Despite her recent spay surgery, your puppy will exhibit a surprising amount of energy, even the day after her procedure. Using her energy to jump and leap could damage her stitches and cause infection, though. To prevent injury, keep her calm during this recovery by redirecting her energy.
Redirect your puppy's urge to lick her wounds. An energetic puppy will naturally try licking her surgical stitches. But contact between her tongue and the stitches exposes open skin to bacteria and can delay the healing process. Instead, keep your puppy calm by redirecting her instinct to lick to a hollow toy filled with frozen peanut butter. Because frozen peanut butter takes longer to lick than it does at room temperature, you'll increase the time your puppy spends licking the toy. Any time she's licking the toy means she's not bouncing around and potentially injuring herself.
Challenge your dog's mind while keeping her calm by introducing her to dog puzzles. Available at any major pet store, dog puzzles will keep your dog occupied without hindering her recovery. Each puzzle conceals small treats beneath several sliding wooden or plastic panels. To access the treats, your puppy must figure out how to move the panels with her paws or her nose. Expect to demonstrate the puzzle for your puppy at least a few times, until seems to understand how to do it on her own. Always supervise your puppy around a new toy to make sure she's not chewing on inappropriate parts such as wood, or otherwise using the toy dangerously.
Practice obedience training. Engaging your dog by teaching her basic commands including "sit" and "stay" lets her focus her energy without risk of further injury. Keep a small handful of kibble treats in your pocket, and practice various commands in 15-minute training sessions throughout the day. Always praise your dog and reward her positive behavior with a treat.
- Provide a safe, comfortable resting place where your dog won't be tempted to constantly reposition herself. As long as the material is clean, an old blanket inside her crate or a pile of shabby towels is sufficient.
- Avoid crating your dog unless you're leaving the house or going to sleep. Engaging your puppy in a calm and controlled manner is much more effective than trying to physically restrain her movement.
- Take your dog to the veterinarian immediately if you notice swelling, bleeding or draining at the surgical site.
- You should also seek medical care if, after a few days of recovery, your dog appears lethargic or pained.
Christina Bednarz Schnell began writing full-time in 2010. Her areas of expertise include child development and behavior, medical conditions and pet health. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international relations.