutered?

One of the most common questions relating to neutering and dogs isn’t actually about the procedure itself but more surrounding the health of the dog, what the procedure involved and when why will get back to their old selves again. What exactly is the dog neutering recovery time to this procedure and what does it involve? After being asked this question several times we decided it was worth creating an article for it. We looked at a load of expert opinion and also real-world examples to find out this information.

How long does it take for my dog to recover from being neutered? The recovery time for dog neutering is roughly 2 weeks although it does depend on the procedure and also what sex they are. Males will recover a little quicker as the procedure is less complex than the female procedure.

There are aspects to the procedure you should be aware of though and you need to be fully aware of the pros and cons of such an operation. Take a look at the below information to understand dog neutering a bit better.

Neutering A Dog

When you get a dog, unless you are planning to breed from it, you will probably be thinking about neutering. Maybe you’re worried about a female slipping outside when in season, followed a couple of months later by the patter of tiny paws.  Maybe you are thinking about how the nature of your unneutered male dog might change after the age of 6 months. Whatever your reasons for thinking about having your dog neutered, this article covers how to aid its recovery and make it as short and comfortable a time as possible.

Spaying Female Dogs

Advantages of Spaying

According to the leading website, vets4pets, it is the healthiest option for your dog. There are many positive reasons for having a female dog spayed: you will be reducing her chances of developing mammary tumors,  she will not suffer future phantom pregnancies if the operation is performed at an early age, she won’t get womb infections, she will not suffer from ovarian tumors and obviously there will be no unwanted puppies in the future.

Disadvantages of Spaying

As with all medical procedures, there are some negatives. Older females may have an increased chance of developing urinary incontinence, spaying affects growth rate and maturation, it may affect the growth and texture of her coat and it will increase the possibility of her gaining weight in later life (but you can control this with diet and exercise.)

There is risk associated with any procedure of course and you should be aware of this, it’s important to weigh up both the pros and cons before undertaking any process that may impact the health of your pet.

Spaying and Recovery

First of all, consider what the procedure involves: the removal of her ovaries, Fallopian tubes and the uterus. The position of the incision will be just below the belly button on her tummy or could be her side, depending on age. Sometimes with older dogs, the incision is made on the side because of the size and positioning of the organs being removed. The incision size varies depending on the size of your dog and will be as large as necessary to remove the relevant organs.

After the operation, your dog will be sleepy for the rest of the day so they should be allowed to rest. At all times, she should wear a cone-shaped collar to stop her from licking the wound and chewing the stitches. Dogs often hate these collars but if you remove it you have to be prepared to be by her side at all times to prevent her from interfering with the stitches. It only takes a second for a quick chew to damage them. The collar should be fitted so as to allow normal eating and drinking.

Check the Dog Frequently After Neutering

The stitches will remain in for about 14 days. Check them at least twice a day to ensure they are in place and that the wound is not weeping. Your dog will be feeling tender for a couple of weeks and she should not run or jump as the stitches could burst.

Don’t let her out in the garden unattended, don’t allow her to jump up on anything or up you, and it’s best to avoid staircases too. When out, keep her on a lead and away from puddles, rivers and ponds, in fact, any bodies of water. Definitely, don’t bath her until your vet has given you the all clear. Follow this advice and after two weeks, when the vet has removed the stitches, your dog should be raring to go.

Neutering male dogs

Advantages of Neutering

There are several positive reasons for having a male dog neutered: you remove the risk of prostate problems, he will never get testicular cancer, aggressive and hypersexual behavior and of course he won’t be able to father unwanted litters of puppies. A lot of people believe that these advantages alone outweigh any possible negative impact of the procedure.

Disadvantages of Neutering

As with the female operation, there are some negatives to neutering your dog. You can’t assume neutering will reduce his aggressive behavior or any dominant behavior he is already displaying or may display in the future, it will affect his growth rate and the rate at which he matures, his coat growth and texture may change and he may be prone to gaining weight in older age (but you can control this with diet and exercise.)

Also, there are risks associated with any kind of surgical procedure, although rare, complications can occur (such as infections) that can prove serious, you need to bear these in mind.

Neutering and Recovery

Arguably the most important bit of the whole process. It shouldn’t be rushed. I know you want your best friend back to full health as soon as possible but it won’t do them any good if they’re rushed into it too early. It doesn’t take long for them to recover, so have a bit of patience and you’ll be rewarded! Neutering a male dog involves the surgical removal of his testicles. It is a relatively simple procedure when compared to the female operation.

The vet makes a small incision in the skin in front of the scrotal sac. The testicles are then carefully maneuvered from the sac and through the slit. They are snipped off, leaving the sac intact. A few stitches are used to close the slit. Your dog is given time to wake from the anesthesia and he should rest for as long as possible. You should immediately put him in a cone-shaped collar to prevent him from licking and chewing the area. Make sure the collar is fitted correctly to allow for eating and drinking.

Walking Slow after Neutering

The stitches are usually soluble and should dissolve after 10 to 14 days. As soon as you get your dog home from the vets, take him for a slow-paced short walk (on the lead) to allow him to go to the loo. If there is any straining make sure the stitches are still in place after.

If anything looks wrong, call the vets and ask for their advice. Inspect the stitches and wound twice a day to make sure the wound is healing well. Until the wound has healed, avoid water – ponds, puddles and baths. Also, avoid rigorous play. Follow this guide and after 2 weeks your dog should be back to his happy normal self, all be it a couple of items lighter!

A note about the cone-shaped collar

The cone that a dog wears after an operation is known as the Elizabethan collar because it vaguely resembles the fashionable collar worn in that era. Dogs generally don’t appreciate this fashion, however. It is easy for owners to take pity when a dog looks so woeful and keeps banging into things. Don’t give in to the temptation to remove the collar!

Your dog will adjust to it after a few hours and it is so important in aiding their recovery. Ensure it is fitted correctly so your dog can still drink and eat. Remember, it’s only 2 weeks and that time will fly by. Well, maybe it won’t fly by at the time but looking back at it, it will have.

When to Have the Operation

Your vet is the best person to discuss this with and will advise when the best time to neuter or spay your dog is. Each dog is an individual and you should consider the advantages and disadvantages of neutering your dog carefully before coming to a decision.

I hope this has been a helpful article and you can understand that dog neutering recovery time very much depends upon how well you look after them post-operation. Two weeks is a very short time in the life of you and your dog and before you know it you’ll be back to your normal routine as if nothing has happened.


Just make sure you’re prepared, obviously a very common procedure but knowing what to expect during the operation and how to help recovery will make things run a lot smoother. If you have any comments about this process then please drop us a comment, we’d love to hear from you.

Finally, if you’re worried about how your dog is acting – maybe you would like to check out my article here to determine if they are depressed or not.

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