Getting your dog to take it easy after spaying or neutering surgery is not easy, particular with puppies and dogs that are generally too active. The majority of dogs, particularly puppies, want to get up and start playing again after being spayed. They don’t understand how much rest and recovery is needed, with running and playing kept in check.
If you own a dog too active after spay surgery, and want to know how long after being spayed she can play and run, please read on. Before you do that, consider that all dogs are different, so please take advice from your vet.
Can my dog run around and play after being spayed? Dogs should not play and run for around 10 days after spay surgery. In most cases the dog will have recovered sufficiently to return back to their previous levels of physical activity.
Bear in mind, this is very generic advice. Below you can see an outline and personal story from a dog owner like you who wanted to know how long after a dog is spayed can she play and run.
My dog was too active after spay surgery (personal story)
Our dog was just like this. She was spayed at 7 months old and was still a young puppy at that age with boundless energy; if anything, she was too active and demanded play, walks, and exercise every waking moment – like most puppies I am sure!
After her surgery I asked our vet about how long after being spayed can a dog play. We were told that she would get back to her previous levels of exercise a little slower than she would like.
Here is a round-up of the professional answers I was given at the time, plus my own online research.
How long after being spayed can a dog play?
My vet recommended that make our dog rest for 2 days after spaying. Playing with your dog in the 48 hours after neutering is not recommended, and in fact, until the 3-day check-up after spaying, there should be no play or activity at all.
After this period though, you should be able to do some short leash walks before the 10-day check-up. But, still do not let your dog run after spaying during this period, or play.
To be honest, the biggest tip I can give you is to take advice from your vet as it can be different from dog to dog.
With our puppy, she was too active after spaying, trying to do her usual jumping up and down despite having stitches in… and in fact was trying to run and play about after just one day.
We had our work cut out trying to slow her down and had to use the crate a lot.
How far can my dog run after being spayed?
There is no right answer as no dog is the same and all require different exercise levels. However, once your dog has healed after 10 days, you should be able to run as far as you normally would after spaying.
We did not let our dog run too far after spaying, but she was back to normal walking distances after 10 days.
If you want a more in-depth timeline of when and whether you can let your dog run and play after spaying, you can see some notes I expanded upon which we received from our vet below.
I will then explain some of the dangers that can develop if you don’t let your dog rest after spaying and neutering surgery, if it’s ok to let them play and run, followed by post-surgery care advice.
My dog wants to play after being spayed
Dog playing after neutering and spaying: recommended timelines
Let your dog rest for 2 days
Spaying and neutering are both invasive procedures which need to time to heal. Vets generally recommend that your dog has complete rest for 24 to 48 hours after surgery with no running, playing, or any other physical activity in this period.
Don’t let your dog walk, run, jump, or stretch themselves in the first two days recovering from spaying.
Some dogs can exercise a little after 48 hours
Once the first 48 hours is up, you can start to let them out in a garden or yard for a little bit of exercise. Make sure to keep a close eye on them so they don’t over-exert themselves with play.
Having said that, not all dogs with have the same rate of recovery, so they might need more rest than the 48 hours.
Have regular check-ups at 3 and 10 days
Many vets will also recommend that you have two follow up appointments on 3 and 10 days. This lets the vet check your dog’s recovery, to ensure the healing is coming along ok.
During this 10-day period, your dog should still only be having supervised light exercise in a controlled area, with no over-exertion such as running and playing.
You might be able to start doing some short walks after spaying now, such as:
- 3 days: possible short leash walks depending on your dog’s recovery.
- 10 days: could now be back to normal dependent on your vet’s advice.
With your first walks outside of the house after spaying, make sure it’s simple short distances. Start very slowly and see how your dog reacts to the light exercise.
Depending on your dog, you could start to extend how far you walk, but still keep them in control and on a leash to avoid disturbances to the stitching and scar… don’t push things too much!
You should not let your dog run after being spayed before the 10 day point.
After 10 days, most dogs are given the all clear to walk, run, play, and exercise like normal, providing they have healed ok with no complications. If the scar is still healing, your dog might have to stay on antibiotics for a couple more weeks.
Handy Hint: Science suggests that female dogs who are spayed will live longer than average.
After care tips
To help get your dog’s exercise levels back to where they were before neutering or spaying, you can do a few things at home.
Here’s what we did to get our dog playing again after spay surgery.
1. Keep them confined to speed up healing
The healing process will be a lot quicker if your dog’s activity is limited. One way you can do that is to let them recovery and rest in a smaller room where they cannot be as active and mobile.
This is essential advice for a dog too active after spay surgery.
Some owners will keep their dogs crated for the first 2 days of recovery, only letting them out for toilet breaks. Providing the crate is large enough, comfortable, and gives them enough room to turn around, it could help them heal quicker.
2. Burn off energy without over-exertion
Once you start to take your too active dog on short walks after spaying, you will want them to burn off energy, but not be over the top and pull the stitching or scar.
One way you can do this is to incorporate some mental stimulation into the short leash walks. I a good way of doing this was to bring treats along and throw a few in front of us as we walked.
That kept our dog’s focus on the walk, and didn’t distract him elsewhere, whilst keeping her active at just the right level.
3. Treating the scar and stitches
Your vet will handle the essentials here, but you should look out for any signs of an infection. This will typically be crustiness or oozing.
If you see this, give it a wipe with a clean towel, damp with warm water. Then call your vet for a quicker check-up.
4. Leaving your dog alone
Whilst you can leave your dog alone after spaying, it should only be for short periods of time. I’ve previously written a guide about leaving a dog alone with a cone on which gives some more in-depth advice, but bottom line is:
- Keep your dog crated if you will be leaving her alone for more than 30 minutes.
- If you don’t have a crate, leave them in small room with no hazards.
- Keep them away from other pets and dogs.
The advice in this guide is a mix of what a vet told a dog owner and the personal experiences I have had with my own dogs I the past.
The bottom line is; some dogs will be too active after spaying, so you need to stop them from running and playing in the first 7 to 10 days.
After that point, it’s ok to let a dog play after spaying.
However, most important thing I can say is that you need to speak to your own vet before making a decision… all dogs are different and will have different recovery times.
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Here are some more guides relating to post-surgery care for your spayed dog.