You may commit to giving your dog all the love and care in the world, but there will always be a chance that they’ll get sick or injured and perhaps even require a procedure and confinement at the vet clinic or animal hospital. Just like how it would be for a human, being confined in unfamiliar surroundings is sure to be stressful on your dog. They may also need IV fluids, anesthesia for surgery, and stitches for faster healing—all of which can cause them significant anxiety and discomfort. And while visiting them may lift their spirits, you’ll eventually need to leave them to heal with medical professionals monitoring their condition.

But there’s a lot you can do to make the experience more bearable and less stressful for both of you, such as bringing their favorite toy or custom dog blankets. With proper preparation and thoughtful gestures, you’ll be able to help your dog recover faster and ease the mental and emotional anguish they may be experiencing. Below are some tips for preparing for your dog’s upcoming confinement due to surgery or another procedure:

1. Fast Your Dog The Night Before A Procedure

Will your dog be undergoing a procedure requiring anesthesia? If so, on your vet’s advice, you should withhold food the night before their procedure. There are varying ideas as to how long before the scheduled procedure you should fast your dog. Some veterinary clinics recommend withholding food 6 to 8 hours before surgery, while others say that 12 hours is better.

You can check out sources like the American Animal Hospital Association’s (AAHA) Fasting and Treatment Recommendations for Dogs and Cats Prior to Anesthesia reference guide. These recommendations consider the dog’s status as well as the treatment and medication your pet can take. According to AAHA’s table, healthy dogs with no other condition should fast for 4 to 6 hours before the administration of anesthesia. This helps prevent complications during the procedure and ensures the safety of your furry friend.

Be sure to consult your veterinarian beforehand to determine the appropriate fasting period for your dog based on their individual needs and medical history.

2. Ask Your Vet If You Should Continue Giving Medications And Supplements

As you prepare for your dog’s confinement at the vet, you may wonder whether you should continue giving them their regular medications and supplements. Again, it’s best to get advice from your vet to determine whether your dog should continue taking their medications leading up to the procedure. Your vet will consider factors such as the type of medication, any potential drug interactions they might be watching out for, the nature of the procedure, and your dog’s overall health to provide personalized guidance.

3. Confirm The Drop-Off Or Admission Time

The day before your dog’s procedure and confinement, you should call the vet’s clinic or animal hospital to confirm their admission time. You’ll want to make sure that the vet’s medical team will be ready to receive your pooch, helping minimize stress and delays.

It’s also advisable for you to come to the clinic a little early so that you can take care of your pet’s paperwork before the procedure. Confirming their schedule will also allow you to plan the rest of your day accordingly.

4. Pack Their Favorite Toy Or Blanket

When packing for your dog’s stay at the vet, remember to include their favorite toy or blanket. Familiar items from home can provide comfort and reassurance to your furry friend during their time away from you.

Whether it’s a beloved squeaky toy or a cozy blanket they love to snuggle with, these familiar objects can help reduce their anxiety and make them feel more at ease in such an unfamiliar environment.

5. Bring Enough Food In Labeled Containers

To ensure that your dog gets back to health quickly, make sure their nutritional needs are met with some high-quality dog food. Different vet clinics may have different policies regarding dog food, so check with the staff if bringing food from home for your pooch is allowed. Familiar and nutritious food can help maintain your dog’s appetite and overall wellbeing during their time away from home.

6. Bring Your Dog’s Medical Records If Required

If you have previous medical records from a different clinic, you may need to bring these documents along for your current veterinarian to refer to. Medical records may include vaccination records, recent test results, and anything else that’s relevant from your dog’s medical history. Having this information on hand allows the vet staff to provide the best possible care for your dog and ensures that they have a complete understanding of your pet’s health needs.

7. Make Sure You Can Be Contacted In Case Of Emergency

Finally, before leaving your dog in the care of the vet, make sure that you can be contacted in case of emergency. Provide the vet clinic with up-to-date contact information and inform them of the best way to reach you during your dog’s stay. In doing this, you can stay informed about your dog’s condition and make any quick and necessary decisions regarding their care.

Preparing your dog for confinement at the vet clinic or animal hospital requires careful planning and consideration. Hopefully, these guidelines can help you secure for your canine companion an experience that will improve their health outcomes and return them home with a happy smile and a wagging tail.


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