How to Bathe a Dog After Neutering

Easy
5 - 15 Minutes
2 Weeks

Introduction

Typically after a neutering, your veterinarian will request that you not bathe your dog for 10-14 days post-surgery. You will need to keep your dog’s stitches dry to keep them in place and prevent infection in the surgical incision. But if you have a dog who feels well and still manages to get filthy post-surgery, bathing might be on the top of your list. So just how can you care for your dog who feels well enough to play and get dirty but shouldn't get wet? There are things you can do to get your dog clean after a neutering surgery.

Dog's Perspective

Most dogs will typically be pretty groggy for a few days after a neutering procedure. Some dogs, on the other hand, are eager to get up and start playing. If your dog is one of the eager, be sure you're watching him closely, so he does not tear his incision. If he’s managed to feel well enough to get dirty, he should be well enough to get clean with some precautions.

The Spray Down Method

Effective
0 Votes
Spray
Shampoo
Pin Brush
Towel
Step
1
Gotta get clean
With a spray bottle and warm water, you can spray areas of your dog's body, just not the surgical area. This means you can clean your dog's face, his back, his legs and paws, and even his bottom if you're cautious.
Step
2
Spritz
Fill a spray bottle with warm water and dampen your dog's fur and skin in the areas where he must be cleaned. Avoid his potty area. You do not want to get the incision wet if there are stitches.
Step
3
Wash
With a bit of suds from a dog shampoo, you can wash your dog's fur, rubbing it very gently in the areas that are dirty. If you only need to clean a certain areas such as your dog's face or his paws, stick with that area until your dog has healed from the neutering.
Step
4
Rinse
Because you should only be using a very small amount of shampoo, rinsing your dog can occur with the spray bottle as well. Simply spritz water on the area you cleaned, rinsing the soap out.
Step
5
Pat dry
With a towel, pat the cleaned area dry.
Step
6
Still and calm
Keep your dog still and calm while you're washing the dirty areas after surgery. If your dog gets excited and begins to jump up or around or plays too rough he could potentially cause injury or pull at sutures if there are any.
Step
7
Veterinary orders
Follow all of your veterinarian's instructions after you have your dog neutered. Some dogs are neutered and left with an incision and stitches. Some veterinarians have different procedures that do not leave your dog with sutures. Many veterinary surgeons will request you not submerge your dog in water for 10 to 14 days post-surgery.
Step
8
Incision care
Be sure to care for your dog's incision or surgical wound. Watch for redness and swelling and report any signs of potential infections to your veterinarian. This area should be left alone to heal on its own.
Recommend grooming method?

The Spot Clean Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Towel
Step
1
Wash cloth
Wet a soft washcloth with warm water.
Step
2
Wipe
Wipe the areas that are especially dirty on your dog. Remember he's just had surgery and should not be submerged in water or bathed in a tub. If your dog has dirty spots that need immediate cleaning, such as his paws or his face, wipe down these with a wet washcloth.
Step
3
Alternatively
To keep your dog smelling fresh, you can also use dog wipes. These dog wipes work a lot like baby wipes with a fresh scent, keeping areas that are often dirty clean and smelling good, at least until your dog can bathe again.
Step
4
Dry shampoo
You can use a dry shampoo on your dog's back and sides while he's recovering after a neutering surgery. Sprinkle the powder into your dog's fur and brush it out with a brush. This doesn't necessarily get your dog clean if there is visible dirt, but it will help keep him smelling better and his coat in good condition.
Step
5
Post bath
After your veterinarian has told you it is okay to give your dog a bath post-surgery, likely 10 to 14 days after neutering, put your dog in a bathtub and wash him with warm water and dog shampoo.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Always follow your veterinarian's instructions when it comes to post-surgical care.
  • Your veterinarian may request your dog wear a cone or an Elizabethan collar to keep his mouth off of the incision.
  • The newer neutering surgeries are easier today than they once were. Your dog still needs to remain relaxed for several days.
  • Most veterinarians will recommend the dog not have a bath for about 10 days.
  • Your veterinarian may also ask you to restrain your dog from extraneous activities such as running or jumping to keep the incision clean and to prevent tearing.
  • Your dog's incision site will be fairly sensitive. If you have to wipe down or brush your dog, be cautious of this tender skin.
  • Be sure to look for signs of infection, such as a red and swollen incision site or red lines on the skin coming off of the incision.
  • Your dog may need to wear an Elizabethan collar for some time to keep him away from the incision. If this doesn't work out for you or your dog, ask your veterinarian for other ideas such as having your dog wearing a t-shirt. 
  • Do not apply anything to the incision site unless directed to do so by your veterinarian.

Conclusion

Even if your dog is no longer intact, keep your relationship with your best bud intact by taking special care for the first few weeks after he has the surgery. Unless he absolutely needs a bath, wait until his sutures have been removed or have been dissolved and the incision is healing properly.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!