When Can I Walk My Dog After A Spay/Neuter?

Even after a surgery, dogs are many times quite oblivious to the fact that they’ve been through something that requires them to be quiet for a while. They don’t want to change up their routine that they are used to and that usually includes that daily walk they love so much.

However, your dog just had surgery…so when is it safe to take your dog on a walk after a spay or neuter? As a veterinarian, my general recommendation is to wait at least 4-5 days before you go for an official meant-to-be-exercise walk and that’s only if your dog is doing well and the incision looks great.

First – Follow Your Own Vet’s Advice

If your veterinarian told you to wait longer, then do that. If they want your dog to rest for 10 days following surgery, then do that. My opinion is based on my experience, but I am not your dog’s veterinarian.

When Can My Dog Run Around In The Backyard After A Spay/Neuter?

At our practice, we recommend that all dogs be taken outside on a leash for the first 5 days after a surgery like a spay/neuter. You may not think that your dog will take off and run around like a maniac (after all, they just had surgery!) but they do. All the time.

When Can I Bathe My Dog After A Spay/Neuter?

You need to wait at least 7 days after a spay/neuter to consider giving your dog a bath. If your dog gets a regular grooming then you need to schedule it before the surgery and not after.

If your dog has external skin stitches on the incision, you have to wait until those are gone before a bath.

What if your dog gets dirty? Try a waterless dog shampoo that you don’t need to rinse off.

When can your dog swim after a spay/neuter? I wrote a whole article about that topic here.

When To Know When You’ve Walked Your Dog Too Much After A Spay/Neuter

If your dog starts attempting to lick at its incision during the walk, then you need to go back home and make sure that the dog stays rested for the rest of the day. Continue the pain medications that your veterinarian prescribed.

Check the incision – is it red, swollen, draining any fluid? If walking seemed to call attention to the incision for your dog, then they are feeling it as something abnormal. The first few days after a procedure this can be very common.

If they want to get to the incision and it looks abnormal to you then call your veterinarian.

How Do I Keep My Dog Calm After A Spay/Neuter?

Many dogs go right home after surgery and try to race around the house like normal. It’s almost as if nothing has happened.

It’s essential that you prevent this from happening in your home once your bring your dog home after surgery. Some common ways that my clients have found to be successful:

  • Utilize that Dog Kennel – if you put your dog kennel away after your dog was house-trained, this is an excellent time to bring it back out. Your dog doesn’t have to stay in there 24/7 but they should be in there when you can’t directly supervise them after surgery.
  • Limit visits from anyone outside the home – don’t give your dog a reason to get excited.
  • Put away the balls and any other high-activity play toy
  • If all this still isn’t helping and your dog could seriously harm itself by being too active, contact your veterinarian and inquire about sedative choices. Without knowing your dog’s individual health, I can not advise you on what you should use.

In Conclusion

  • Follow Your Own Vet’s Instructions!!
  • No off-leash outside time for at least 5-7 days after surgery
  • After that first week, walks and runs are fine as long as the dog doesn’t act like its incision is bothering them during the walk/run

Last update on 2022-01-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API