Spaying is highly recommended for female puppies for several reasons-- it prevents your dog from falling pregnant with an unwanted litter of puppies after reaching sexual maturity, allows you to avoid the hassle of female dog heat cycles, and can help protect your dog from reproductive diseases. While spaying is a very common veterinary procedure, it is major abdominal surgery. When you bring your puppy home after being spayed you can expect the following: 


Your puppy will spend a few hours at the vet's office recovering after surgery is completed, but she may feel the affects of the general anesthesia used for the procedure for several hours after you pick her up. You may notice that your puppy seems disoriented or has difficulty maintaining her balance-- this will go away as the anesthesia is metabolized. It is a good idea to plan on carrying your puppy from the vet's to the car, and then into your home.

Low Appetite

Every dog reacts differently to anesthesia, and many puppies may feel nauseous after being spayed which can decrease their appetite. You can try offering small amounts of food and water to see if your puppy is interested-- if she vomits shortly after consuming anything, withdraw the food and wait until she feels better to try feeding her again.

Lethargic Behavior

The combination of anesthesia and physically recovering from a major surgery can cause a puppy to become quite lethargic immediately after being spayed. Avoid trying to play with your puppy or engage her in physical activity. The best thing you can do is prepare a comfortable area where she can sleep and rest for the afternoon and evening-- a kennel or crate is an ideal place for your puppy after surgery.

Caring for the Incision

Your vet will closely examine your puppy's incision site prior to her being discharged. It is a good idea to look at the incision yourself so you understand what it should look like. Check your puppy's incision site regularly at home to make sure there is no bleeding, redness, excessive swelling, or pus coming out of the incision. If you notice a marked change in how the incision site looks, call your puppy's vet (such as one from 1st Pet Veterinary Centers) as soon as possible to arrange for an appointment.

It is also important to watch your dog to make sure that she does not lick, chew, or scratch the incision site. If you can't keep your puppy away from her incision, purchase a cone collar from a pet supply store for her to wear for a few days while the incision heals.