Tips to Help Your Pet Recover From Surgery

As mentioned in our previous blog on finding the right pet insurance, our sweet Bazzy tore his CCL (similar to ACL in humans) and had to have knee surgery. We’re happy to report that Bazzy is recovering just fine, and is happier than ever.

However, that doesn’t mean that looking after him wasn’t a doozy for us pet parents! Taking care of pets post-op can be extra tricky, considering they don’t fully understand what’s happened or how to adjust to the lifestyle change on their own.

We’re certainly no doctors—post-op will always look different for each pet, as each pet has unique circumstances. But there are still universal ways that pet parents can help their pets have an easier time as they recover from surgery, and that’s where Bazzy’s Kefir comes in!

Today we’re going to offer our first-hand insights and other tips and tricks we’ve found helpful in taking care of pets after surgery:

What to Expect After Surgery

After your pet’s surgery, your veterinarian will give you specific and detailed instructions on caring for him or her. It’s vitally important to follow these instructions to the letter, even when it can prove difficult at times. Take notes, listen closely, and never be afraid to ask questions! Your vet would much rather get a phone call than see your pup suffer from any mishaps post-op. 

Typically, your vet will ask that you confine your pet for an extended period of time. Even the smallest of incisions would be considered invasive for your pet, so they need the time and space to heal. Too much movement can lead to his wounds not healing properly, or healing too slowly, which then makes for a higher risk of complication or infection. Unfortunately, that means not having free range of the house! But you can make your pooch’s pen or enclosed area extra cozy and luxurious by adding as much bedding as possible.

We also got an amazing leg protector on Amazon (you can view it here) that prevented him from licking his stitches, which was so helpful in his recovery.

Keeping Your Pup Engaged Post-Op

Now that he can’t go on playdates, explore the outdoors aside from strict elimination trips, and is in an enclosed area all day… well, you should expect your pup to go a little stir-crazy! There are plenty of ways to keep him busy, engaged, and happy. In fact, these activities can also distract him from trying to lick his wound:

  • Which Hand: hold a treat in one hand and close your fists in front of your dog. Let him sniff out which hand has the treat and reward!
  • Which Cup: Same idea, but with cups. Keep it simple with two cups and build from there for a bigger challenge.
  • Keep practicing basic tricks and obedience: Depending on what surgery your pet has undergone, or where the incision site is, you may still be able to ask him to sit, lay down, drop it, shake, etc. Be sure that none of these movements will put him at risk and let him continue being a “Good Boy/Girl!” 
  • Interactive Toys and Puzzles: There’s a wide variety of interactive games you can find at the store, but you can also DIY if you have a muffin tin! Take a muffin tin and put a treat in a few of the “muffin” cups. Then cover them with tennis balls and let your pet sniff it out and find his treat! Snuffle mats are also a great option for mealtime.

Healthy Treats to Spoil Your Recovering Pet

Speaking of treats, your pet has undergone a tough surgery and deserves the comforts of his favorite yum-yums! Of course, a poor diet and excessive, unhealthy treats can actually harm your pet’s recovery, so you’ll want to keep it as healthy as possible. There are some great healthy solutions that will prove irresistible to your pup. Fresh veggies like carrots that are safe for pups is a great way to treat them and also keep them occupied. 

Another method that proved successful for us? We froze homemade bone broth in a KONG and plugged up the other end of the toy with cheese to both treat Bazzy and keep him engaged. (Be careful with the cheese, if your pup is extra sensitive to dairy, you may want to opt with something else, like peanut butter.)

Finally, (and you may have seen this coming), Bazzy’s Frozen Kefir is the ultimate treat to give your pet post-surgery! Not only is kefir great for irritated skin, but it’s great for irritated tummies, especially if your pet is on antibiotics post-op. Try giving your recovering pet some of our Bazzy's Blueberry Peanut Butter Frozen Kefir and watch his or her troubles melt away as they get to work licking up every last drop. Bazzy sure loved his daily kefir treats!

What are your best pet surgery recovery tips? Share them with us at @bazzyskefir!