Sarah Wilson

Dog Expert

What to Expect After Neutering a Dog


Caras was neutered.The dog stumbles on the curb as I walk him to the car. I’m ready for it because I know what to expect after neutering a dog. After this blog, you’ll be ready, too.

Day Of Neuter Surgery

Some vets allow dogs to go home the same day and others keep your dog overnight. Both approaches are normal. If your dog comes home the same day, this is what I would expect:

  • Your dog may be groggy and disoriented from the anesthesia so watch him. He may stumble down stairs or trip off the curb as described above. I keep dogs on leash and a wide flat collar or back clip harness with me outside and inside, if there are stairs that I cannot block off.
  • Pain meds. Giving dogs pain relief after surgery is standard practice. Thankfully.
  • May or may not poop. Depends on the dog, but I am not surprised when they do not. They should tomorrow. If assuming the position is painful, they may have a few false starts or poop in an unusual pose for a couple of days.
  • Keep things clean. I clean the crate with a bleach wipes daily and make sure any bedding is fresh and clean. I continue this practice for the first week.
  • Limit food and water. The general guideline I’ve been given is 1/2 the normal amount that evening. This is to prevent tummy upset and vomiting post anesthesia. Always follow your vet’s guidelines.
  • Expect a lot of sleeping. They may snore. They may sleep with the tip of their tongue hanging out.
  • Prevent climbing up or jumping off things. Remember, they just had surgery. No gymnastics, no matter how “ordinary” it may seem. Focus them on floor level flop zones, sitting on the floor  with your dog can accomplish this, or crate them, if control is difficult.
  • If they were given IV fluids, they will pee… a lot… multiple times. So walk outside, on leash, a few times until the lengthy peeing stops.

Days After Neuter Surgery

  • Dogs recover from surgery shockingly fast. Some dogs will feel darn near 100% 24-36 hours after and then your work really begins: Keeping them from overdoing things.
  • Female surgery involves cutting the muscles into the belly. They must be kept on leash and calm during the first 7-10 days, as directed by the veterinarian. Don’t take your dogs word for what is good to do. Dogs are very bad judges of such things. She’ll tell you rabbit chasing and stair racing are great. They are not. On leash, inside and out, with lots of engrossing (and sometimes just gross) chews, food toys and other “projects” is the plan.
  • Male surgery, though harder for many psychologically, is a smaller, “simple” skin incision. Nonetheless, male dogs, too, must be kept quiet for as long as your veterinarian advises.
  • Sometimes fluid will fill the scrotum after surgery making your male dog appear unneutered. In time, this will be absorbed by the body. If you have questions or concerns, always call your veterinarian.
  • The rapid change in hormones that come after neutering a dog can cause accidents. So walk more often and, as mentioned above, crate your dog. This will pass, in my experience, in 10-14 days. Please don’t be angry if an accident happens, your dog is surprised, too.
  • Wounds really start to itch about 5-7 days into healing so watch your dog for licking. If they start to worry the wound you’ll need to use a Bite Not Collar, Comfy Cone or E-Collar for a few days.

The good news is that neutering a dog only happens once. When the healing is done, your dog will be ready to go!

Now you know.

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  1. We just adopted a 3 year old shih tzu, who was neutered 11 days ago. We’ve had him for 2 days. He gets taken out about every 1-2 hours and he has not had any long pees. He does seem to be marking, but I’m not sure. Any suggestions??

    • Hi Evelyn – congrats on your new shih tzu! It’ll take about 6 weeks for his hormones to completely shift over to neutered status. And, if he was a big marker before, he may not know how to really let it all go at once. Also, he may be anxious about being adopted (that is standard) and that anxiety can increase him marking.

      Is he clean in your home?

  2. Hi! I have two Shih Tzu puppies one female and the other a male; they both are siblings. Both puppies are 6 months of age. The female seems to have potty training down. She will use the potty pads each time. The male on the other hand does not. He will poop on the pad, but he recently stopped peeing on the pad this week. He was neutered almost two weeks ago. The female will be spayed in a few days.

    I would like to know what may be the cause of my male puppy not using the pad to pee anymore? My partner and I are planning to contact our vet to see if there is a medical problem. We almost think there could be a possibility that he is acting out for an unknown reason.


  3. Hi there. my weimeraner was castrated a week ago… his behaviour of the last couple of days has been so hyper active… he has had plenty of exercise , so I can’t understand why he is being so crazy?

    • Hi Clare –

      Hmmm… a week ago is a bit early for plenty of exercise. He’s still healing up. I know it is basically self-defense at this point but I’d focus on leash work and self-control, not running hard yet.

      As long as you vet says he’s healing well, then could be rapid hormonal changes (how old is he) or confusion (if extra attention is being given).

      Either way, same recipe should help: On leash work, self-control, plenty of rest and tincture of time.


  4. I have had my dog for 2 months and no peeing in the house. I got him nuetered a week ago and since then he has peed in the house 4 times. I have him on a schedule for eating and going out and actively goes but still also in the house. Can you help me determine why this is happening

  5. Why does my Bishon frise puppie keep sitting down when walking since his castration he also keeps hiding in corners which he did not do before

    • Hi Tina –

      That’s a question for his veterinarian first. Assuming all is well medically and that he’s on the pain relief needed after major surgery, then we can guess something behavioral.

      Hopefully he’ll snap out of it soon. – Sarah

  6. Our 1 year old Retriever was castrated on Wednesday and try as we may to keep him to rest he is just as active. But today (Saturday) he has been sick several times. He seems well in himself but its a worry to hear a dog wretching.

    Also his poo is runny today and hasn’t been up to now.

    Is this normal post op stuff or should we watch for anything else?

    • Hi Colin –

      That is not normal, in my non-vet experience. Is he on antibiotics? Could be a reaction to meds but I’d run it past his veterinarian, for sure.

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