The Importance of Safe Exercise for Pets After Surgery
Your pet’s successful recovery from any surgery will be due, in large part, to the post-op care they receive at home, from you. Rest and recovery, as well as regular administration of any prescribed medications, are essential for healing.
Getting the body accustomed to moving again is also a key component of recovery after surgery, but this will need to be done in safe, incremental steps. Having a game plan in place is key when it comes to introducing exercise for pets after surgery, and the team at Animal Family Veterinary Care Center is here to help!
Tender Loving Care
Once your pet is home from surgery, the hard work of healing and recovery begins. Your veterinarian will go over your pet’s after-care instructions with you prior to discharge. These instructions will generally include:
- Incision care
- Pain management medications and instructions
- Exercise restrictions
- Potential complications
Age, health status, and type of surgery performed will all play a role in your pet’s post-surgical care plan and recovery timeline.
Exercise for Pets After Surgery
Your veterinarian’s instructions on when to introduce exercise to your pet following surgery should be strictly followed. Exercising your pet too soon or too much can cause injury and set back their healing.
- Ease your pet into exercise slowly, increasing the duration gradually over time.
- Start with easy movements, such as a game of “moving in circles” where you entice your pet to move their head in a circular manner by holding a treat above them.
- Leashed walks to the yard to relieve themselves are a good buildup to a walk down the driveway or around the block (once they are cleared for more activity).
- Gentle games of fetch in an enclosed area that is large enough for them to retrieve their toy, but small enough to prevent running.
Keep It Interesting
Just because your pet needs to take it easy during recovery doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have some entertainment. Staving off boredom is important for their overall mental and physical well being. Try one or more of the following activities:
- A Kong filled with peanut butter or pumpkin (try freezing it for a different mouthfeel)
- Flavored dental chew
- Treat-dispensing food puzzles
- Position their bed near the window where they can watch backyard wildlife. Add a bird feeder if possible
Exercise for pets after surgery is important, but must be undertaken carefully. When in doubt, ask questions! Our team has your pet’s best interest in mind, and are always here to help.