How To Get Dog To Drink Water After Surgery 

If your dog had surgery recently, it is normal for it to refuse water. In this article, we will talk about how to get dog to drink water after surgery, why this happens, and much more!

Ever tried to get your dogs to drink water, and they refuse no matter what? It’s not like they’re going to tell you, but dogs tend to avoid food and liquids following surgery. 

If your pet has just had minor surgery and is reluctant to drink water, there are a couple of things you can try. First, be gentle. Punishing your dog for refusing the water won’t solve anything and may worsen the problem. 

Keep the water bowl near him since after surgery they hardly have any energy to get up and walk to the bowl. You can also keep a water dispenser with a spout which makes it easy for your dog to drink some water. 

How To Get Dog To Drink Water After Surgery

Try to put crushed ice or ice chips in its mouth, or you can also use a syringe to push water down its mouth. One more method that might work is salting its food, which should naturally make it thirsty.

If it’s been a few days after the surgery then it is probably best to try offering a different dog food or a treat to your dog. Your dog might be accustomed to eating a certain kind of food; a small treat might encourage it to drink some water after surgery.

This is not all, we have covered some more aspects of the topic below. Take a look!

Should I Be Concerned?

For most cases, the answer is no. 

Your dog will not die of thirst as long as they have access to clean water. However, difficulties from the operation may emerge, preventing your dog from drinking, in which case you must take your dog to the veterinarian for an inspection. 

Dogs cannot survive beyond 2-3 days without water, and the effects of dehydration will start showing up as early as just 24 hours. If your dog hasn’t had anything to drink in 48 hours, take him to the doctor right away since he might be suffering from a significant problem or another underlying condition.

How To Take Care Of Your Dog After Surgery?

It is essential to know what precautions you can take before your surgery and after. Psychological, physical, and environmental factors may affect the recovery process.

Pre & During Surgery 

  • Your dog should have a clean environment with food and water available before the procedure. 
  • During the surgery, you can use a muzzle to keep them still and calm during the procedure.
  • After induction of anesthesia, there should be no pain or discomfort for at least 24 hours for dogs under 60 pounds. 
  • Afterward, monitor their activity level by watching their behavior daily for at least three weeks if they exhibit any side effects such as decreased appetite or increased lethargy. 

Consult a veterinarian before you have your dog undergo any surgery for these reasons.

How To Get Dog To Drink Water After Surgery

Post Surgery 

  • After surgery, assess your dog’s mental status by observing their personality and level of activity after they have been home from the vet. 
  • If they are acting abnormally, take them to a veterinarian right away. This can be effective in certain situations but may cause increased stress if not necessary.
  • If your dog is feeling stressed, you can use a soft cloth (such as an old t-shirt) to help them settle into a calm state. 
  • You can also encourage them to move around by playing or feeding them. 
  • Make sure you clean the wounds using antibacterial soap and apply antibiotics.
  • Watch that your dog is hydrated with water (1-3 cups per day).
  • Consult your veterinarian about any pain medications to help relieve the discomfort that may arise and possibly even reduce the intensity of post-surgical pain.
  • Make sure they are eating and drinking enough water. 
  • Ensure that they wear their E-collar as soon as possible so that they don’t lick the surgery wound.

Do not restrain your dog after surgery, let it walk around a bit. They should walk around for at least 30 minutes every day to maintain their strength. 

How To Stop Dogs From Dripping Water After Drinking?

When dogs get a drink of water, they often have trouble holding it in because their tongues are so big, and they don’t know how to stop it from dripping. Sooner or later, the floor will get wet. Plus, when you walk your dog in the rain or snow, they’ll be making a mess everywhere you go!

This is an easy fix that can help your dog stop dripping water after drinking.

  • First, you’ll need to have a timer that goes off every 2 hours. You can buy these online or can make your own.
  • Second, you’ll need to mark it on the floor where the water is dripping.
  • Third, go and hide your dog’s water bowl and timed timer in a closet. Make sure no one walks over the wet floor.
  • Fourth, hide the bowl and wait 2 hours. Place a timer next to you. When the timer goes off, watch your dog’s reaction. They’ll look all around for their water bowl. Eventually, they’ll find the wet spot on the floor and begin to lick it up! They may even start to drink the water off of the floor!
  • When they’re done licking up their water, put their water bowl back out and leave them alone while they drink. By the time your two hours are up, they should be done drinking and won’t be trying to drink the water off of the floor! 
  • Take your dog outside and keep their water bowl on the floor again. This time, when you hide the water bowl, only let them out after they’ve finished their water and are done licking up the wet spot.
How To Get Dog To Drink Water After Surgery

Why Won’t The Dog Drink Water After Surgery?

