Homeward Bound: Preparing Your Pet for Surgery

When it comes to animal surgery in Chanhassen, pet owners know they can come to Excelsior Animal Hospital for reliable, trusted and friendly services. In the event your pet requires surgery, whether it be for spaying or neutering, laser surgery, dental, or a more serious type of animal surgery, there are a few things you can do to prepare. We want to take the time to discuss some information that pet owners should keep in mind before and after their pet goes into surgery.

animal surgery

Calm Your Own Nerves

When you’re worried, sometimes your pet can pick up on that. Help control your emotions and remain as calm as possible when you arrive. Understanding what you need to do before and after your animal’s surgery can help drastically. We will provide you with written instructions for your own pet’s unique surgery, of course. But, there are a few things you can familiarize yourself with prior to any animal surgery.
And, the day of surgery, be sure to bring your pet in on time. When you bring her in, be calm and confident when leaving your pet in the veterinarian’s care; when your pet sees you acting calm, they feel calmer themselves.

Food & Water Restrictions

For everything except emergency animal surgery without forewarning, there will likely be some recommended food restrictions for your pet. For many dogs, food needs to be cut off the night before. Restricting food is important for animal surgery, as anesthetics can sometimes cause vomiting. Having the stomach empty of any food can minimize these risks. But, if by accident, your pet ingests something the morning of surgery, call your veterinarian. An elective procedure such as a spay, neuter or dental surgery can be rescheduled.
Water also needs to be restricted for the same reasons as food. The only difference is some pets, like dogs, can usually have water until early in the morning of the surgery. Your veterinarian will let you know when the water should be cut off.


If your pet is taking any medications including flea, tick or heartworm preventatives, your vet may recommend waiting a couple days until after the surgery to give it to them. Or, depending on the medication, you may be able to keep giving it to them as usual. We will speak with you ahead of time and let you know what to do.
And, after you go home with your pet, it is important you understand any medications they are taking home with them. We will provide you with thorough instructions. But, if you think you may have trouble giving your pet medications, ask for some added instructions or tips.

animal surgery

Back Home

Make sure you read your vet’s instructions thoroughly and they will let you know when to reintroduce water and food as well as how to protect the incision. And remember, many anesthetics allow pets to recover quickly, but some can pets can still seem wobbly or groggy when they get home. Protect him from himself, though, and don’t allow him to run, jump, climb or otherwise put himself in a position where he can fall or damage his incision. Also remember to protect children and other animals as your pet may be a little confused from the anesthetics and the events of the day.

If you would like more information about animal surgery in Chanhassen, call Excelsior Animal Hospital at 952-474-1106, or you can contact us to Schedule an Appointment.

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