How Long Should You Wait to Bathe a Dog After Neutering?

by Elle Di Jensen, Demand Media
    Keeping stitches dry after neutering will keep them intact and prevent infection.

    Keeping stitches dry after neutering will keep them intact and prevent infection.

    Neutering is one of the most routine surgical procedures performed on dogs, and certain protocols must be adhered to. Following the veterinarian's advice on things like waiting to bathe your dog will assure a successful and uneventful recovery.

    The Procedure

    When your dog is neutered, he will be given anesthesia. The vet will remove his testicles and then close the small incision with stitches. Most veterinarians use dissolving stitches that will be absorbed in roughly 14 days so that a followup visit to have them removed won't be necessary.

    Prepping for Surgery

    Veterinary clinics usually have preparation instructions printed out that are given to clients whose animals will be undergoing surgery. Typical instructions include withholding food after midnight the night before the surgery. You may want to bathe your dog the day before or in the days leading up to the neuter if you typically bathe him more than once monthly.

    Care After Neutering

    Vets usually instruct not to bathe your dog for seven to 10 days after neutering to keep the incision clean and dry and prevent infection. Keeping the stitches clean and dry will include not allowing your dog to lick them. If this becomes a problem, you may have to use an Elizabethan collar to keep your dog from being able to reach his incision. Other recovery instructions typically include limiting strenuous activity like running and jumping, watching the incision site to make sure it's healing properly and possibly administering pain medication within the first 24 to 48 hours.

    Watch for These Concerns

    Your dog should recover fairly well within a few days, although his incision can be sensitive for up to a week. If your dog is refusing to eat or acting lethargic, he may have an infection. Other things to watch for are swelling and bleeding or discharge from the incision, painful urination and fever. If your dog is displaying any of these symptoms you should contact the vet immediately for treatment.

    About the Author

    Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.

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