The dog is in pain and can’t drink any water.

It’s a common scenario you’ve probably run into before. Whether the dog has undergone surgery or it’s just been recovering from an injury, its throat will be dry, and it’ll avoid water at all costs. 

But this is primarily because of the discomfort that drinking water causes, which makes it hard to do anything else but drink a lot of water as well.

Why is it hurting?

The dog’s throat is hurting because of the tube inserted for the surgery. 

This tube will ensure that there will be a small amount of water flowing through it and directly into the stomach. The water flow may seem like a small amount, but that’s to help with the recovery process in case they need it. 

However, this means there will be some discomfort in swallowing afterward, which can only be relieved by drinking water.

Tips To Get Your Dog to Drink Water After Surgery

If your dog has just had surgery, getting him to drink more water can be a challenge. Now, if you do not know about one of the best ways to increase your dog’s water intake after surgery, then it is time to share some information with you that can make your life easier. If you keep in mind these five methods, then your dog will be drinking more water and like a champion before too long.

  • You can give it ice chips or crushed ice which it can put in its mouth directly
  • You can also use a syringe to pump water into its mouth
  • Keep its water bowl near where he spends most of the day and leave food on a nearby surface for him to sniff out and eat.
  • When water is not readily available, use a squirt bottle to add water to his dishes or bowls. Do this only once or twice a day, just enough to wet the food.
  • Add some sugar or other sweetener to your dog’s food and water. Not only will it taste good, but it will increase the amount of liquid your dog drinks.
  • Make sure that you give him plenty of fresh cool water at all times. You do not want him to drink too much warm water, or he could get dehydrated. Also, make sure that he is drinking enough water altogether.
  • Bugs can also be a problem if your dog has surgery, so you will want to ensure that his water dish and food are cleaned frequently to prevent contamination.
  • Keep his food and water bowls out of the hot sun. Warm temperatures can dehydrate your dog faster than you think.
How To Get Dog To Drink Water After Surgery

How to put a shirt on your dog after surgery?

Dog owners know the struggle of how to put a shirt on their dogs after surgery. That struggle has been known to be about as intense as trying to put a shirt on your head after shaving it. Let’s take a look at some of the tried and true methods for getting that puppy shirt on!

  • Take your dog’s collar off and remove the wrap-around part of her neck (a collar should not go over the throat area).
  • Locate the back band with no brand name or design. This is the band near your dog’s tail that is closest to you.  
  • Gently lay your dog on her side and face away from you. If she’s still holding her head up, gently lower her head to the side.
  • Reach behind your dog’s front legs with one arm to access the shirt. Use one hand for this step.
  • Use both hands to pull the shirt over your dog’s head and down close to her back band. The shirt should be tight-fitting, snug on your dog’s body, and not loose. You may need to use one hand to pull down the back band for a more snug fit.
  • Check that there are no gaps in the shirt as you continue to help your dog put her band back on; if she seems uncomfortable, remove the shirt and try again.  
  • Roll your dog onto her side and open the front of the shirt around her neck (it will get easier with practice).

You will need:

You will need a dog shirt that is a little too tight. Yes, you want it to fit snugly, but not so tight that it causes discomfort. A thin shirt is easier to monitor than an average thickness one to monitor your dog’s bleeding. 

Also, thin shirts are less likely to get snagged on surgical equipment during the procedure and drag on the floor during recovery.

Cotton shirts are breathable and let in air, which will help keep your dog cool. A shirt with long sleeves will cover his incisions and make him feel more secure. And lastly, you want a color other than white or black. We don’t want our dog to look like a hospital gown.

How To Get Dog To Drink Water After Surgery

A Few Final Words

Dogs are our precious treasure, and we can’t imagine a day without them. If they are in pain, we also feel their pain. Surgery can make them vulnerable, but they shall recover faster than expected with proper care and diet. 

Hence for their well-being, make your dog drink enough water so that their recovery remains a smooth journey. Thank you for reading this article, and we hope we answered most of what you wanted to know! If we missed something, let us know in the comments.

We have written about other common problems in dogs, such as Can Antibiotics Make A Dog Lethargic? And Can I Give My Dog Heartworm Medicine Early? Do read these to know more about caring for your dog!